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December 16, 2021

“It Won’t get Easier, but it Will be Okay”—A Letter to my 15-year-old Self.

Hello, I see you there.

Sitting at your dressing table. Writing poems. Dreaming of the day you are old enough to take control of your own life. You want to run to the city and live your dreams far away from where you are now. You are scared. You are sad, alone, and unsure of yourself. Well, somehow it’s now 15 years since you sat at the dressing table, and here’s what I want to tell you.

Life will get better, but not in the way you imagined it. It will get much worse first, which you will find hard to believe at this point. But it can always get worse…then it gets better. Healing is an ongoing process, and it isn’t at all linear.

You will get your heart broken, and not just by lovers, but by family and friends. You will deal with devastating losses. These losses will take you years to process.

Trauma can be passed on through generations without intent. Work on yours before you have children. This is a lesson you will learn firsthand.

You will bear the weight of those who come before you. You will be compassionate to their stories. You will understand the patterns that resulted from these stories. You will fight to break these cycles.

You will realise that even your parents made mistakes, but they did the best they could. You will understand that even they had their demons that triumphed on certain days. Resentment will come to pass, and love will overcome all. You will forgive them.

There will be days when you feel you can’t carry on, but keep going anyway. When you are tired, you will take a break, but you won’t ever give up.

You will be blessed with a little brother who will get you through the tough times by simply playing, learning, and growing. He will be one of the best things that could ever happen to you. You will share an unbreakable bond with him. You will protect, love, and nurture him. You will give him what you needed.

The city life you’re dreaming of will become a sea change. The hustle, bustle, and the idea of endless opportunities will always have a space in your heart. However, the ancient, deep connection with the ocean and Earth will be what you crave the most.

You will also be blessed in ways you could have never dreamt of. Opportunities will present themselves, but you need to get away from your dreaming state at the dressing table and out in the real world. You will need to face your fears and get yourself out there. You will need to show people what you can write on your pieces of paper. You will need to show up for yourself because if you haven’t realised by now, you are the only one who can show up for you.

You won’t finish Year 12, but you will graduate from university. The circumstances of this will be something you can’t even comprehend at age 15. You will walk out of the school gates one last time unexpectedly, but you won’t ever walk out on your education. You will get to a point where the fact you didn’t finish high school won’t mean a thing. Despite everything going on in your life, you will always love to learn. You will always spark when you achieve a new qualification.

You will become stronger and more resilient than you could ever realise. You will fight for the life you want with the stubbornness of a boulder. You are still fighting to this very day. You will get to where you need to be, no matter how long it takes.

You will fall in love with helping others because you don’t want to see anybody suffer the way you have at times. You will hear the road that is meant for you calling, and you will walk it. You will love your journey much more than your destination.

To be frank, my darling girl, you aren’t living the life you imagined at 30, but you are fighting for the one you’ve reevaluated. The one where you’ve recognised the coping and survival patterns that you formed over the years. You are working on breaking those.

You are letting go of the years of baggage in order to be who you are at heart.

I’m sorry to tell you that everything won’t work out the way you want it to. I’m sorry to tell you that it doesn’t get any easier. I’m being 100 percent honest with you, but don’t be disappointed.

Even though it won’t be easier, I can assure you it will be okay.

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Reidun Berntsen  |  Contribution: 455

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