Letter to my 15-year-old self

Dear 15-year-old Sarah,

First of all, let's talk about your hair. It's glorious! You will not appreciate that hair until it starts falling out in chunks after your first baby but dang it's so thick and SHINY. You won't have it that long again so enjoy it. You should also enjoy that beautiful complexion, which you falsely believe to have acne.

You don't know acne, girl.

You will. When you get pregnant for the first time and your skin erupts and scars, you will regret all those years stressing your "bad" skin.

Now that we've got the superficial things out of the way, let's address the only other thing you really care about...boys. Boys that are starting to pay attention to you for the first time. You will meet a boy on this trip to California. Nothing serious but it will usher in a new phase - a phase where boys stop being something you dream about and start becoming something you have to actually deal with.

It won't be easy and I won't ruin any surprises because the lessons you learn along the way are worth it. There are no shortcuts along the path to self-acceptance and self-confidence when it comes to men. 

Just know things will turn out fine in the end. It won't be the romantic comedy plot you've internalized at this point.

It will be so much better.

I do wish I could tell you one thing. One thing that would save some time and effort and money.  I know it doesn't work that way. That even if I could go back and tell you to do things differently I'd end up in Marty McFly's high top sneakers upsetting the balance of fate and the universe and my hovercraft...but still if I COULD I would say this. 

You are a writer. Not a lawyer. Not a lobbyist. Not a bureaucrat. 

A writer. Don't fight it. Don't listen to the voices that say you're not good enough or it's a dream too big. Even now at 15 you know that's the only thing you love to do all the time - no matter what. When things get tough or confusing, where do you go? To your journal to write. That will not change and there's a reason for that. Because you are a writer and I wish it wouldn't take you - me - so long to see it.