I used to be you. A lot of things are going to happen to you. You’re going to be faced with a lot of difficult choices. People will not always turn out to be who you thought they were. Things might get hard, and life isn’t always going to be what you expect. Ultimately, you are in charge of what happens in your life. You just need a good strategy and to assemble your resources.
I wish I could say this to you in person, and tell you that things will be okay, but this will have to do. Read carefully, and take from it what you will. Some day you might find it useful.
First and foremost: It’s okay to be different. You’re going to hear this affirmation a lot from everyone, but it’s the honest truth. Be yourself, at all times. Do things that you want to do. Wear things that you want to wear. Say what you’re thinking and not simply what is expected. Don’t be afraid to talk to people that are outside of your comfort zone. It’s like chicken noodle soup for your psyche. Too much time spent trying to be different is often times wasted on you being exactly like all of the other “non-comformists”. It’s contradictory to itself.
If someone asks you to try pot, that’s you’re choice. Keep in mind that it is illegal, and having a criminal record makes everything harder. Smoking marijuana is nothing to be afraid of, it will not kill you. What you do need to worry about is the people tied to it, the parties you’ll go to, and the scumbags that you’re going to meet. Dealers know other dealers, and other dealers deal other drugs. What you need to fear is blindly walking yourself right to rock bottom and wondering how you got there. Act responsibly.
Bad boys are fun for a while, but they’re assholes that will eventually ruin everything. They will be the conspirator to your demise. They’ll talk you into doing stupid things, like running away to Florida to live in some shitty trailer with their convicted felon of a father and losing everything that you own. You’ll end up staying for longer than you should because you’re young, afraid, and honestly not experienced enough to really know any better. Leave him in the gutter and go back to class so you can graduate from college early. There will be more than one boy in your life, promise.
If a partner ever lays their hands on you, you get out of that relationship right the fuck now. They might love you, but they are also damaged goods; and if you stay too long you’ll be damaged goods, too. Leave them. They cannot hurt you if you are not with them. Take photos of any bruises, and obtain any medical records. The law is on your side; get your ass down to the courthouse and file for a protective order. Stay with someone you trust, and don’t go anywhere alone until you feel safe from harm. Get a big dog. It will love and protect you better than that douche ever did, and it’ll help you heal.
They might threaten to harm themselves if you try to leave, as a way to manipulate you. This is a burden that they have absolutely no right to force on you, and they are obviously insane. Be diplomatic and try to get them help: friends, family, or even the authorities if there are no other options. What ever happens, you are not responsible for that person’s actions. Don’t drive yourself crazy with “what if’s”.
Try never to act out of vengeance. You should not actively seek violence, but you still need to learn to throw a proper punch. Thumb outside of the fist, not tucked in. Don’t hyper-extend your elbow. Aiming for the nose, solar plexus, or testicles usually helps to fend off attackers. Try to avoid punching people in the throat; you might actually do some serious damage. Headbutts are also quite effective if done correctly. One of the most valuable things you can learn in life is how to defend yourself.
People are going to judge you and try make you feel bad about yourself. People are poorly misjudged all of the time; it might sting, even if it isn’t true. False assumptions are commonplace and one of the many human flaws. Live knowing that you are at least smart enough to see the other person’s ignorance, and that they just don’t know any better.
Sexual predators are out there, even if you don’t think you’re prey. They come in all shapes, sizes, and they use different tactics. Don’t give it up easily, you’ll regret it later. If they take it from you anyway, call someone you trust and go immediately to the hospital. Do not shower, do not change. Do call your family and friends for support; talk to someone about it. At first you’ll feel numb, and for a while you might hate yourself. You will probably hate men in general for a long time. It wasn’t your fault, and not all men did this to you; so don’t be afraid of them. You are not broken, I swear.
When it is all over, you’ll know. Even after your triumph, do your best to remain humble. You will have survived several painful mistakes, situations that were out of your control, and evolved as an individual with your sanity in tact. The most important thing is: you survived. Now you have the opportunity to live.
Children, apologize to your parents for being such an asshole.
Parents, please teach your children not to be assholes.