Dear 16-year-old-me. Write a letter to yourself at age 16. What would you tell yourself? What would you make your younger self-aware of?
First things first, there will come a time when that nickname does become embarrassing and is more stripper-ish than cute. Don’t worry, at some point after college you grow up and mostly lose it. There are a few people who still haven’t let it go, but it’s okay because those are the people who were with you when it was cute.
You’ll spend the rest of your teens and your twenties trying to figure out exactly who you are. I don’t think we’ll ever entirely figure it out because we will keep changing, but you will eventually become comfortable in your own skin. You’ll make some mistakes, but every decision – good or bad – will allow you to become the woman who I am now. In your mid-twenties you will make the most courageous decision of your life so far. You will take a leap and follow your heart, though you will hurt and confuse some people who you do care about – especially mom. Don’t worry, you’ll go through a few rough months, but she’ll begin to understand and be happier than ever for you. Always trust your gut, even if it’s not the most popular decision among others. You tend to be a people-pleaser to try to fit in, stop it! You will gather an amazing group of people to surround yourself with, you don’t need to try so hard to be a part of a group. One of the more fabulous things are that Krysten, Jackie, Tori & Donna will continue to be your best friends. You’ll grow together and your bonds with them will only become stronger. College will bring more amazing friends into your life and you will be lucky to have them with you as you continue to grow.
Your skin will never go back to the way it was before your psoriasis. On a good note, you will go through years of remissions on and off, but you will continuously struggle with it. As you grow, you’ll begin to understand that your lifestyle choices do directly affect your skin’s health. Focus on your overall well-being and you’ll find that your skin will reap those benefits. You’re not alone in dealing with psoriasis, there’s an entire community out there of young women going through exactly the same emotions. You will find them and will all become better having each other. You’re not going to spend the rest of your life labeled as the girl with psoriasis. Your friends and family and the man you fall in love with really don’t care that sometimes you’re covered with spots. They like you because you’re you.
I don’t want to share too much, it won’t be as fun if you know everything that’s going to happen. I think the one thing that you’ll be surprised about is that you will find yourself somehow living with a cat and liking him. But that cat comes with the true love of your life, so well worth the allergies!
xoxo! ~ 29-year old Joni