My 20th high school reunion starts tonight. Yes, I was a mere
17 11 years old when I graduated. I am looking forward to seeing classmates that I feel closer to today thanks to Facebook.
I’ve been wondering about that girl. The one that walked across the stage 2 months after turning 17. With her radiant smile on the outside and insecurities on the inside. I thought I should write her a letter.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Don’t let the acne fool you. Don’t let the fact that boys pass you by get in the way of the fact that you are what you are and who you are. Smart and beautiful. Caring and compassionate. I love that about you. And they will too.
You are about to embark on a journey and will meet people that will change your lives for the better (regardless of whether the experiences were good or bad). That girl with the welcoming voice and face on Mills Lawn will still be there welcoming you 20 years later. That boy in the off-campus student lounge that’s going to turn you on to Stark Trek will be like a big brother.
Take risks, Sili! Don’t be scared. Do the wild and crazy things that you read about in books. Hang out, have a drink, sneak into a club. Get yourself grounded for goodness sakes! Don’t let the joy of adventure pass you by.
Understand that everything happens for a reason so, don’t worry too much, okay? Let your parents be the adults and you concentrate on enjoying some of your youth and childhood. They’ll be okay. I know your biggest fear has come to pass but don’t think about it now.
If you meet a boy and you like him, tell him. Don’t mince words and don’t be scared. You will do a good job of this most times. Other times you’ll get your heartbroken. But trust me when I tell you: THIS TOO SHALL PASS! And the experiences that you have now will only strengthen you for later.
Don’t put off spending time with family and friends and continue to write. In your journal, your notebooks. The thoughts you go through, the poetry you feel. Because I wish I had more of that experience on paper from you.
I bet you thought I would give you details of everything that you should avoid and beware of. I wish I could. But if I did, the path that I am on now would be different and I do not wish for that. I am right where I need to be and that’s because you are about to go through things as they did the first time. Carry the peace that this reality brings with it.
Oh and, let your curly hair loose will you? It will liberate you in ways I cannot explain.