Dear 15 year old me,

You have just begun high school, and it’s horrible. You dread walking down those hallways every single day because everything is changing and you can’t take it. It’s okay. I know for a fact that you can.

What I want to talk about, right now, is where you think you are in life right now. You’re fifteen. You’re in high school. You’re just about ready to get behind the wheel, and you have the mindset that once you do, you won’t need to rely on anyone else. This is not true.

You think you’re in love, but that guy really isn’t for you—trust me on this one. Don’t do everything for him. Don’t rely on him for your happiness. Don’t let him tell you your worth—he doesn’t even know the real you.

You hide behind the profiles you see on Tumblr daily. You go online and pick outfits based on your favorite blogger’s new post. You want to be her. You call it “inspiration,” but, in reality, you’re just trying to figure yourself out. That’s okay too.

You’ll make stupid mistakes. Really, really, really bad mistakes. But with them, you’ll make great memories as well. Really, really, really stupid experiences that are just so fun and funny that you wish you could bottle the happiness.

You’ll look at your peers and think they have everything you don’t. They think the same of you. I promise.

You’ll realize that high school is a big step, and there’s a big change in what is expected of you. You hate not meeting everyone’s expectations. But you’ll learn that it is impossible to do so anyway.

What and who you are right now is perfectly okay, remember that. In the future, you’ll look back at this age and blush with embarrassment. You won’t even remember what blogger you loved, and won’t even want to remember that guy you dated.

What is most important to understand is that right now, you are finding yourself. You’ll be searching for quite a while. I’m still searching now, but even I can tell I’m much farther along than where I was five years ago.

Don’t think that just because you don’t know who you are, that you are nothing. Don’t think that every single day doesn’t have an impact on who you become. Don’t think that you have a limited set of people you can be. You can do and be anything you want.

Don’t let older students blame you for who you are. Don’t let your peers mold you into the person they want you to be. And, most definitely, don’t let that guy do it either. Don’t let what people expect from you consume you. And don’t forget that everyone makes mistakes.

I just want you to know that everything you think you are is still in the works. And that’s perfectly fine. Be who you want to be, and nothing else.

See you in five years,

Y

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I love my hometown

I just wanted to take a moment to express my love for my hometown.

Today, I visited a site where a group of volunteers from UK and I will be staying for a weekend to do community service. My, my, my…it was absolutely gorgeous.

My drive was absolutely perfect. I rolled down the windows, the sun was shining and I smelled the morning for the first in a long time. I’ve since been bottled up in Lexington cold. I was so ready for spring back home.

Passing through, for the first time, I wasn’t aggravated by slow moving trucks because it meant that people have work to do here. I didn’t mind giving them enough space behind them to do their jobs.

I missed being greeted by those passing my house in the morning. I love seeing familiar faces with a smile, as they walk their dogs on the sidewalks of my small town. I missed the only three traffic lights I’m ever stopped by while I’m here. I’ve stopped there over a hundred times in my life. Never once did I take a moment to be thankful for the views.

I missed seeing billboards with local advertisements and support. Jordan Smith is definitely doing great things! I missed the localness of the signs put up at restaurants. “Get Well Soon Larry,” it said. I remember Larry. He’s served me several times at DQ—I hope he does get well soon!

I know there are so many people that try to run from this small town in the hills. I know because I ran too. I ran off to college to find something better, something that would yield opportunities I would never have if I stayed home.

But man, the opportunities here—I miss them the most, now knowing what they are.

Here, I can sit at a bonfire just about any summer night and listen to the fire crackle with crickets in the background. I can jump at any sound of a twig breaking with paranoia of a wild animal close by. But that’s nature, and it’s beautiful.

I can hike to a mountain top to see sights that Lexington could never imitate. I can find hidden waterfalls or gorgeous views that no one knows about but my hometown.

I can go further and see wild horses; feed them apples or carrots or just watch them stand gracefully on the mountaintop as if they were taking in the view as well.

There is so much here that many take for granted. I refuse to be one of them.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Yin