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Dear Seventeen-Year-Old Me

October 27, 2003

Dear Diary,

As I lie here on my bed, I wonder if this is how it’s always going to be. Am I always going to cry for him, and he’s never going to change for me? I haven’t been this sad in six months, and now it’s happening all over again. Why won’t he stop hurting me? Why can’t I ever escape him? Is this all what life is? Just to get hurt and disappointed in the end? I don’t know if I have the strength to go through this one more time…

Dear Seventeen-Year Old Me,

I read your old journal today, and it reminded me of the heartaches you went through in high school. I knew at times, you thought that kind of love would literally kill you. However despite the struggle, it’s made your skin a little thicker, and your heart a little stronger. I can tell you it gets worse before it gets better, but there is a happily ever after to these endless tales of heartbreak. (Trust me, I’m living proof today.)

If I could tell you then, what I know now – I would tell you that you are incredibly worthy of love. I would remind you to be kinder to yourself, and I would enforce you to create boundaries to command the self-respect you deserve.

You must learn to love yourself first. Let go of the expectation that a guy is suppose to complete you – that’s not their job, and it’s not fair to ask. Simultaneously, it’s also not your responsibility to fix anyone either. He’s not a project, and you don’t need to find your self-worth that way. You don’t need to be the exception to his rule in order to feel important. You are a queen in your own right.

Knowing what I know now, and from reading your journal entries, your intuitions were always spot on. I know you like to lead with your heart, but learn to trust your instincts – especially when it’s telling you the answers you don’t want to hear. Listen to your inner voice, and pay attention to the signs that the universe is sharing with you. Please don’t choose to ignore them, they are meant for your greater good.

I know at times you felt abandoned by God, but He is working feverishly for you. Keep putting your faith into Him; He is listening. Continue to practise gratitude, and celebrate the small moments that lift your spirits. One day, when you’re ready, and when your soul mate is ready too – you two will meet. He has a master plan, and you will be blessed beyond measure. You don’t have to try so hard. Learn to surrender yourself to Him.

Please don’t feel scared, because you are not alone. It will hurt, until it stops hurting. Embrace it, and don’t deny yourself this healing process – there are important lessons to be learned. You will never be alone on this journey, there are amazing family and friends rooting for you. Keep on reminding yourself that you are your mother’s daughter – she will always keep you strong.

Most importantly, I want you to know, that I am so proud of you. For some people, these kinds of relationships would have been detrimental for any future relationships to thrive. In your entries, you often reminded yourself to continue living gracefully and kind – despite how hurt and angry you were. It’s easy to grow bitter, or to numb yourself of all emotions. But no, not you – you never let your broken heart break you. I love that you always loved with so much compassion. I love that you always had blind faith that great loves and great men exist. But most of all, I love that you never stopped putting yourself out there – I love that you never gave up on love.

Keep your chin up girl. It’ll all work out in the end… you’ll see.

Love, Your Thirty-Two Year Old Me