If you take nothing else away from this letter, please know you are GREAT. And your future is something to be proud of. I don't come bearing winning lotto numbers or get rich quick ideas. I don't write to tell you to BE BETTER, or be STRONGER, or anything like that. I come with advice to help you see what truly matters but not to avoid the things that brought you to were you are today. Because TODAY is pretty great. But getting here was a mix of pain and greatness.
If I told you to avoid this, and not do that, how would you learn. The moments that will force you to develop strength and compassion will be hard. They will be VERY HARD. But life is hard. But you must open your eyes and be present for the whole journey.
When you feel alone. Know that you aren't. Know that more people care than you think. Know that more people would be willing to share in your journey if you would only let them in.
When you feel angry. Breath. Breath deeply. And realize this thing, this event, this anger you are feeling will pass. It may hurt, it might take a while but it'll pass. Try not to dwell on it. Try not to hold onto it. Try not to let it bring you down. Know that the grudges you hold will hurt you more in the long run.
When things are tough. Take a moment to step back, clear your head, and remember what you are working towards. What is your goal? Make sure you haven't lost sight of the truly important things. Family. Friends. Life. And Love.
I could tell you who to avoid. Because there are many people you should. There are people who will cloud up your view of who you are. They will knock you down. They will hurt you. It will be hard. You will care for them. They will care for you but not on the level you need. I could tell you to run. I could tell you to ignore them. But you will gain strength from each relationship. They are a huge part of who you are TODAY.
You will want to give up. MANY TIMES. You will doubt your choices at EVERY turn. But you will make it. You will find yourself. And you will carve out a life to be proud of. When you trip, stumble and fall. GET UP. Keep walking. When you reach for something and can't touch it. Look around you. Make sure they people helping hold the ladder are cheering you on. Know that with each heart ache, each pain, each happiness you are becoming the person you are meant to be.
Enjoy the journey. Enjoy your life. It's the only one you will have. Know that you are loved and you will be loved forever.
The you of 2013.