Do you ever wish you could have given yourself the heads up about what was to come in life? Here's the advice Katherine has for her younger self.
How are you? Like, really? I know people ask you that all the time, but I never really asked you – I’m sorry for that.
I wanted to let you know that you have a couple of hard decisions coming your way. I’m sorry I can’t make them for you, but I guess that’s just how life works. Besides, if you think that I have it all figured out by now, you’re sadly mistaken.
Right now you’re looking for an easy way out; you want somebody else to make those hard decisions for you. Well, they will, but you won’t like where they’ll take you. What I want to tell you, what you need to try and hear, is that you don’t have to choose one side of yourself over the other, no matter what people say. You are allowed to be academic and creative; to feel things deeply but to also rationalise them against the greater world.
I know sometimes you feel dumb and broken and like you’re a failure. I’d tell you that it isn’t true, but I also know that you wouldn’t believe me.
What I need you to try and do, is to be brave enough to keep trying. Again and again and again.
Instead of looking for comfort in others, know that you need to find it within yourself. Pick up a pen and start writing—it always brought you peace, and it still does.
There is a lot of change that will happen between you and me. If we passed each other in the street I wonder if you’d even recognise me. It’s going to be good change though, you’re going to start to feel like you’re strong.
You’re still going to fail at things, but they’ll feel less like failures and more like promises. You’ll promise yourself that no matter what, you will always give it another shot. That’s not to say that you don’t still cry, but you’re going to get better at accepting the hard truths, and accepting them in your own way. You’ll realise that it is a strength, not a weakness, to be vulnerable.
So no, it’s not going to be easy, but I know you don’t really want it to be. What it is going to be is worth every second, and you’re going to be so proud.
Lastly, I know that right now your heart is hurting and it’s taking a toll on you. I know that is a big part of why you feel like all of it is crumbling down. Please remember that he was never the source of your success, it was always you.
Promise me one thing – never let anyone tell you what can and can’t make you happy. You, and you alone get to decide that.
Still confused but slightly older You.