I’m really hoping this reaches you.
Maybe you’ll come across it in your social media travels or someone will tag you next week or send it to you months from now.
Whenever it gets there I hope the timing is perfect.
These words are ones that someone close to you would probably really like to share with you, but maybe they haven’t found quite find the right time or just the right way. That happens to all of us sometimes.
Maybe they’ve tried, but you weren’t really able to hear them because there is so much baggage between you in the way and their voice is just white noise to your ears. It’s easy to tune out those close to us.
Or maybe these are words that someone should have said to you a long time ago but never have. For that, I am so sorry.
Either way, let me say them to you now:
You are beautiful.
No, not in some sugary, greeting card, disposable pop song kind of way.
Not in the way that people use to speak about the surface, fading, unimportant stuff.
I’m talking about the everything that is you.
Your very life is the kind of raw, unpredictable, radiant beautiful that alters the planet even as you are reading this. The kind that’s already been leaving amazing ripples in the world that you can’t imagine.
My friend, I mean you are an absolute freakin’ miracle; a once-in-all-of-history atomic masterpiece that no one else who has ever existed can come close to duplicating.
You are a bona fide world wonder, an original stroke of genius designed with care and embedded with greatness.
But I get it.
I’ve been there and I know right now you probably don’t feel that way too often. You probably don’t feel very miraculous or wonderful or beautiful on most days.
No, most days you feel more like a failure, a fraud, an imposter; a complete and total hopeless mess, stuttering and tripping and losing through life.
I know you probably feel like a permanent outsider wherever you are, one who never quite fits it, never quite measures up, never quite makes the grade.
The truth is, everyone feels that way. I promise you that. The world is filled with misfits in disguise; every single one of us. You’re in good company.
I know that lately everything within you and around you is changing. There’s so much shifting, so much that is unsteady (even in your own head) and it probably feels like there’s no solid ground for your feet to stand upon, nothing stable to hold onto.
I know you feel dizzy and disoriented from fighting the daily battles you face, and that on many mornings it takes all the strength you have just to get up and walk out that door into it all again.
I’m guess I’m just here to say: Do it all again.
Don’t let the difficulties in these days, prevent you from seeing how much more there is to see in them; how much good and right and amazing is around you and within you too, even in this very second.
Sometimes over time our eyes can be blind to blessings, so look again and again and again.
And don’t let the rotten, painful, horrible Today you may find yourself in, prevent you from realizing what Tomorrow still has for you.
I understand that you may have made some terrible mistakes in the past. You may have screwed things up royally. You may have spectacularly dropped the ball: Welcome to the club. Welcome to Humanity. We don’t get perfection here, we just get to try again. That’s what the sunrise brings.
That’s what today is for, so forgive yourself and keep moving. And if you get another day, do it all over again.
You may have been hurt or betrayed or scarred by someone else, and though those wounds can’t be taken away or erased, they don’t get to have the last word unless you let them.
If you’re reading this, there is breath in your lungs and a heart beating in your chest, and those two things are all you need to rewrite this story and to twist the whole heartbreaking plot until it is no longer a tragedy at all but a surprise victory.
There is no demon or darkness that is greater than the light in you. You have plenty of time, so use it well and craft the story you deserve.
And let me tell you a little bit about the future, because I can see it from where I’m standing: There are days coming when you won’t feel quite so unsettled, quite so unsure, quite so unseen; days when you’ll feel much more comfortable in your skin and in the world, and you’ll find that singular sweet spot in the Universe that you alone are meant to take.
There are days coming when the cloudy will get clearer, when the churning waves will be stilled, when the dark, lingering nighttime will finally give way to glorious, brilliant morning and then, my friend you are going to remember these words of mine and declare me a stinkin’ genius, but I’m only telling you the truth:
Your best days are still ahead of you.
In the meantime, push hard through these challenging days even if you have to do it one labored breath at a time. I promise you it will be worth it. And when you can’t push anymore, pause and rest until your strength returns.
The funny thing is, I was a teenager once and so I know you probably don’t believe any of this. You probably don’t believe that people see what I’m telling you they see in you, or that any of what I say about you is true—but you’re wrong.
Yet even if people don’t see you for the miracle that you are, that isn’t on you it’s on them. Lots of us completely miss the beautiful things around us every single day, so never let the failure of those near you to acknowledge your inherent awesomeness, keep you from doing the same.
And my friend, if you do ever question any of this, (and you will) I hope you’ll reach out and ask me to help you believe it or remember it, or that you’ll reach out to someone else close by who will.
You probably have more fans and friends than you realize. Chances are if you really take a look, you’ll see that I’m not the only one who wants to be here for you in this life, but even if I am, you do have me.
I’m in your corner. I’m here cheering you on. I’m for you.
I’m standing on the sidelines as you run by exhausted and breathless, with a cup of water, a smile on my face, and a big ol’ sign that says:
YOU ARE SO FREAKIN’ LOVED!
Dear Teenager, believe it.
You really are.