Yeah, I know that’s what you secretly wish everyone would call you (cause it’s kind of true, but I won’t tell).
Multiple Personality Disorder is not what you should be aiming for. It’s not a thing. I promise. It’s a disease. You can’t hold to cute church-goer and high-school-boy-arm-wrestler at the same time. You can’t be dark-words writer and shy, corner-reader. It gets tiring, and although I’m not suggesting that you’re supposed to know who you are (because I haven’t even figured that out yet), I am saying that where you can you should stay true to who you are.
More than all that, you can’t pretend to have it all together. You don’t. I still don’t. Get over it.
It’s ok to hurt, it’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to be disappointed. It’s ok not to be the best at everything. It’s ok that you feel awkward about yourself. It’s ok that you’re confused when people take what’s not rightfully theirs. It’s ok that you don’t know how to feel about boys. It’s ok to get excited. It’s ok to lose your cool. It’s ok to oversleep. It’s ok to get mad. It’s ok to share secrets. It’s ok to laugh. It’s ok to speak your mind. It’s ok to pursue the things you love. It’s ok to be a nerd. It’s ok to love Jesus.
It’s not ok to compromise, but you know that. Compromise is anything that makes you undermine who God called you to be in any moment. Compromise is not answering the phone when you know someone needs to talk. Compromise is forcing yourself to eat salad because you want to be polite. Compromise is listening to dance music because you want to fit in. Compromise is not respecting yourself. Compromise is lying – about anything!
Do not lie. There’s a reason it’s in the Ten Commandments.
There will come a night where your best friend will phone you and ask for dirt on her boyfriend. Do not lie. Do not make up a story. Resist the temptation to (so called) gain her trust and attention. Run from the notion that she will love you more if you know something that degrades who he is. When you do, overall damage count: four hearts, six relationships. You will pay for it in shame, self-loathing, mistrust, reputation, loneliness and anger. You will be redeemed when you crawl face down asking for forgiveness. Do not lie, not even a little bit.
Books are cool. You’re a nerd. Settle with that now and you’ll amble through life a little easier.
When it comes to your taste in music, well… that will always be different too. Cut mom some slack when she complains about screamo music sounding like nails clawing a chalk board. Break her in slowly. Contrary to what Eminem and Linkin Park preach, it’s not advisable to just lose it, it would be weird if things were actually crawling in your skin, it’s easier to run but not in the long term, and I’m not sure they ever find the real slim shady.
The only thing I would advise is breaking the habit.
I want to tell you a story about a girl. You haven’t met her yet and you won’t for a while, but I do hope you can learn something from her before you’re in too deep.
This is the story of an ex-cutter. She was a quiet girl who liked books and playing outdoors. She was mature for her age; she wouldn’t dare show the world how child-like her thoughts actually were. She wouldn’t let them know she needed so much for someone to help her go from trainer wheels to be a front-line stunt-biker. She lived in a mind gutter until one day, like someone too old to get up and face one more corporate day, she had to stop. She wasn’t caught out, or forced to, or bribed or exposed; she just had to because her veins couldn’t leak anymore cherry lollipop coloured liquid without severing her conscience too.
Tragically, her skin had seen more damage than a patient in the hands of a surgeon with a new set of tools. She was always ready to slice and dice. With cold blade to warm skin she would come to life. It took a while for her to realise that safety pins were a lie. Do you know that the supposed “bent and clipped behind” was meant to hide the damage a pin could do? In one straight, deep-enough-through-flesh line lay the realisation that she was alone and no one could fix how she saw herself through her own eyes.
One day, she awoke to realise she needed another way to feel alive. For the next few months she took all the strength she had to throw away each blade and razor away. She stood overwhelmed and desperate in the rain and let it wash what tissues couldn’t clean up and what band aids couldn’t keep from display. She decided that if she was even going to make it through one more day, the quiet, self-decorating girl would have to unravel her metal-laced world and uncage the hurricane.
You are beautiful. Underneath those baggy skater shorts and oversized t-shirt, you are beautiful.
Let your hair down sometimes. (Literal and figurative.)
You’re a girl.
Click these links to read my previous letters:
A letter to my five-year-old self | Sunshine
A letter to my fifteen-year-old self | Are you freakin’ kidding me?
A letter to my twenty-five-year-old self | Do not be afraid
A letter to my present self | This is not the end