To the decade of my youth,
Thank you for turning out the way you did. Thank you for allowing me to see what the decade of my adulthood will be like, and thank you for teaching me such important life lessons that I will carry to the decade of my adulthood, elderhood, livelihood.
You showed me what it was like to be a teenager; pimples, awkward stages, random hormonal rage feelings, and how it felt like to be in teenage love. I enter you just weeks after I got my first-ever kiss at 15, a couple of months later would be the first time I would lose my virginity, it would be the first time I said “I love you” to the first boy I fell in love with. You showed me that getting to know someone and getting that puppy love was just as addicting as any hardcore drug out in the world. You showed me that I was now indulged in a whole new side of the world I never knew existed. You showed me what it was like to be passionate, to show passion, to be the embodiment of passion through love, talent, and aura.
You showed me jealousy in its ugliest form. You showed me hopelessness and insecurity that I wasn’t good enough. You showed me that people can lie and that people will still smile in your face and hold you just to make sure you’re alright without ever knowing what’s going on behind closed doors. You showed me what falling in love a second time felt like; how blissful and twisted and poison it was; you truly showed me that the second love I will ever experience would be the one that haunts me and changes me forever, and at first, it wasn’t for the better. You showed me how quickly life and love could be taken away from me and how I could be the most hated person in a room full of people.
You showed me how sad I can truly be. You showed me that in a world full of 7 billion people, I can feel like the only woman on a deserted island. You showed me the consequences of my actions and how life could be like if I don’t take action on my responsibilities. You showed me how people’s true colors come forward when I was on my knees, crying out for help because I was a ticking time-bomb, just waiting to give up and just kill myself at 18. You showed me how scary the mind can be and how irrational it can become when I was surrounded by nothing your thoughts and the negativity fueling them.
You showed me that change will only come only if I’m willing to work for it. You showed me that it’s harder and more painful to hold onto something toxic than rather just letting it go for the better. You showed me that through the dark times, there will be good! You showed me that once I forgave myself for my past to some extent, I was able to move forward and begin a new chapter of my life. You showed me that college wasn’t going to be the easiest thing and that people would not take me seriously when I told them I wanted to be an English major. You showed me that happiness was not only within the circle I kept, but an entire community around the world that I didn’t know existed until they welcomed me into their fandom. You showed me that passions change, and in some cases, they save your life over and over again.
You showed me it was okay to share the fact that I’ve always had imaginary friends roaming inside my mind, but now they were characters of stories I wanted to tell through scripts. You showed me that a simple song on the radio can inspire me to write a complete short film about a girl who finds her mother after abandoning her for her career 17 years ago and share the mutual love of dance. You showed me that a true-crime drama inspired me to write about stories and characters I’ve had swimming in my head since the decade of my childhood! You showed me that sometimes, you can find your love for something all over again, and sometimes it was worth going back to.
You showed me how much better the present was than the past. You showed me that the people who were once in my life will not always fit into the life I have now, and that is completely okay. You showed me that I don’t fit in other’s people’s life anymore as well. You showed me how easy it was to get lost again, how problems are always reoccurring; they just get bigger as you get older. You showed me how imperfect family truly is and how the saying “blood is thicker than water” isn’t always true. You showed me how easy it was to live a life of denial, that everything will be alright once the pain passes, how everything eventually goes back to normal, yet you showed me how they don’t and that it’s up to me to accept that and move forward to create a new normal for myself.
And with that being said, you showed me that life can truly make a full circle in some aspects of your life. You showed me that I wasn’t this weird awkward girl that had no friends; that all I had to do was just express myself and be myself without worrying people will be judging me. You showed me that if love truly is meant to be, you try it again and if it works out, it works out. You showed me how it felt to be stupidly happy every single day of my life. You showed me that sometimes not all hard work will lead you down the path you wanted to go, but instead destined to go. You showed me that I could graduate college and being the first of my family to do so even though I’ve thought about dropping out a couple of times. You showed me that a new chapter was starting in my life, and not always do you bring what you have to that next chapter.
You showed me that not all that glitters is gold. You showed me that me faking happiness to relive when I was isn’t going to erase the feeling of loss and loneliness. You showed me that my number one priority should always be myself, so when I ignored it for the duration of my grad school years, you showed me just how low I can go in regards to my mental health. You showed me that it was okay to stick up for myself, for views to change, to wants and needs to change and that I couldn’t stay the same forever. You showed me just how fast I was growing up, and you showed me as the days and years pass by that you were not waiting for me to get my shit together.
You showed me that I am a motherfucking boss and can do whatever I put my mind to! You showed me how accomplishment felt like; to sit out in the rainy weather in my Master’s gown showed me that I was capable of anything and everything. But, you showed my work always had to get done, that celebrations end and reality kicks in, that people will expect me to be the best of the best with a fresh new degree in my hand, that this degree made me mentally sick. You showed me it was okay to ask for help, that it wasn’t a sign of weakness to see a therapist and talk about everything going on in life. You showed me that my outbursts and behavior have reasoning behind it, whether it was just a reaction to something completely normal or it was a sign of social anxiety disorder and major depression. You showed me that people will not always see the changes you want for yourself because it means that they don’t know you anymore, and you showed me that it was okay; that sometimes people are just meant to go, no matter what stage of life you are in.
By the end of this decade, you showed me just a sneak peek of what my adulthood decade will be like. You showed me that the things I let slide or didn’t care about in the past now are major things I now require as a sign of self-respect. You showed me how it can feel to finally be confident after a decade of boys that just wanted the “fat girl experience” or only wanted to talk to you just to hook up with your friend. You showed me that I can be loved, that I can be hated, and regardless of the situation or how I feel about them, I cannot control other people. You showed me how it felt to go through my very first heartbreak over a breakup. You showed me that no matter what length of time, I grow out of people and people will grow out of me. You showed me that the hardest decisions are the best decisions, not just for you personally, but for all parties involved. You showed me destiny is destiny, and no matter how hard I try fighting it, it will come out in different ways. You showed me the importance of listening to my soul and that no matter how you feel and what logics you have behind it to back it up, if the soul is telling you something, you best to believe her. You showed me the importance of friendship and how being social isn’t such a negative thing; it’s possibly the happiest thing I do in my life at the end of this decade. You showed me to let me know what to bring, what to live by, and what I need to learn as the new decade begins.
You showed me a lot during my youth. Youth, I may be a late bloomer to a lot of things; I may not be ready to settle down and get married and do all of the adult things most people my age are doing, but as long as I’m making progress within myself, there’s no milestone for growth.
Who knows what my adulthood will show me; maybe it will show me that how to properly travel the world, how to take care of my body, how to not be afraid of letting love in again; who knows? I just know that you, my Youth, is something I will always hold close to my heart. You are pure, innocent, adventurous, rebellious, and beautiful.
Thank you for teaching me everything you did, and thank you for helping me live this far into my life.
Cheers to my youth.