If I could reach younger me.

If I had to write a letter to my younger self I would tell her that everything was going to be ok. That all the people in your life that make you feel crap will be replaced by people who love you, who make the effort for you. Who want you in their lives so freakin much they travel across oceans to see you.

I would say that you can now look in a mirror and see something that is beautiful, and growing. Something that maybe isn’t perfect, but beauty never is. It’s something that is clever, and hard working and yeah, pretty.

I would say ‘don’t worry about your mum’.

I would say – guess what! You have two cats! And you will work for a magazine! When you speak, people will listen! Someone wants to marry you! And you’ve travelled to so many countries that people come to you for travel advice.

I’d give her a massive hug. I’d give that poor, broken, girl a massive hug. And I would say “you know what, kid, it doesn’t get easier to cope with the shit people throw at you. It’s always going to be really really rubbish when someone you love lets you down, or goes out of their way to dig their claws deep into you and rip out your heart, but you will be stronger and you will be able to cope with it.”

I would tell her that it’s ok to cry yourself to sleep, but it’s better to find a shoulder to lean on – those people are out there, and they do love you!

And I would say, kid, the best thing that’s happened to you is that you haven’t let this blackness shut your heart out. When you grow up you let people in. And yeah, sometimes they stamp on your heart. And yeah, it does hurt. But most of the time it feels amazing to have these people in your life. And the rest of them? You walk away from.

I would say, I love you kid.

pencil drawing by Morgan Ann LaRue