I'd been thinking of doing one of these things for a while - y'know the 'Hi little 15-year-old Cee, this is the advice I'd give you!' kind of things.
Then, between my birthday on Friday (no, I'm not telling you how old I am - it ain't happening,) and reading blogpost ideas by Jemma @ Dorkface, which suggested writing a letter to your younger self, I was like - IT'S A SIGN!!!!!!!!!*
*Yes, there was coffee. Also, my parents are hippies.
So this is what I'd tell my teenage self, if I somehow got the chance to use the time-travelling postal service.
(Well... the travelling to the past postal service - I guess if you send a letter, it's always gonna end up in the future...)
Wait, you don't use that name yet... I'll start again...
Dear Me (see what I did there?),
Oh man kid, you got some issues.
It's not bad to have problems. It's just life.
People don't understand you - and that's half the trouble. When you stop trying to fit in their boxes, you'll be so much happier.
Look, you got some tough times coming kid, ok?
I know that's not what you wanna hear. Sometimes life kicks you (it kicks us a lot - so get used to it,) but you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. We're too stubborn to stay down.
You're gonna have times when you actually wanna die. I mean that in a serious way.
But you're gonna hang on, ok? You're gonna hang on, and keep hanging on, time and time again. COS YOU HAVE TO.
You're gonna feel like you're weak, when really, we're strong. We're so strong.
Oh, and kid?
That thing you keep avoiding? Keep pushing away because you can't be gay because you like men, and you can't be bi because sometimes you don't like men, or you don't like women, or both?
You gotta face it.
I know kid, you're hoping it'll go away. It won't. It's you.
But don't you dare for one SECOND feel ashamed of that.
You're sexually fluid.
You don't know what that is yet - you won't hear the term for years and years, but when you do, and when you find out what that means... everything will click.
Coming out will be one of the most terrifying things you'll ever do.
But it'll be the start of allowing you to be you.
You're still friends with N, aren't you? Ditch her.
She's not your friend. Friends don't treat you like that. She's abusive; she manipulates you and makes you feel like everything that is YOU is somehow shameful. It's not.
So many important things that I'd have to write ten letters to cover it.
So many tough times that you'll wonder whether it's worth carrying on. IT IS.
And somehow - metaphorically limping - we make it through. And we keep making it through. And we WILL keep making it through, ok?
But life's not all bad kid.
Even though there's heartbreak and pain lining your future, even though bad things happened and hurt and there's things you'll wish you could've done... it was worth it.
It's always gonna be worth it, kid.
You're gonna learn that your heart is big enough to love the whole freaking world, no matter how many times it pushes you down.
You're gonna learn that hope and love are the most beautiful things on this planet.
You're gonna learn that people are so beautifully intricate and unique and so... themselves... that you're gonna have to love them anyway.
And eventually, if we're lucky, we're gonna learn to love ourself.
We're getting there kid. We're getting there.
Kid, keep reading and writing.