Ms. Whetstone: Letter to my 17-year old self
Dear young Candace,
At this moment in your life, you have finally pulled yourself out of a terrible relationship- with a guy that you should have never been involved with in the first place. Your life seems like it is in a never-ending downward spiral, but it will work itself out. Stop stressing over it. Those friends you lost were never really friends, and the new ones you’re going to make will still be here eleven years later.
With this break-up comes change, specifically in school. Let your Junior year be about you, not anyone else. I know you are thinking about future plans. The idea of being a Veterinarian is consuming you which has lead you to take an overload of honors courses, but heads up—you pass out multiple times while volunteering with Dr. Dowdy. Blood is not our thing. As you start thinking about colleges the idea of running away to California seems like the only option at this point. You want to escape everything about your current life, and our 17-year old logic sees Cali as the chosen place. Sorry, but we never make it to California (besides to go to Disneyland)—it’s okay though, it was never really our scene anyways. Now it feels like all your plans are out the window, so what will happen?
You survive the break up and end up with the person that you one day marry. I know, I know—we vowed that marriage was not in our future, but we said the same things about kids. The next six years of your life will contain some of the most challenging experiences that you will ever face. There will be nights that you cry yourself to sleep—the issues that you’re currently facing do not even compare, but you persevere through it all.
You end up in a career path that was not even on the radar at 17, but it becomes your passion. All the books you read on the weekends (that your “friends” tease you about), pay off drastically. You love to travel which is something that we could never afford growing up. In the next eleven years you will make some of your greatest memories. All the rumors, the secrets, the fights will be wiped from your memory. You gain a level of confidence that seems nonexistent right now. You learn to love yourself rather than waiting for validation from others. You finally learn who you are.
Remember life is always going to have it difficulties, but how you approach these difficulties will be what defines you. Stop worrying about others opinions and enjoy the moments you are in. One day you wake up and high school will be nothing but a dusty book on your shelf.
With love and encouragement,
(Candace Whetstone: English Teacher)