Letter to a Stranger
I turned 28 last week. Instead of writing something looking back on the year I’ve had, I thought I’d try a different approach: the advice I want to give to someone going forward. I don’t claim to be especially wise, but I do know a few things.
I don’t know where you are right now, if you’ve been here before or if you’ll ever exist in the future. But you’re a stranger to me, full of potential and possibility and things to learn. I want to tell you some things; take it with a grain of salt, use what you can and leave the rest. Or come back to it later, you might not understand yet and that’s okay.
This will pass, whatever “this” might be. Time doesn’t heal so much as… give you space to regroup and move forward. You won’t be in the same place forever, physical or emotional. It feels like it, but you won’t. You’ll get past it even when it feels like you’re standing still.
Your feelings are valid. Yeah, all of them. You’re allowed to be sad, frustrated, jealous, afraid, along with the good stuff. Be vulnerable and let yourself hurt; it’s not a bad thing. Just don’t let them swallow you up. Feel them and let them go. You’ll be okay.
Stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Take action, no matter how small it is. Even when it feels like no one is going to listen to you. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself; you’ll regret it if you don’t. It might be scary but it’ll feel good. If you don’t talk, nobody hears you. People aren’t mind readers.
Stay open. To everything: knowledge, goodness, other people. Especially other people; human connection is probably one of the most important things in the universe. You’re strong and capable, but connecting to others is what gives life meaning. It’s okay to not know everything as long as you’re willing to learn. Joy is out there if you’re willing to find it.
Who you are is perfectly fine. No one is perfect, no matter how hard they try, but nothing fundamental about you needs to be changed. You’re not ugly or unloveable or clueless. Try everything you want, be whatever kind of person you want to be. Change your hair, wear what you want, say what you want, like what you like; be proud. The people who don’t understand you aren’t your people; you don’t need them.
Like I said I don’t know you, but I hope you’re happy. Go with the flow, enjoy the journey, and trust yourself. Weird things happen, but they’re usually for the best in the end. Whoever you are, I hope we meet.
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