Dear 18 Year Old Her,
Lately I have been thinking about how I barely recognize you anymore. You are a piece of me, but almost an entirely different person than I am today. I admire what you have done and envy how brave you are. Looking through pictures of you, I see a young girl who was in pain, but doing all she could to survive – the smile on your face only barely masking the sorrow your eyes have seen. Your wore your soul on your sleeve, but did your best to hide it whenever someone glanced in your direction, afraid that they might see through your disguise. All the youthful confidence and pride in your uniqueness was shattered and put to questioning with the uncertainty that life threw your way. In one of the most pivotal phases of your life, everything changed, but not in the way you anticipated. You thought you would head off to college to start anew and shed the previous image of “nerd” that had been paired with you throughout your high school years. Instead, you ran off to college, fleeing the image of a girl who had lost her father too young. You thought you would have plans to travel and change the world – but instead you ran from place to place around the world, hoping the rapid change of scenery would make you forget the scene that you had abandoned at home. You hoped that you would meet many amazing people and become the queen of the party scene, but instead you barely remember many of the people you met because the haze of alcohol blurred your vision. You had such optimistic hopes for the future, and I crushed them with my inability to hold on to you.