Ms. Huss: Letter to my 17-year old self
The first thing you need to know is that your life is going to be amazing! I have the chance to give you some advice, so here it is:
1. Learn to let go. You can’t control everything. I know you are going to try because I know how stubborn you are. I also know how crushed you will be when you feel like everything is going against you. So, just let go. Stop trying to control everything. Some of the best things, as well as some of the worst things that will happen to you are beyond your control. Learn to accept both. Learn to let go.
2. You don’t have to be Wonder Woman. You can’t do everything. Learn how to say “no.” Do not let people take advantage of you. You’ll eventually learn how to advocate for yourself, but you’d save a lot of time and stress if you would learn to do it earlier. You also can’t do everything on your own. I know how fiercely independent you are. I know you want people to think that you are strong. I know that you have to hit rock bottom before you will reach out. It’s ok to say, “I need help” or “I can’t do this on my own.” Life is not a solo journey. Let others help you.
3. You are not dead inside. I know you want to be emotionally invincible, but you are not. You will be hurt. People will let you down. Don’t let that stop you from caring. Not everyone is going to disappoint you. If someone does, don’t turn against them forever. Believe in second chances. Let people apologize and forgive them.
4. Love while you can. People will come in and out of your life. Some stay too long and some you will never want to leave. Do not waste any opportunity to tell people how you feel. Unrequited love is the most difficult pain to live with. When you love someone, tell them.
5. Your past doesn’t define you, but it does molds you. You are going to screw up and do some really stupid things. You will be truly ashamed of some of them. You will regret your decisions, but you won’t regret the lessons you will learn from them. You are the sum of all of your experiences. You are who you are because of them. Be okay with that. Be okay with your mistakes and your scars. You are a better person because of them.
Your life is not going to be the one you are currently planning, but it is the one you are meant to live.
Chemaine (Chemaine Huss: German, Health, and PE Teacher)