Dear Fourteen Year Old Me

Prompt: Write a letter to your 14 year-old self.

Dear 14 y/o me,

It’s going to be alright. Right now, it feels like creepy things lurk behind every corner, waiting for you to let your guard down so they can attack. But you’re a teenager; that’s how you’re supposed to feel.

Of course, it doesn’t help that when you come home, you feel even more trapped than you did to begin with. You’re bundled in your own misery, and everyone else is bundled up in theirs. Just turn up the music and block it out. That always seems to help.

So do walks, by the way. You’ll learn to love your long walks where you can breathe and finally find some quiet in which to think. Organizing your thoughts will soon become something that is very important to you.

You will soon also find your niche. It’s been right here, in front of your nose the whole time. Open your journal and read your work. You’re a natural at this. Soon you’ll realize you want to make writing a career.

Your friends are going to come and go. The ones you recently decided to let go of was for the better. You’re about to meet a whole set of new ones. Some of them are going to hurt you as well, but others you will keep in your life for as long as you decide you want them there. Just try to make sure that you don’t feel one way, while your friend feels the other. There is one in particular who is really going to bite you in the ass eight years from now. Of course, I won’t tell you who he is. You need to experience that heartbreak.

You will never stop learning things the hard way.

In just four days, you’re going to meet your high school sweetheart. He’ll be that shoulder you’ve craved. His home will be a warm one, reminding you that the grass is in fact greener on the other side. He’s going to help you break out of your shell. Don’t fight him on this. Growing up is inevitable.

Let your creativity shine. You’re more artistic than you think. At the moment, everything is shaded in black and gray, but in a few short years, you’ll slowly begin adding color back into your life. I think, however, it’s safe to say you’ll always despise yellow. It’s too bright of a color for someone like us.

Don’t worry about your parents. These precious years belong to you, and it’s time to focus on yourself. They are hopeless. Even their divorce wont stop them from tearing each other apart. Just understand that it’s time for you to back off. You’re getting caught up in their crossfire, and you’ve got your own battles to fight.

I’m serious. The road to recovery is long one, but you’re a dedicated individual who knows what it is to work hard. You don’t realize it yet, but you do possess that trait. In time, you’re going to learn how to forgive, and you’re going to learn how to love.

And as for this terrible thing that just happened to you; it’s going to be okay. Seven years from now, you’re going to wake up and decide that you don’t want to be the victim anymore. And just like that, you’re going to let it go.

Just remember that everything in life is fluid. Nothing ever stays the same. Nothing.

Learn how to roll with the punches. Stop trying to make it all go your way. You are just a small composition of atoms in a giant universe. If you remember that, you’ll come into your own. You’ll relinquish some beliefs, and you’ll gain new ones. Be true to yourself, and you’ll make the right choices.

March to the beat of your drum. You’ve been doing it already for fourteen years, but don’t stop now. You’ll cherish your individuality when the rest of the world follows the crowd. They can’t think for themselves, but you can. Just try not to hate them for it. It’s not their fault.

I know more than anyone the way you hate taking people’s advice. But please, there are ten years of growth between us; who else could offer such a guiding hand than me? I am you, but ten years older.

You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to break ties with old friends and you’re going to forge new ones. Soon, there wont be anything to hold you back. You’ll do what your heart desires, and you’ll achieve all you set out to accomplish. Right now, you’re a force to be reckoned with. This will still be true in ten years, but your power right now is spread out in all directions. Channel it. Make it yours. In ten years, you’ll have direction and it will help you blaze your path.

There’s a heavy fog right now. You’re constantly feeling your way through the dark. You need to go through the motions. Right now, you are at your lowest point. From here on, everything is uphill. Just remember the climb isn’t always easy.

I promise you, April, everything is going to be alright.

Yours truly,
24 y/o me

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This

I believe in this.
This…
Intangible thing.
It sweeps you off your feet
And carries you away.

This…
This condition.
This clouded perception,
Encased in shards of light.

I believe in this.
This…
Calm.
This surrender.
This ocean of silence.

This…
This direction.
This one-step-at-a-time.
Follow.

Follow,
Follow.

I believe in this.
This…
Inferno.
This combustion.
This.
Already entombed under six feet of ash.

I believe in this.
This…
Vulnerability.
This barren space.
This wasteland.
I give it to you.

I believe in this.
This…
Foundation.
This solidified movement.
Please,
Come and set me free.

This…
This exhilaration.
This breeze.
Such a gentle touch
Can you feel it?

I believe in this.
This…
Shadow.
This haunting.
This wretched decay.

This…
This filth.
Cleanse your hands;
This is best left behind.

I believe in this.
This…
Elixir.
This substance.
Allow us just a sample;
A taste is all you’ll need.

This…
This harmony.
This song.
This…
Delicately crafted notation.

Dance!
Dance for me and cry.
Promise to live,
And understand that you’ll die.

I believe in this.
This…
Intangible thing.
This emotion.
This awakening perception.

This…
This inevitability.
This apprehension.
This…

This I believe in.

Wonderous

I’ve never understood it, and I suppose I never will. Fate; I hate that word. It implies God’s will. It disgraces the freedom you thought you had in making that choice. It has the power to choke your dreams or to bring two seemingly random events together from across oceans or great land masses.

“If it was meant to be…” Oh, how I hate that aphorism! And yet, I live by it and stand by it. Everything in my life was either meant to be, or not meant to be. The illusions of choice and consequence- it’s all predetermined.

But by whom? God? Certainly not our mythical creator. The universe, perhaps, in all its mysterious glory. Within the vastness of that endless enigma contain the fibers and strands of our lives. Stretched across space and time are all possible futures beholden to you, me, and the rest of humanity.

It’s so indistinct, this fate business. You don’t feel it, you can’t smell or taste it. Some people don’t even believe in it. But I swear to you that it is there. I believe in it. Coincidences occur far too often to be dismissed as just that…

I have no concrete theory. There is no scientific proof. It’s a feeling I have, and a lifetime of events and circumstances that either were, or weren’t. Nothing more than that.

I used to spend hours lost in the possibility. Poised on the fine line between faith and knowledge, I’d wonder why this was the hand I was dealt. So many things were beyond my control. What is to become of me in the grand scheme of things?

And yet at every turn, I find myself absorbed in contradiction. I believe so strongly in fate, and at the same time, choice. I believe that making one choice over another can veer you off one path and onto the next. But there is only the illusion of choice, because once again we seek to find the definition of “path” as it used in this context.

I’ve delved, once before, into the dimensions. Seeking to understand even my own beliefs, I’ve considered the planes on which we exist and those above us which we cannot see. We are so disillusioned- At the top of the food chain and the masters of our world, we humans tend to forget how small we really are.

(I would venture, too, to say powerless, but that seems to go hand and hand with the ever popular argument of fate vs free will.)

I am remiss to believe that I am powerless in choosing my own destiny, but I am not so bold as to think that my destiny is of my own choosing.

We are molded and influenced constantly. From infancy, we spend our lives making discoveries that shape our personalities, which then leads us down our paths and to our destinies. How we feel, how we learn; occasionally we have a choice, but oftentimes there is none.

All we really have to cling to is right now. The present. The past is speculatory, the future a mystery; but right now. Right now I know exactly who I am, what I like, and what I want. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? That’s the mystery of life.

We are clueless. We know so much and yet so little. We can’t afford our delusions of grandeur. There is still so much to learn. But in that learning, as we move one day at a time, we will perhaps come to find that fate and free will have spiraled together. Maybe someday I’ll come to understand that the two are one and the same. But for now, and amidst all my idle ramblings, I am filled with wonder.

Where will I go from here? Will I ever see you again?