Letter To My Teenage Self

๐Ÿ“œ ๐“๐Ž ๐Œ๐˜ ๐“๐„๐„๐๐€๐†๐„ ๐’๐„๐‹๐… ๐Ÿ“œ

I remember being you as a teenager. You were just starting to understand yourself and the world around you.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ. ๐Ÿ™Œ

I remember being you in middle school, feeling a greater sense of freedom now that you had left the constraints of elementary school behind. โœŠ

But you also started to see the extremes kids would go to treating each other badly, not to mention the extremes you were aware of within yourself. ๐Ÿ˜จ

It was not a New Normal you could fully comprehend, but to be fair most students probably didn’t fully comprehend it either.

Perhaps it all could’ve been boiled down to teenage hormones and puberty. But the fact remains it wasn’t pleasant. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐๐š๐ฉ๐ญ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐š ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿงฑ

You modeled your demeanor off of the “tough” guys you saw in movies. Tony Montana from “Scarface”. Tommy DeSimone from “Goodfellas”. John McClane from “Die Hard”. ๐Ÿ’ช

๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ .

If anything, modeling these behaviors helped you get attention. It made other kids notice you. It made you feel powerful. There was little incentive to stop. ๐Ÿ‘Š

And that chain necklace you wore…Yeah, the one in the photo here! You wore it because Tony Montana wore one too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I remember being you as you cussed liberally among your clique of classmates during lunch periods.

๐–๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ข๐. ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ’๐ฌ ๐๐‚ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐›๐ž๐š๐ญ. โŒ

Do you remember that one time your 6th grade teacher heard you? You remember that shocked look on her face, that you of all students would be the one to talk like that? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Regardless, this moment didn’t change much, only that you were much more vigilant not to have teachers hear you in the future.

I remember being you when you felt verbally threatened by classmates. At the slightest criticism you would lambast a blanket of insults onto them. ๐Ÿคฌ

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž: ๐œ๐ฅ๐จ๐š๐ค ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐›๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.

Again, you didn’t really know who you were. You were just a kid, taking life in as it came, figuring it out as you went along.

๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. โค๏ธ

I remember being you when you were diagnosed with Autism, Depression, and Anxiety. All 3 at once! You started to believe these diagnoses with all their descriptions were the answers to your suffering, to explain why you felt the way you did.

๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told you were depressed because of a chemical imbalance in your brain.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told you had trouble socializing because autistic people have trouble reading body language and people’s emotions.

๐Ÿ“Œ You were told there’s a correlation between people with autism and depression and anxiety.

You were given multiple medications, you went to therapy, and thanks to these new labels you were often reminded (inadvertently) about your limitations.

๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ, ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž. ๐Ÿ˜”

I also remember being you going into high school, and you started to gain weight. Your metabolism, which had handled a daily consumption of junk food up to that point, had finally started to slow down.

You went over 200 pounds, and you shamed yourself for it. It’s why you hated being in photos and looking in the mirror; your double chin was there to remind you what you didn’t like about yourself. ๐Ÿ‘ค

In time, you started resisting the labels you’d initially been given. In many cases you openly rebelled from them. โ›”

You still didn’t know who you were, how to get to know the real you, or who you even wanted to be. But you knew it surely wasn’t ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ! ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Instead of getting to know yourself, it was placed on the sidelines for school subjects you’d never use, engaging in social groups you’d never talk to after graduation, and beliefs about yourself that turned to out to be grossly false.

Please don’t misunderstand me. This letter is not meant to be a chastisement of school or your childhood memories. Rather, I share this with you because I want you to know that your life is going to be ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ a decade from now! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐จ! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Without spoiling all the surprises in store for you, I can assure your life’s only beginning. It’s easy when you’re in the same place for such a long period of time to not see the bigger picture. But eventually you will. ๐Ÿ˜

With that said, I must also warn you in advance! โš ๏ธ

Getting to where I am today is not going to be smooth sailing. You’re going to experience many negative emotions, many challenges, and many setbacks. There will be points where you feel hopeless and extremely anxious about the future.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ๐จ! โค๏ธ

With these hardships you’ll see they were all just fragments of a greater journey you’re going on. You’ll see these hardships happened for a reason, and you won’t be able to become the person you are today unless you go through them first. ๐Ÿ™Œ

You’ll be here soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

.

โœ๏ธ ๐˜๐Ž๐”๐‘ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐˜๐„๐€๐‘ ๐Ž๐‹๐ƒ ๐’๐„๐‹๐… โœ๏ธ

——-

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