Dear 10-year-old Caitlin,
You’re in fourth grade right now and this year has probably been a really difficult one. But also a really good one. However, there are a few things that I really want you know, things that I wish I knew back then. In a couple years you will begin middle school and it’s going to be difficult. There are going to be people who want to make your life hard and people who do make your life hard. Things are going to be really bleak in middle school. And to be honest you’re going to be really happy when it’s over.
But I don’t want to scare you. Though things will be difficult, other moments will be really great later on. Please hold on to the hope that things will get better in high school, that you will get better. You’ll have friends, but you won’t really know what it means to have good friends. Don’t be discouraged. Because on your final day as a high school senior you’ll turn your tassel and realize that you are done with required education. It will be a wonderful moment.
Trust me when I say the best is yet to come. In college you’ll find yourself, you will realize how smart you are, you’ll make friends who will stay with you all throughout and further on. You will come to find out that everyone else was wrong about you. You’ll realize that you are brilliant and you are beautiful and you have a fascinating mind. Not only will you realize how much others care for you but you’ll realize how much you care for yourself and for those people as well.
Throughout college you will realize that the best way to live, is to live like life is an adventure. You will hold onto the books that you grew up loving and you’ll see how they reflect in your own life. Forget the people who put you down and bullied you. They mean nothing in the greater scheme of things. You are your own person, so hold on to that when things get difficult. Hold on to that when it seems as if nothing will ever be right for you. Your life is just beginning. Know that things get better, and that you are the reason why they get better. Also know, that it’s okay to trust others. It’s okay to let them in.
One last piece of advice: remember the things that happened to you. Remember the stories, the bad ones and the good ones and hold on to them. One day they will just be memories, and you’ll look back and see how they strengthened you. You will see how you were not what people thought you were. And I hope that you know that God loves you more than anything. More than what anyone could ever describe to you. So please know that you are not alone in any of this.
Your 22-year-old self,