Dear 16 Year Old Self,

The first thing I will tell you is to hang on.  It’s going to be one heck of a ride!

Boys. Yeah, you are at that age. I know you are taller than most of the others right now and that can feel awkward.  Don’t worry, they catch up and even surpass you-being tall is a great thing! (The ‘daddy long legs’ and ‘Jolly Green Giant’ jokes do go away.) There will be many many boys that will break your heart. Actually, all of them do until the last one. You will cry. You will think the world is ending. You will even write lots of poetry about the heartache. But you will get over each one and you will be glad you moved on. There will be a time in your life that you will wonder if you will always be alone. You will wonder if you ever will have kids. You will wonder why it is so easy for others to find love but so hard for you.  Just live your life and it will happen when you least expect it. You will get those 4 kids you want so much and your life will be enriched in more ways than you could ever imagine.

You already know life can be hard, losing your dad so young.  I know you miss him and wonder often how it would be with him still.  Sorry? to say, that never leaves you. I know you would be a different person if he had lived, but maybe you just turn out to be the person you were meant to be.

You love to write and to draw.  I know that is something you want to do when you grow up.  You do go to college, but don’t graduate. It will be something you will always regret. But the passion you had for writing? It never leaves.  Just wait until you see what you do with it! I think you will like it.

I know you dislike that you are so sensitive and can cry at the drop of a hat. At 16 you feel like this is a weakness in your character. Trust me, it isn’t. It isn’t such a bad thing to be able to feel with such strong emotion. Being an empathetic person is a gift. Just remember to laugh often, also.

I know you often feel invisible in the world and that is something you will always struggle with. Circumstances will help you find your voice and you will use that voice to help others in many ways. You will take your tough life experiences and not only learn from them, but you will teach others because of them.

You will travel to places you have only read about and never imagined you would see. It will amaze you every single time.

Your life will hold many lessons and it may not turn out as you imagined but maybe it turns out just how it was meant to.  I know I told you to hang on, that it was going to be a heck of a ride. Oh and, it will be! But it will be worth it!