Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Tomorrow, write a letter to yourself in 20 years.
Dear 14 year old E,
This year you are 14 years old. This will possibly be one of the most difficult years of your life. Your health will slowly decline into a disease flare, teachers won’t cut you slack for absences. And the light at the end of the tunnel seems out of reach. You will lose a loved one that you were extremely close with, and their death will tear your heart out. Two days after Christmas will be the day you lose your grandma. Even though she was frail with age and in poor health because of genetics and disease, she was a wise lady to the very end. Grandma’s death isn’t unexpected because of her recently poor health but it’s going to be a slap in the face regardless. Years will pass and you’ll still hear her voice in your head on the toughest of days saying, “Grandma’s proud of you.” And of course before you go to sleep at night you’ll hear her voice say, “Grandma loves you.” I promise you will get through your grief. This sounds like a huge amount to deal with when just 14 years of age, but you’ll have friends and family for support.
This school year you will become friends with a new person. It’s cute how naive you still are at this age. Boys don’t cross your mind in a romantic way at all. Well they do, but you couldn’t care less. There is so much going on in your life right now, you don’t have time for superficial things. But this friend you meet will be one of your most interesting friends by far. You’ve never noticed anyone look at you in that way before, blush when you speak or offer goodbye hugs. And even four years later, hugs still won’t be your favorite, high fives and handshakes will be your go-to if words won’t suffice. Anyway, this guy will remain your friend for who knows how long. He’s sweet, his phone calls, texts and emails will get you through your days this year when T and his sister aren’t there.
This new friend may never know how much he means to you, but you need to tell him. DO IT. Yes, it will be difficult to have a heart to heart with him because you’re still shy, but you should tell him before you both go off to college at opposite ends of the state. Within three years of you turning 14, you will stand up for yourself against one of your teachers more than once. If you can stick up for yourself against a teacher then you can tell your dear friend how important he is to you.
What else should I write to you about in this letter?
I promise you will make mistakes, but no so large that they can’t be remedied. Since you are 14 you will become much more aware of how you impact the world as an individual and the people around you. After this year, human life will mean so much more to you. You will learn that the night you were born that three other babies were born at the same hospital but you and only one other baby lived. Yes, you will feel your heart ache for the family that didn’t have a happy ending that night years ago. Sometimes bad things happen for no good reason and it’s hard to comprehend.
There are great surprises ahead of you, don’t worry. The year you turned fourteen is just tough.
I need you to live life and be somebody that makes a positive change against all of the crud in the world. No excuses young lady!