Dear 15 Year Old Sissy,
I see that you are busy on your teen line talking to your friends. Perhaps, someone called the operator to bust into your conversation and see what is taking you so long to end your conversation. Sometimes you turn the ringer off so you can read some Maya Angelou or American History. Sometimes you turn it off so you can take naps. I suggest you keep the naps up because sleep will never come this easy again.
I am not going to tell you the things that are coming for you. I can’t bring myself to shatter your adolescent comfort of pizza, popcorn, boyfriends, sleep-overs, and friends. I will tell you that friendships you make now and over the course of your life will sustain you so I’m glad you made your relationships such a priority. Your friends will be your family.
I wish I could tell you to go downstairs and look at your parents as they are right now. I know they’ve made a lot of mistakes and you resent them. But, please just put the phone down and walk down the stairs. Maybe your dad is embarrassing you dancing like Carlton from The Fresh Prince and your mom is cleaning (again). I don’t want to regret taking those moments for granted anymore: so go watch them be parents. It will be nearly impossible to remember what that was like in 20 years.
If I could whisper something in your ear, it would be “It’s going to be okay even when you have no reason to believe this to be true.” I’m not going to tell you what is coming for you because it would terrify you. And, you have no need to be scared right now. Right now, you are too busy borrowing CDs from Tiffany or watching Menace 2 Society with Trina. Maybe you’re calling Billy or Nate and asking them to pick you and take you on an adventure.
I’m not going to tell you that everything is going to fall apart and you’re going to feel like you are drowning for years. I’m not going to tell you that you will lose everything you thought was yours to have. You will realize that nothing is yours to have and everything is borrowed. This makes things and moments so much more precious to you.
I am going to tell you that in ten years, you will walk down the hall and see a handsome man sitting at a computer and you want to talk to him. Doing this is the best decision of your life. Talk to him, ask him out. It is scary and out of character for you but it changes everything. You will find that you’ve been crossing paths for most of your lives and never knew it until now. You will believe in serendipity because of this.
I am going to tell you that it’s okay to cry for days on the bathroom floor and it’s okay to take medication to make the bad a little less bad. I am not going to tell you to be brave because you don’t give yourself any other choice. There will be times where you believe that you will never feel good again. I mean, the kind of good where you feel a deep sense of contentment. But, one day on a warm afternoon you will be walking your dogs and contentment will pour over you. It will take your breath away. I will tell you that when you arrive at that moment the beauty of your life will overwhelm you.
I’ll see you when you get here.