Dear 16-year-old Stef,
I want to start this letter by saying everything will work out ok. That little mantra you repeat over and over "everything happens for a reason" is going to be your rock through some difficult times to come.
High school is an odd time for you – you do so well in your studies but you never really feel like you belong. Don’t worry, once you get to university your life becomes everything you want it to be. You meet the friends that you’re going to have for a long time, you fit in and your confidence starts to blossom.
That boy you’re dating now is bad news. When everyone else tells you that and it only makes you more stubborn to ‘fix’ him. You can’t fix him, but you do meet the love of your life in a few short years. You won’t know it the first time you lay eyes on him, but that feeling comes quickly and strongly. Listen to your gut.
Mum’s going to get sick. She will be ok but you need to be strong for her and Dad. I know you’re frightened but you need to put them first. It’s going to be a tough couple of years but I promise it gets better. The whole family becomes even stronger and closer on the other side.
Always check in on your sister – she doesn’t say much but it doesn’t mean she isn’t feeling anything on the inside.
You know how you love English class more than anything else? Listen to those urges. One day you’ll have the confidence to sit down and write on your own, so start building your skills now. Don’t ever let go of your love of books.
Stop trying to change everything about yourself. YOU ARE NOT FAT. You’re athletic and strong and beautiful. Don’t listen to what others say about your body, don’t think that you’re not good enough.
You are absolutely good enough.
I also wanted to pat you on the back for doing a good job because I know you never do it yourself. Well done on:
- Never touching cigarettes
- Keeping up with your studies no matter how much you hated being labelled a nerd
- Burning the candle at both ends to achieve everything you want to achieve