A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self

Dear Me,

I know this is a very confusing time for you. Hang in there. I know that you may not believe me right now, but please trust me. I’ve been there. I know.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful. I know you don’t always feel like it, but enjoy your life anyway. Don’t let your insecurities stop you from going anywhere or doing anything. You’ll regret missing out on things because you were hiding from the world. The more you venture out, the more you’ll see that you’re okay.

You are beautiful. You won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but that’s okay. A wise person (I don’t remember whom) once said, “Consider cilantro.” Some people love it; some people think it tastes like poisonous mercury. As long as you learn to love and accept your cilantro, you’ll be okay. You’re the one who has to eat it every day, so work on that, even if it’s an acquired taste.

You are beautiful. If someone disagrees with that, it’s a reflection of them and their socialization. If someone intentionally makes you feel that way, it’s a reflection of their own insecurities. Work on not taking it personally. Work on moving on to people who make you feel as beautiful as you know you are deep down inside. They’re out there. I promise. Besides, I’ve found it’s better to be alone than to be around anything less.

Nothing is wrong with you.

I know you have a different way of thinking about the world. Nothing is wrong with you. I know many people around you don’t understand you. Nothing is wrong with you. I know people try to make you feel like you’re too sensitive or picky, but you’re just fine. If you’d rather be alone with a book on a Friday night than party with people who don’t understand you, then do it. Follow your heart and your people will follow, even if it takes a while. You are not alone. Use your time there to get even better at being you.

An African dance performance in college

An African dance performance in college

You can do more than you imagine.

I know you’re trying to figure out who you want to be, what you want to be, and who you want to be with. THINK BIG! If not, you’ll always be left wondering what could have been. Now is your chance to go after any dream you have. All you’ve got is now. If it doesn’t work out, it will only lead you in the direction you were meant to go in anyway. Only now you won’t have any regrets. I won’t tell you that you don’t have anything to lose, but you’ll lose more of yourself by never daring to try.

Everything will be okay.

I know you don’t always feel beautiful and confident. I know you don’t always feel like you fit in. Keep striving to feel beautiful and confident. It will be a work in progress for the rest of your life, but it will keep getting better and better. As far as fitting in, you just don’t. The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be lonely, but it means you better get comfortable with being alone. It means it’s better to be alone than with people who make you wrong for being you or don’t even try to understand you. Make room for those who do. They will be worth the wait.

Please read this whenever you are down and know that it is true. Remember, I’ve been there before. Remember, I was once standing in your shoes.

Love always,

A Happy, Beautiful, Fulfilled 34-Year-Old You



  • Mary says:

    Great read for all the young and old people out there that feel they have to fit in to be loved. ….to be someone they are not to have friends. We are beautiful!
    Loved it Gena! Like your pic too. 😊

  • admin says:

    Thank you, Mary! You are such a good friend. Thank you for reading! Besitos! xoxo 😊

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