A letter to a younger me.

Hey Kids and Cadets, It’s been quite awhile. I wish I could tell you that everything has been super awesome happy fun time – but truthfully, it was a big mess, there was medication involved. I’m sure I’ll write about it in depth in a bit – but for now I’m getting my stride back. My “Swagger” If you will (Did I ever have swagger?).

I’ve been cheating on this blog with an actual book. Work is almost done on it, and we will see if anything comes of it. If not – I’ll release it myself and get ready to truly whore myself to the general public.

I sat down the other day, looking at old pictures. I came across one of myself at about age seventeen. I was thinking about when that was (1999-2000). The planes hadn’t hit the towers in NYC yet. Bill Clinton was still in office. We were in the middle of what I remember to be mostly good times globally.

I was in the throws of what can only be described as the worlds most awkward adolescence. I was manifesting with Bi-Polar disorder, on top of an autism spectrum disorder that was not (at the time) diagnosed.

I was a chubby theater kid. I loved to be on stage. I loved makeup (A love that has carried over into my adulthood). I was creative in a way that I didn’t really understand at the time. I was studying method acting, movement and dance. I was dating a guy who was two years younger than I was. He wasn’t my first love, but at the time, it was all consuming. We were in that young, can’t get enough of each other, phase.

I had friends, but not many of them. I got talked about a lot. I was weird, awkward, and I communicated poorly. Because of my mental illness (Which at the time, I didn’t know anything about), I was prone to mood swings. Sometimes they were severe. Mostly, I just felt like I was on the outside of the world looking in. I was picked on quite a bit, but that kind of goes with the territory.

Anyway, After looking at these pictures, and my old journal. I wrote a letter to myself. Things I wish I could tell myself then. We all wish we could go back in time sometimes, and this is a way for me to do that.

Steph,

I know that you are about to start your senior year of high school. That’s awesome, You survived. I know that everything is stressful right now. I know that everyone is putting all this pressure on you to choose a school, and decide exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life RIGHT NOW. 

I also know that you are with Whats His Nuts. I know that things are weird between you two right now. I want you to remember one thing – It doesn’t matter what happens. What he does, what you find out…even if you catch him with other women – It is not a comment on you. Do not base your self worth on the opinion of a man who will take you into his bed, with panties that are not yours hanging from it. Do what I wish I had done – slap him in the face and be done. Anyone who would treat you that way isn’t worth a second glance. Let alone months of tears. Remember this as well…You didn’t do anything wrong. He’s just a dick. 

I know that you’re are having a hard time with school, and that everything in the world – every decision you make – is the decision that is going to decide your fate. In a way, you aren’t wrong. In a whole other way? You have everything all wrong. Something is going to happen right after you graduate that – at the time – is going to seem like the worst thing to ever happen. You are going to have to seriously look at some major issues, and you are going to have to really open up about some things that you haven’t talked about. You are going to have to take control of your life. Don’t be scared. Or, be as scared as you want to be – but do it anyway. You are stronger than you think. A nervous breakdown can be a blessing – If you just walk through it and let it be messy for awhile. Believe me, acting like everything is OK – is so much more painful.

Lastly, in the early fall of 2001, after you have graduated, after your world changes forever – So will the rest of the world. Be observant. You will see some of the greatest acts of selflessness followed by some of the most offensive acts of fear.

Remain observant. Keep doing the next right thing – whatever that is – even if people want to get angry about it. Use your gut instincts – they are right more than you really understand now. You are equipped for the best and worst of what life throws at you. You will be happy, and you will walk through some really complicated, painful stuff still. That is life. The secret to all of this is that life is what happens when you are going moment to moment. As hard as it is, exist there. Second to second. And for the love of God, never stop writing it all down. No matter what anyone says. No matter how terrible people tell you it is (some of it really will be terrible too – but that’s part of it) Just Keep Writing. 

You’re gonna be okay kid. Keep Going.

It was oddly therapeutic to write that, because I not only got to remember things and people that have come and gone. I got to think about some of the painful things, and some of the amazing things, and I got to focus it. I often laugh about things that I would tell myself if I could go back in time (“Stop talking to that guy right now. He’s a dick.” or “I know that she’s really mean, and a terrible human being…but relax, give her a break, you’ll understand why in a few years.” things like that). I was thinking about all of this for a few days.

If you could go back ten, eleven, twelve years and talk to yourself…what would you have to say?

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