Dear Nadia of 2009,
You’re about to go through a few of the hardest years of your life. You will experience some of the most intense emotions, face your first spouts of depression, second guess everything and cry – a lot. You’re struggling to find yourself and feel there’s no one who can truly understand that. Some days it feels like everything and everyone is against you, and it will take a while to learn that everyone goes through this at different times and intensities.
You will question the people you keep close to you. It’s going to take time to realize that the girls you’re the closest to have different priorities than you do and will be willing to drop you at any second. You’ll do anything you can to maintain these relationships, but their lack of empowerment will dig you into a deeper hole.
Boys in your class will bully you – even writing death threats on your Facebook wall (which gets called Timeline pretty soon). You will fight so hard to hold tears back in class and get so frustrated that your teachers don’t step in. You tell your parents about this, and they find it hard to believe. Keep fighting and telling them; create an open dialogue so they can understand how intense this situation is. Your girlfriends will do nothing to stop this, so you will feel quite alone and helpless. Take time to focus on yourself and reprioritizing.
You’re going to meet a boy through friends who is cool and older and will make you feel wanted and cared about. Even though he’s the first one you will exchange “I love you’s” with, you keep this quiet except for a few people because he’s afraid of people finding out. You’ll constantly wonder what will happen if/when you can be together. This is completely going to fuck with you – emotionally, psychologically and intimately. You’ll compare everyone to him, and it’s going to take almost nine years before you cut him off completely.
You’ll meet someone in a few years that completely changes everything and makes you realize what love should really feel like. You can’t be together because he lives far away, yet you’ll still compare everyone to him. Keep these emotions and feelings at the front of your mind and let yourself be a bit more vulnerable.
You’re going to get in some of the most intense fights with your parents. You’re an Aries and don’t know how to hold back. Start learning how to throw the breaks on and biting your tongue. There’s always going to be more you want to say but there is true strength in learning how to throw your arms up and walk away.
You will spend a lot, and I really do mean a lot, of time alone – scrolling on Tumblr, watching music videos, taking pictures in Photo Booth. Use this time to learn more about yourself, your interests, goals and priorities. While it feel like you have no one, the absolute best people will shortly become part of your life. You will cherish and appreciate healthy friendships even more now that you know what it’s like to have such shitty people in your life.
Music is going to be a huge part of your life. You always inexplicably feel most connected to lyrics and melodies. Your friends at the time will not feel the same, and one night you’ll be crying to your grandma at her house. She’ll tell you that if you were less obsessed with music, your friends will like you more. You won’t believe you’re being told this and will refuse to change – keep this energy. Years from now, you will connect with people on a whole different plane, all around the music that brings you together. Music will always be part of you, your life and your relationships in a way that is exhilarating and incredible.
You’re going to go to a concert of a singer you absolutely adore on the first day of your sophomore year. It will be the single most impactful experience of your life. She’s going to remind you that everyone who’s tried to tear you down wasn’t worth your time. That you are perfect in your ways and need to focus on you instead of trying to keep up with everyone else. Something will ignite inside you and change everything for you. You’ll drop those terrible “friends” and start almost fresh. You will learn so much about yourself in this time.
The next ten years of your life are going to be a wild ride. I look back to provide advice, but at the end of the day, all of these experience – good and bad – will shape your life and make you the woman you become. I can’t say I’d want to experience all of these things again, but I’m damn proud of how far I’ve, that we’ve, come. I look back and wish I could hug my younger self and tell you that it gets better – because it really does.
You will chase your dreams. You’re going to get into your top college and become friends with the most incredible people you’ve ever come across. You’ll find exactly where you were meant to be all along.
Remember that you always need to be your first priority, stop worrying about things out of your control, and the rest will fall into place.
Nadia of 2019