If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her?
Oh, I got this one.
Dear 15-year-old Sandra,
I know some of these words may be harsh, but, trust me, you need them.
You are so much more than you think. Give yourself some credit. And give yourself some peace. Do whatever it takes to relax and find some peace. Figure that out now because it’ll be a million times harder when you’re older.
Got it? Good.
Stop fucking up!
Stop making decisions based solely on emotions. Some emotion is fine. Good, even. But only emotion is bad. Be a little less impulsive. Think things through before you speak… before you act. You’re smart… so smart. Use that.
Turn your focus away from boys and popularity. If anyone doesn’t like you for you, forget them. Do you want them to like you for being someone else? I’ll tell you the answer—No, you don’t. You know why? First, because that means they don’t like you. And second, you’ll spend so much time trying to be something you’re not that you’ll lose yourself. I know what you’re thinking right now and you’re wrong… you do not want to lose yourself. You have friends. People love you. And you didn’t have to do anything to win them over but be yourself.
I know you feel like you’re the only girl without a boy, but you’re not. And boys aren’t everything. I know right now it seems like they are but they’re not. In fact, forget about boys—at least for now. Work on yourself. Figure out what is truly important to you [not a boy!] and go for it… work for it. Don’t work toward what you think others want you to do or be. Follow your heart, but use your head.
You don’t need anyone. You are strong. You are brave. Once you accept that and accept yourself, boys will come. Maybe not right now and maybe not even for a few years, but you’ll still be better for it. And if they don’t, fuck ‘em. Or find some to fuck and maybe you’ll eventually find love. [I’m joking. Fifteen is too young. Give it some time.] Be patient.
Maybe just wait for a man. And do not, under any circumstances, accept anything less than true love. And great abs. Don’t settle. Don’t let anyone convince you that fairy tales aren’t real. Or that you are not worthy. I’m not talking about Cinderella here, but you deserve the best. You deserve to find ‘the one‘ so don’t give up. Honestly, you’ll be happier searching forever than you will be with the wrong man.
But… Don’t build your life around someone else. Build it for you. If you want to make someone proud, make yourself proud. If you do that, everyone around you will be proud of you, too.
It’s okay not to have it all figured out right now. Give yourself a break. Don’t pressure yourself so much. You don’t need to measure up to your sister. You don’t need to measure up to anyone. Stop comparing. You are your own person. Be yourself. Because you’re pretty amazing.
I know it’s hard. Really hard. But I promise you it will be worth it. I want so badly for you to avoid making the mistakes I made along the way. Oh, you’ll still make some—everyone does. You need them to learn. But I hope you take to heart what I’ve said. If you do, I know you’ll be in a better place when you’re my age.
You are the most important person in your life. Be kind to yourself. You owe it to yourself—and to everyone else in your life—to be true to yourself. If they love you for being someone else, that’s not love. It’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes. In fact, it’s essential.
Older, questionably wiser Sandra
p.s. — Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. From anyone, for any reason. I bet you have someone in mind right now who you know you could reach out to for help… someone who wouldn’t be afraid to tell you when you’re doing something stupid. Don’t get mad at her for it. Listen to her. Sometimes we’re blind. Let someone help you see.
p.p.s. — Definitely go to every one of those concerts you want to go to. You’ll have the time of your life.
p.p.p.s. — Never underestimate the benefits of doing something for someone else. Be kind always.
p.p.p.p.s. — Embrace your love for writing. Don’t hide it—it’s better than you think.
p.p.p.p.p.s. — You’re beautiful and intelligent and you have a fabulous sense of humor.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s. — If you want to sing, do it.
p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. — Get the Jeep.