If you’ve decided to read this letter again in five, even ten years from now, it probably means you’re in need of some kind of reassurance. So, I’m writing you this letter on the eve of your graduation to remind you that if you should ever lose sight of what is truly important in life or question who you are or what you’re doing, look to your own words for the comfort and guidance you need.
I want you to know that it’s okay to be scared. Being afraid just means you have something worth losing. It’s okay to be unsure. Not knowing doesn’t mean you’re not on the right track. It’s okay to take risks. It’s okay to fail. My only hope is that when you do, you continue to get back up and try again the next day.
I want you to know that it’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to feel pain: over relationships, missed opportunities, or life’s misfortunes. It’s okay to feel heartbroken. It’s okay to be heartbroken. Being heartbroken isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t make you look pathetic. It doesn’t make you less worthy. It simply means that you loved that something or someone so deeply that losing it/them is utterly heartbreaking. True strength lies in your ability to open your heart to someone or something new. Above all, remember that this too shall pass. It always has and it always will.
I want you to remember how far you’ve come. The girl you were 10, even 5 years ago, is not the same girl that you are today. You are much stronger than you were back then. I hope you continue to blossom into the woman you were meant to be. Don’t worry about others. Some people won’t like you. And that’s okay. They don’t have to. Don’t lose sleep over it. Instead, invest and appreciate the people that love you just the way you are. Invest only in people that make you feel alive. The rest can take a seat on the bleachers and watch as you thrive.
I want you to understand that success is a relative term. What someone else defines as success may look nothing like your definition of success. Nobody’s keeping score. Besides, no one ever really knows what the hell they’re doing anyways. If they try and tell you that they do, they’re probably lying. Whether you’re married with kids or single, you are successful. Whether you’re the CEO of a big time Corporate Company or a free-lance writer, Chelsea, you are successful. The credentials beside your name don’t tell the whole story anyways. Be proud of what you do, whatever that may be.
I hope that in 5 to 10 years from now if you’re reading this that you still believe that the world is a good place, full of believers and dreamers and hopeless romantics just like you. I hope that you still believe in the fairy tale endings. The buzzer-beater, game winning, he/she comes back for you in the end type of ending. I hope that you never allow someone to dim the light that shines deep inside of you or dull your sparkle. Because Chelsea, you shine bright. I hope that you never stop sharing that light with others. That is what you love most.
I want you to remember that one day, sometimes even one moment, could change your life forever. The only person in this world that has to believe in you is yourself. Never stop believing in yourself. You have so much to offer the world and it’s only the beginning. Trust that.
Above all, Chelsea, I hope that in 5 or 10 years when you’re reading this that you are happy. I hope that you still feel that child-like type of happiness that you feel today every day of your life. Because well, you deserve nothing less. Know your worth and NEVER allow yourself or ANYONE else to question that.
If all else fails, remember to turn on Kenny Loggins’ Footloose and dance like no one is watching.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.