An Open Letter to My Teenage Self

Dearest Nancy,

You think you have it all figured out, don’t you? Life, that is? You think that if you don’t love, you won’t be hurt.  How’s that working out for you? That hard glare you’ve perfected in the mirror, the one that keeps you unapproachable, glad to see its working so well for you. It’s a perfect look for you.

Being the first to blurt out the rude remarks keeps others from doing it to you first, right? Being mean feels good, you say? It keeps your heart protected and safe.  Anger is your friend. People call you stuck up and unfriendly, and that is fine with you. You don’t care what others think…at least that’s what you say.

Having walked your shoes and come out on the other side, I wish you would hear me.  I fear you won’t. Not because you can’t, but because you don’t want to. You think you have life all figured out and you don’t want those beliefs rocked.


Oh, my dear Nancy, you have value and purpose. You are loved.  You are loved far more than you can ever imagine.  What you think matters, you are important.  Don’t you see, when you hide your heart from hurt, you hide it from love too?

You say love hurts and it’s not worth the risk? Please, please, dear Nancy, trust me on this one.  I’ve walked this earth far more years than you have been alive.  You won’t know that what I’m trying to explain is true until you open your heart to trust even in the smallest way.

Like hot water on ice, your heart of bitterness, anger and hate will slowly start to melt away.  You will begin to see the world isn’t such a bad place. There are good people. You, deep down, are a good person. I know you don’t believe me, but trust me, it’s just because so much ice has hardened your heart.

There is so much I would like to tell you, but time is too short.  If you take nothing else from what I’ve said, know this: You are loved and you have much to offer the world. Life is worth living, I promise.


Your Future Self


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