Cornerstone Content,  Diary

A Letter To My Younger Self

I was recently asked to speak in front of a high school class, and this inspired me to write a letter to my younger self in my diary. I have achieved numerous feats, but there is one particular moment that stands out as the pinnacle of my achievements: being granted the esteemed opportunity to address a high school audience.

My dear younger self, it’s with a heavy heart that I must share the harsh realities of life’s journey with you. You are bound to experience heartaches, deeper than what you could ever anticipate. Betrayals will come from the very people you’ve loved deeply, the ones you would have moved mountains for. They will leave you shivering in the cold, deserted and discarded. Sleepless nights will be spent questioning your own worth, with your pillow as your only comfort until your neck can bear the burden no more. The fervor within you will gradually dim, dangerously close to extinguishing your existence. Isolation will be your unexpected companion, prompting you to retreat within yourself as your worldview shatters. This phase of suffering, silent and seemingly ceaseless, will persist.

The cherished ones in your life will ascend to their next journey above the celestial canvas, leaving you to navigate your path alone. But have faith, they’ll be there, watching over you from their heavenly perch. Yet, in the midst of this turmoil, I assure you, the struggle won’t be fruitless.

Embrace the tumultuous sea of life, my darling. Surrender to the waves and allow them to carry you into the open sea. Preserve your vitality and lay back, letting the escalating chaos of the world wash over you, until it can no longer inflict any damage.

A miraculous twist awaits in your story. Your existence’s purpose will reveal itself, the reason you were born into this world. The love you generously distributed, the love you thought you’d lost forever, will return to you, amplified tenfold. The souls that are destined to intertwine with yours will find their way back home. You’ll see signs of them in the dazzling hues of seashells, in the innocent grin of a child you encounter on your grocery run, and in the first refreshing drops of rain that kiss your cheek after a relentless heatwave. A love that reciprocates your affection, unconditionally, is on its way to you.

You’ll find yourself falling in love anew, not only with people but also with films, art, and diverse cuisines. Your gaze will be drawn towards the birds chirping in the trees, but, unlike before, you won’t harbor a secret envy for their lofty flights. Instead, you’ll feel your spirit soaring with them, in unison.

My sweet younger self, one day it will all connect, and it will all make sense. The pain you’ll undergo won’t be justified, but as such the losses will not be permanent. Everything you thought you lost will one day navigate its way back to you, refueling you with newfound resilience. The dwindling spark within you will ignite into a flame, a flame so powerful it will incinerate every hurdle that dares to obstruct your path.

Remember, life is cyclical. After the darkest hour, dawn always breaks. You will learn to ride the high tides and the low, understanding that each wave serves a purpose, even if it’s concealed in mystery. In times of hardship, you’ll cultivate resilience, building an internal fortress that can withstand even the strongest storms. You’ll learn to endure, to stand firm amidst the tempest, and from these trials, you’ll emerge stronger, wiser, and more compassionate.

Those nights of tear-stained pillows will shape you into a woman of substance, a woman who understands the value of her worth, a woman who is respected, successful, and admired. You will no longer question your significance in the world. Instead, you’ll see your reflection in the mirror and acknowledge the warrior staring back, the one who weathered life’s storms and still stands tall through it all.

In your solitude, you’ll discover the beauty of introspection. The quiet moments of isolation will become sacred spaces for growth and transformation. As the world outside crumbles, you’ll build a more profound, more resilient inner world. A sanctuary that nurtures and protects your spirit, a safe haven where your soul can flourish.

The love you thought was lost forever will one day find its way back to you in ways you could never imagine. It will pour into your life like a deluge, flooding your heart with joy and serenity. It will be a love that is patient, kind, unwavering, and true. It will be a love that will fill the hollow spaces within you, healing the wounds of the past and providing a steady foundation for the future.

You’ll start to appreciate the simple pleasures of life—the beauty of a sunset, the melodious chirping of birds, the fragrance of fresh flowers, the comforting warmth of a cup of tea. You’ll find joy in the mundane, a sense of peace in the everyday routine. You’ll learn to live mindfully, cherishing every moment, every breath.

And that flame within you? It will reignite, burning brighter than ever. It will become a beacon of hope, guiding you through life’s labyrinth. It will illuminate your path, incinerating the barriers that once seemed insurmountable. You’ll rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of your past, resplendent in your strength and resilience.

So, my precious younger self, hold on. Hold on to hope, to love, to dreams. Even when the world around you is cloaked in darkness, remember that the dawn is just around the corner. Believe in the promise of a new day, a new beginning. You are stronger than you think, braver than you believe, and more resilient than you could ever imagine. Trust in the journey, for it will lead you to unimaginable heights, to the woman you are destined to become.

You will start to see the beauty in the world again, not despite the pain, but because of it. It is your trials that will sharpen your perspective, allowing you to appreciate the myriad colors of life’s tapestry. You will begin to understand that it is the contrast of light and dark that gives depth and richness to your story. Each tear, each heartbreak, will serve as a testament to your resilience, a testament to the power of the human spirit.

Your relationships will deepen, not just with others, but with yourself as well. You will learn to love yourself, with all your flaws and imperfections, understanding that it is these unique quirks that make you who you are. You will stop seeking validation from outside, and instead, look inward, finding a well of self-love and acceptance.

You will find a purpose that fuels your passion, a calling that sets your soul on fire. You will discover the gifts that you were born to share with the world, the unique talents that make you, you. And as you step into your purpose, you will inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of positive change.

You will learn to dance in the rain, to find joy in the midst of chaos. You will learn to embrace the uncertainties of life, understanding that it is in the unknown that the greatest adventures lie. You will find courage in the face of fear, strength in the face of adversity, and hope in the face of despair.

You will realize that your story is not one of sorrow, but one of triumph. It is a tale of a girl who braved the storms of life, who defied the odds, and rose from the ashes, stronger and more resilient. It is a story of transformation, of a caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly, ready to spread her wings and soar.

My dear younger self, remember that every ending is a new beginning. Each setback is a setup for a comeback, each struggle a stepping stone towards success. Trust in the process, embrace the journey, and most importantly, believe in yourself. For you are a woman of strength, a woman of courage, a woman of resilience.

So, hold your head high, dear one. Walk confidently in the direction of your dreams. Keep that flame burning bright, for it is your light that will guide you through the darkness. And remember, it is the challenges that you face that will shape you into the woman you are destined to be. Let the trials forge you, mold you, and ultimately, lead you to your destiny. For it is through the fire that a diamond is formed, and my dear, you are a diamond in the rough, ready to shine.

May 20, 2023


  • Stuart Danker

    Love the part about life being cyclical. Am trying to remind myself of that. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that fact, even if we’ve gone through it before. But yes, the sun always rises until our final breath, and even then, the sun will rise the next day. Great letter to your younger self!

    • Thomas Slatin

      Thank you, Suzanne! A lot of people ask me if I would have done things differently if I knew what I know now and could live my life all over again. And truthfully, while it is nice to think that I would have changed almost everything, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that a single decision can have a lasting effect on the rest of ones life. With that said, I am thrilled to be the person that I am today. 🙂

      Thomas Slatin - May 28, 2023

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