Lauren 040214-298

Lauren – USA

To: Lauren
Of 2012, in the bed with the shades closed
From: Lauren
Of 2014, living happily

You’re going to find a way (soon) to begin mending. To begin learning how to love yourself. The world’s expectations of what is perfect will continue being relentless but you will figure out that being perfect is such a bore.

That feeling that your family will never love you again is wrong. They will always love you. No matter if you are too large, too sexual, too out of touch, or too different to make them comfortable. You’re going to find out that it is more comfortable to live inside the uncomfortable because this is where you’re allowed to grow, make mistakes, and learn why you love your family. Why you need them but why you will forge your own path.

You are going to continue to fight with your body. Wouldn’t it be great if Lauren from 2020 would write and tell us otherwise? But take this time to look forward to the coming challenge of learning how to love your body. You are going to be well enough to be able to take that completely frightening task head on. Can you imagine what it will be like when we don’t need the constant reassurance of a significant other that we’re beautiful? Or what it will be like to continue being put under a magnifying glass by Mom and stand there proudly? (Perhaps it is our job to teach her about what loving the body you live in truly is and forgive her for not teaching that to us.) And if you can’t, that’s okay because I can’t either—but I have a strong feeling we are going to find a way to make peace.

There are so many things I could tell you but I want you to know that the pain is going to go away. You’re going to find the strength in you to get out of that room, out of that apartment, away from those “sisters” who don’t understand your depression, and into a new light because you are strong. You are radiant, you are beautiful, and I love you. You are a giant bundle of a hot mess but I love you, which gives me hope of being able to catch up with time and start loving myself here and now. You, no matter how far under the covers you hide, are where my strength comes from.

Oh yeah, you’re also going to be lying in the grass naked looking at the sky, through the limbs of the trees, and feel beautiful while someone who calls you “beautiful” takes photos of you. How awesome is that? And even though the anticipation of that photo being online for the world to see (and criticize if they so choose) is enough to make me want to vomit, it’s even more so thrilling because that moment in time where you felt absolutely natural, absolutely sexy, absolutely strong, is never going to be taken away from you. It’s just another stop along the way in the discovery of self-love.

I’m proud of what you’ve done. You’ve made it through the worst. Now let’s get to the best.