A letter to my 13 year old self.

Dear Lizzie,

I know you. I’ve been where you are, and I know it is hard. 

You’re concerned about boys.
You’re concerned about your body.
You’re concerned about school.

And most of all, you’re concerned about who you are. Who you are becoming, and whether or not you will ever fit in. 

The truth is, 14 years later, you’ll still be worrying about fitting in. Except it will be different. Because you’ll be looking for all the places where you sacrificed the voice of your soul in order to conform. 

And once you find those places, you’ll be pulling those soul-pieces out of the rubble and into the light.

Rebirthing yourself, once more. 

You're probably not looking for advice, because you're a fiercely independent soul. But hear me out for a few minutes. Because this is important. 

If I were in your shoes again, I wouldn’t let anybody tame me.

Not boys, not teachers, and certainly not friends. 

I’d write music my soul needed to hear. I’d create art for the sake of creating art. I’d wear weird clothes and cut my hair and take a few risks. 

I know those outfits you put together. The ones you never wore in public. 

You looked good. No seriously. You did. 

And most of all, I’d stop worrying about my body.

It is going to change. Breasts will grow. Then grow some more. You'll grow hips, and have the body of a woman. Your menstrual cycle will gradually support the rhythms of your life. 

Your hormones, in a few years, will start to regulate and you’ll stop feeling like such a mess. 

And you’ll learn to love being a woman. 

And why your softness is worth more than gold. 

14 years from now, you’ll have gone through a lot of heartache. Looking for love outside of yourself, in men who were far too unworthy of your brilliance. Crying when they left you, then finding your power once again.

Trust me. No boy will fill the whole inside of you aching for love. 

Only you can do that. 

And when you finally fill that hole, magically he might come along. 

But don't worry about that for now. 

So for now, paint.
For now, write.
For now, draw.
And for now, dance in your bedroom to whatever music holds your heart.

You'll have a few good friends in high school, but you might not find your tribe until college. Don't sacrifice your essence to the gods of high school conformity. 

Friends can wait, but your soul cannot. 

There’s no reason to cage yourself. 

There’s no reason to let others cage you. 

And if they already have...it is not too late to escape
and birth yourself anew.

No matter how old you are.
No matter how large the cage.
And no matter how badly you want to fit in. 

Fit into what?

There's no mold large enough to contain your soul. 

And if you need help, write to me. Talk to your parents and your role models.

You are not alone. 

And I’m sending you all my love 
from the time beyond…