You don’t know me. I don’t look like you. Sure, we have the same physical features (for the most part) and some of our personality traits match. We, however, are different. You look at me and see someone who you swear you’ll never become. Oh, how time and place will change your mind.
You view yourself as the epitome of a good girl. All of your teachers praise you for great behavior in class. Failing grades are beyond unacceptable for you, and church attendance is an absolute must. How else will you be able to “stay strong in The Lord”?
Do you know that one day you will give God the bird? Yes, 15-year-old Me, you will question everything and figure out that the religion that you love is nothing more than an attempt to control your path. You will get tired of the hypocrisy and walk away to the scorn of your family members and friends. They will never stop praying for your return to their way of life. You, however, will have zero desire to go back.
It’s not that you won’t love the Creator. You will adore him. You will just understand that there is a difference between religion and spirituality. You will pursue the latter in ways deemed as absolutely weird by your current community. Don’t worry. They won’t matter so much in the near future.
15-year-old Me, you are presently overwhelmed by the opinions of others. You outwardly say that you don’t care, but deep inside you crave the approval of the masses. It bothers you to no end that you are not one of the popular girls. The Good Book says that you are the head and not the tail. So why does it feel like you are always rejected? Sitting alone hurts right now, beautiful one. However, stay the course. You will look back on these days and treasure them.
Your lack of direction in life that you hide from others does not go unnoticed by me. You will come to understand that your “identity crisis” is nothing more than a fear of living in your truth. Not one day has passed that you haven’t known who you are. Even as a little girl, you knew that you were different. One day, at around age 28 or 29, you will start to embrace the gift that you are to the universe. You will stop trying to be like someone else and begin to discover your worth; because you are a treasure, beautiful soul.
We are the same all while being completely different, 15-year-old Me. You have everything figured out. In your mind, your knight in shining armor will whisk you away and the two of you will have three children together. Things will not be perfect, but love will conquer all. Do I have the fairytale right? I thought so.
Love certainly conquers all, young spirit. Sometimes, though, love is a matter of letting go instead of holding on to people, places, things, and concepts that do us more harm than good. You will begin to realize this at around age 25.
There will be all sorts of struggles along the way, 15-year-old Me. You will wrestle with depression to the extent of believing that the world is better off without you. Don’t freak out. You are not alone. In fact, mental illness will be so significant that there will be discussions about depression, bipolar disorder, and other challenges that you and others currently view as taboo.
Your experiences will teach you that there is nothing wrong with rock bottom. It is when we are “down and out” that the future becomes bright and clear.
Do not live in your mistakes, beautiful soul. Learn from the missteps and keep moving forward. There is a lot to learn about life, 15-year-old Me. You will find that the climax of your existence comes at death.
So don’t die. Do not be a zombie. Flourish, 15-year-old Me. Seize every opportunity. Understand that hard work combined with diligence and strategy is a formula that produces positive results. God is not a genie and coming to the altar at church means nothing if you do not make changes. You have everything needed to thrive in life. You were born this way. Go with God, be open, and be free.
You don’t know me, 15-year-old me, but you will one day. Until then, best of luck. I will see you in 15 years and beyond!