Sunday, 28 August 2016

An Open Letter to my Teenage Self

Dear 17-year-old Felicity:

First off – girl, stop being so hard on yourself. Pick up a damn fork and eat something and don’t feel guilty about it! You’ll realize this once you reach adulthood but I know that food has been a scary thing since your last open heart surgery. I know you’re struggling with self-guilt, blaming your weight for all of the complications in your surgery. In about five years, you’re going to meet a lady named Rachel Wald who will make you have a complete 360 when it comes to self-guilt from that last surgery. You’re a fighter, you’ve been through a lot this past year with your heart and it’s going to take time to fully mend it from your last open heart surgery.

I know you and Adam just broke up. I know you’re heartbroken, spending hours in your room crying over it. I know you’re pushing away people that you love because you’re so pissed off that he ended things. It’s not your fault. It’s not their fault. You’re going to blame your friends, but they were only looking out for your best interest. You’ll figure that out about a year from now. You’re also about to discover the amount of self-love you’ve needed for a long time; you’re going to fall in love with yourself. Once you learn to love yourself, you’re going to find someone who loves you. It may not be a forever love, but I promise you, that your relationship with Will is going to teach you so much about yourself. You’ll have many flings along the way, and you’ll be absolutely convinced that you’re going to die alone with cats at more than one point. Eventually though, you’ll realize that being single is completely okay, even when you feel like everyone is in a relationship.

You’re going to have a ton of friends come and go in your life. There is a saying, you meet a lot of temporary people from 18-22. This is so true. Don’t be sad when some of your friends don’t make it along the way. You need to truly discover yourself and surround yourself with people who help you experience happiness. Trust me, become close with Nicole and Emily. They’ll eventually become two of the most people in your post-college life. You’ll have some of the best memories of your life with them.

You’re almost out of high school and I know you’re probably thinking that college is going to so much more fun. Truth is: college is fun, but it’s messy. You’ll develop several temporary friendships that you had your heart set on being permanent friendships. You’ll be sad when they end, but know that it’s the best thing for you. You’re going to fall in love in college, then fall out of love with him when you realize you no longer love yourself. You’re going to have your heart broken more than once by the same guy, and your heart broken once by many guys. There will be several hiccups along the way, but you’ll eventually realize that your passion is working in dementia care through activation. Once you get there, you’ll have a really good realization that you’re the happiest you’ve ever been. One day, on your way to work, you’re going to think man, I blame my grandpa for making me end up in this field. Truth is, grandpa would be so proud that you’ve chosen to give back to people like him: people with dementia.

You may be absolutely determined that life sucks now, but you’re on a beautiful path to somewhere unexpected yet incredible.

In about six years, you’re going to look back and think to yourself “oh wow!” because you’ve done so much. You’ll have graduated college twice, have a full time job and experience just as much as your friends who haven’t had four open heart surgeries. In fact, you’ll blow people’s minds that you’ve survived surgeries. Hang in there, kid. You’ve got this.


23-year-old Felicity

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