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A Letter To My Teenage Self

Dear Teenage Flo,

I don't even know where to start. I don't know how to encourage you other than to tell you the truth. You are beautiful. You are beautiful inside and out. You're not too scrawny or skinny. You're perfectly how God made you. He sees you as beautiful and one day you'll meet a man who thinks the same. You have to learn how to see the same thing yourself. Know it. Own it. One day, you'll see what I mean.

There's nothing more that I wish for you more than your happiness. You are going to go through so much in this time. Secrets you never thought would hit the fan will be public knowledge. You're going to start hearing dark voices telling you to harm yourself. Don't listen to them. You deserve happiness. I promise you do.

Smile. Start there. Smile more. Laugh more. Spend more time with your friends because you never know when they may not be with you anymore. Life is short. That boy you meet your junior year?? ... just don't. He is going to try to destroy your beautiful heart. And yes, you do have a beautiful heart. Tell your mom how you feel. Tell your mom you love her. Tell her you feel alone. She understands WAY more than you realize. Be grateful that you have someone like her in your life. Be more open. It's okay to trust people. It's okay to let people know they hurt you. It doesn't make you weak.

Don't ever forget how strong you are and all you've survived through. I love you. I am proud of you. I am proud of everything you made it through. I am proud of the growth you gained. I am proud of all you have accomplished this far. I am proud of how smart you are. I am proud of how many people you encouraged while still feeling so dark inside. I am proud of everything you learned. You're going to make a lot of mistakes. And that's okay. You are allowed to make mistakes. You don't have to be perfect.

I love you, Flo.

- The Present You.

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