Part of me wants to say that I don’t want to ever speak to the teenage version of me, because I’m trying to make peace with my past and then part of it too, is that I honestly just want to forget that everything that happened in my teenage years because I am so emotionally scarred by all the screwed up situations I landed myself in. I guess you could say that every negative decision you make will end up being a life lesson in the future, but I am so mentally scarred from my past that I’ve learned to push it out and not process it. I never take the time to explain myself, why I did the things I did, why I was the way I was, let alone talk about anything that ever happened. I don’t know if it’s because everyone considered me attention seeking for not being able to properly express myself and my situations, when I was reaching for help, I looked like I just wanted attention, and as I got older and reflected on the way I expressed everything, I am not surprised people stopped liking me, and always had something so negative to say about me.
But then, there’s this part of me that has so much to say to teenage me, positive and negative. I could go on forever just talking to teenage me. I am trying to break down some of the things I would say into a smaller list, but my mind is running so fast I can’t keep up. I suppose I’d tell myself both that I am extremely disappointed in the things I did and the way I handled them, but I’m also so proud that I turned around and cleaned up my act over the years. If I would have stayed in the whole rebellious act I was in as a teenager, I would probably be in jail right now. Or doing some sort of community service, only God would know. I’ve never taken the time to reflect back and really choose what I’d tell my teenage self, and now that I am, I feel like I really need to process the things I went through and the way I handled it, and the way it changed me as a person.
I don’t really know what clicked in my brain, but eventually some sort of common sense was knocked into me and I changed. Maybe maturity? I came to my senses, I realized everything I was doing needed to stay in middle school. I threw away everything I had going for me because I wanted to be cool and I wanted everyone to be my friend. I had this huge phase where I wanted EVERYONE to know my name, but little did I know that would come along with a bad reputation, and rumors people still believe to this day. It so wasn’t worth it and I wish I would have realized it sooner, but I guess later is better than never. I learned to accept people are just going to believe what they hear and not bother trying to ask you because they want to follow the trend that’s happening, they don’t want to side with you because they feel that they are going to be disliked as much as you were becoming. It doesn’t bother me so much, especially because I’ve grown to realize that the people who spread the rumors about me, or still believe the things that were said about me years and years ago, we’re so unhealthy, their friendship was unhealthy, they just were not my time. My life is so much better when I picked up all of them by the back of their shirts and tossed ’em to the side.
I think that coming to the realization that you’ve made a lot of mistakes growing up, and trying to accept and forgive yourself for them, is a really huge step towards self compassion and moving forward. I think that’s something I’m trying to work on right now, I never processed it, and never tried to forgive myself, but I think now is the time. I’m mentally exhausted from my past coming at me from all different angles, not being able to just be mindful and let the thoughts pass as they come, I try so hard to push them out because I don’t want to believe any of it happened. It’s embarrassing, it’s traumatizing, and I feel sick whenever I think of it. But that sick feeling will never go away if I don’t try to forgive and move on.
I also want to tell myself that I am so, so sorry for not loving myself and taking care of myself, depending on others to give me happiness and fix me. I never took time for myself, I allowed myself to get into situations that would harm me, and I never forgave myself for that. I always beat myself up over it, I always told myself that I deserved it because I wasn’t a good person, and everyone knew that I wasn’t. That was never the person I wanted to be, I remember being a little girl, who was never focused on fitting in, I didn’t care that people made fun of me, words hurt, but they never broke me. I had great friends, and I had bad friends, but it never phased me, I was too happy to care about those things. I was so sweet and friendly, I was such a people person (and I still am), and I had so much going for me. I continuously won scholarships to Bethel University for young author’s conferences, I met authors from all around the globe, and I learned about writing and developing writing skills. Every teacher I had knew that I had a lot going for me, and my writing. I came up with this HUGE goal and dream of going to Bethel and following my dream of becoming a writer, my teachers saw it happening, they encouraged it, and told me to never give up.
But I did, and I regret it so much. I strongly dislike that feeling of regret, but as I’m working on self acceptance in my time of recovering, I am learning to forgive myself for this, too, and find new ways to go about it, because I still see so much potential and passion in my writing, and all of my other hobbies, as well. Just because I screwed up my education, doesn’t mean I can’t ever fix it. Can’t is a big word, and so is impossible. I try to see those two words as they don’t exist. I truly apologize to myself for throwing all the dreams I had for myself away, just to fit in with people who years later, don’t even matter, they don’t even pop into my head unless I’m talking about my past. I’ve moved forward, and I’m trying to fix the things that teenage me screwed up. I am so sorry, to teenage me, for letting myself fall into my panic disorder, because it wasn’t genetic, I am so sorry that I refused help all the times it was given to me, I am so sorry.. That I had to go through it all alone, and pushed away the people who wanted to help.
I really want to say to teenage me that comparing to boyfriends’ ex girlfriends.. Gosh it wasn’t even worth it. I spent so much time beating myself up because I wasn’t externally flawless like them, and felt as if the guy would never love me like he loved them.. But it doesn’t even matter anymore. I wasted time hating myself because I didn’t look like what’s-her-name, not realizing that internally, she had her issues, and her personality was such garbage. Makeup cannot conceal an ugly personality. Just because I had my external flaws, didn’t mean that I didn’t have such a big heart, and a kind soul. I had so much going for me and I refused to fall back into the rebellious act which caused me to throw so much of my life away. But not even her flaws matter, if the way she acts makes her happy, then who am I to judge? We all do things differently, if you don’t agree with it, just keep those people away from you and do you. Focus on you, not them. That’s how I learned to come to peace with that self comparison, I quit looking at the externals, what matters is who you are on the inside. If someone can’t be happy with who you are on the outside, the way you look, the way you dress, whether or not you wear makeup, they don’t deserve your friendship. A true friend and a true lover, will accept you externally, as well as internally. Comparison is NOT worth it, it only effects your self esteem more and more, but if you fall into this trap, it’s okay, a lot of people do, and you can learn so much from it. As much as I want to say that I wish I would have just loved myself then, I’m proud of myself for coming to peace with that comparison, because it helped me learn to love myself in the end.
But I also want to let teenage me know that.. I am healing. I am moving forward and finding ways to accept what she has done. Everything happens for a reason, we can either learn from it and move on, or we could let it break us, consume us, and sulk in guilt and regret, but is that worth it? No. A healthy, beautiful life, that is what is worth it. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s human nature, even when you are healed, recovered, and have forgiven your past mistakes that have effected you on such a strong level, you’re still going to make mistakes, you just have to learn to be okay with that. I think I’m starting to realize that it’s okay. I came from a broken past, there are still so many broken pieces to me, but I’ve watched myself grow so much, and it is so beautiful to watch someone who has suffered so much, and beat themselves up over their mistakes and their past, blossom into someone with so much self compassion and love, who has changed themselves around for a better, positive life. To become themselves and be happy with what they have. That is truly.. a very important thing when you are healing. Forgive yourself, and let go.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
– Michael Jordan