Letter to Myself at 18

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dear Patricia, 18,

Isn't it crazy? You're about to graduate high school. The next four years of your life are going to go even faster. You're the skinniest you've ever been, the most fun you've ever been, and the most excited you've ever been. Right now, you're excited for change--and it's going to be great!

You're going to go through the toughest times in your life and you're going to feel the need to contain it all within yourself--don't. It's okay to feel vulnerable and it's okay to want to give up--don't. Your parents raised you well and even though you sidetracked a little those last couple of months in high school, they don't define you or your life. You will learn many lessons in the next year and your family is going to suffer a lot, but there's a purpose. I promise.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Four years later and thirty pounds heavier, you're going to be the happiest you have ever been. Remember when getting skinny was your only goal? Try getting healthy instead. Remember your body does so much work for you, reward it and treat it well.

You're going to fail. Maybe not yet, maybe not for a while, but it's going to happen and it will keep on happening. In order to grow, you need to learn how to get back up. But don't take life too seriously, happiness is in the present, not the future or in the past. Work hard but remember to enjoy every second and opportunity, too.

Those friends? They won't matter in a few months. They're not a waste of time because they'll show you exactly what you don't want to be. They'll lead you to the right people. Each person has a special role to play in your life--learn to find it, accept it, and move on once it's accomplished. Know that it's not your fault, you're a good friend. Learn to be happy by yourself, it's the most important lesson about friendship.

That boy you're so head over heals in love with? It's not love. He's not worth it. He's going to break your heart a couple of months later and then he'll just become a distant memory. The one that's waiting for you on the other side is wonderful. He's going to drive you crazy at times and it's going to be hard, but you two are so good for each other so fight for him, fight for love.

In the end, you're still you, and I'm so happy for that. You've grown and matured but you've also remained true to yourself. Follow your gut, it will lead you to the right places, even if it doesn't seem to at first. Oh, and remember how you love books and staying at home? Same deal but now you do it with a cute guy and lots of pizza.

Remember to exercise!

Me, 22

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