A Letter to Younger Me

Hey Amber. I know things are pretty rough right now. Being fifteen sucks, but keep optimism close to your heart. Things do get better. While they aren’t perfect, you’ll feel a hell of a lot more secure within yourself. Keep going.

Right now, finding love is a major part of your life. It is the one thing you seek. I wish I could get you to concentrate on other things, but you will have your time. The two men you date within the next few years will seem like catastrophic events meant to ruin your life. I can tell you right now: they will end up as stories, and nothing more. They are valuable lessons that can be compared to learning how to spell: you’ll always remember them, but you don’t have to go back and relive them in order to live correctly.

You’re going to want to ignore the stigma that surrounds feminism. You’ll learn in about seven years that it is simply the movement that aims for women (cis or trans) to be equal alongside men. There is so much to learn about the spectrum of genders, of sexualities, of ways of living. It’s going to be a great experience, one that connects you deeper to the human experience.

Speaking of sexualities, a few years from now, you’re going to come upon the sudden realization that you aren’t “straight.” I know you’re baffled by the thought of even looking at anyone other than a man in a sexual or romantic way. But it’s more about honoring a person’s body, no matter what gender they may be or parts they may have. You’re going to identify as Pansexual, and this will be hard at first. Shame is going to be a hard thing to push past, but know that you aren’t just doing this for “attention.” It will become just another part of you. It will settle into your skin and feel comfortable. You’re going to realize that you’ve felt this way for a while, just never opened your mind to it.

Before any of these realizations, you’re going to find the love of your life. Yeah, you think it’s the guy you’re with now, but he is a child. You’re still a child. You’ll go through him and another relationship in order to find this person. This is good for you. It teaches you what treatment to accept from men, and how dangerous it is to be blindly infatuated; that is all these “loves” turn out to be, in the end. The guy you’re with at 23, 24, and soon to be 25 (I know, you’re actually in it to win it this time!) is amazing and treats you so well. I could go on for hours telling you about him. I know you’re thinking, “Why can’t I just meet him now?” Well, you’ve had dozens of chances to meet him before… you’ve seen him up on stage already at this point, playing in one of your favorite bands. I’ll leave the surprise for when you actually meet him eight years from now.

Trust me, you need time to be single, and you need time to get to know yourself. It will be one of the most unstable parts of your life, but also one of the most valuable. You’re going to heal and grow to be so much stronger, and your emotions will no longer rule over your life.

Your depression will be more manageable; you’ll buckle down and get blood tests after your antidepressants don’t work. You’ll figure out that it’s hypothyroidism, and within two weeks of being on the mend, you’ll feel like a new person. Your health is so important; never forget that.

Gosh, there is so much I can tell you, but you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. The best part: you do. There are many things you’ll have to figure out when you’re my age still, but recognize that it’ll turn out just fine, no matter what you end up doing. Being fifteen sucks, but you got this. It’s all part of the journey.