A letter to my 18-year-old self

by Rebecca A. Watson on December 16, 2009

in adolescence, continuing education, friends, happiness, life, optimism

I was inspired by this blog post to write a letter to my younger self. Here’s a picture of who I am writing to:


That's me on the right. Gawd I miss that sweater.

Dear Rebecca,

You don’t know me, but I am you. I am writing to you from about 12 years in the future. I know you have an active imagination, but you still may have trouble grasping that. Just know that rolling your jeans is coming back into style, the planet is still in one piece (barely), and thankfully people are still listening to The Cure.

I have thought about a lot of different things to say to you. I like to write, as you know, and this letter could be miles long. I wonder if you would devour it or toss it aside to read when you had “time.” I’d like to think your rabid curiosity could sustain your interest, but you’re in high school right now, so let’s be realistic. You have other things to do.

I thought about telling you to pick your writing teacher’s brain, to not start smoking, and to skip the math major bullshit, but I know you hate being told what to do, so I’ll skip that. I would like you to know that someday you’ll laugh about being called a slut when you were a virgin and pity those who teased you for god-knows-what, but I know all of that hurts now. And plus, it makes you a stronger woman. (Just keep your chin up, girl!)

This is all I have: Every decision you are about to make is the right one. Not necessarily at that moment. Or even for the moment after that. You will experience setbacks that you think you’ll never recover from. You will wonder why the hell you were put on this planet.

But know this: The life you have is amazing. And 12 years from where you are now, you are going to look back and not have a single regret. What you do now makes you what you are later. Be confident. You will get what you want, even if it takes a few tries.

I love you. I’m proud of you. Keep up the optimistic attitude. It suits you.

Your friend,

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