20 years old. And as lost as ever.
This was the year of extra straight relaxed hair, no-doze caffeine pills, and the “accident”.
It was the year you thought you could manage the work load of your senior capstone project while balancing your demanding role as NSBE’s New England Zone Chairperson.
It was the year you discovered lemon drop shots, and took those shots like a champ every other weekend.
But most unfortunately, it was the year of the words that you’ll carry with you into your future. The words that taught you to pin your worthiness to your appearance. The words that have been etched into the back of your mind, as deep as you’ve etched them into your left inner thigh.
“You’re getting too fat for this relationship.”
These words will cut you deep, boo. A lot deeper than you knew back then, because unfortunately you sometimes still hear those words today, and not even the brave soul you are in love with and has decided he wants forever with you can erase them. Those words drove you to a gym membership. But it also led you to starvation. Something you hid very well.
I want to tell you those sweet things such as “Everything will be okay,” and “You’ll get through this,” but I can’t do so without being honest first. I can’t do so without mentioning, warning, that this will not be the worst of it. I know you think right now is the hard part, but it’s not. It’s going to get much, much worse.
You will turn back towards cutting. Badly. You will question your worth and eventually your will to live. You and said boyfriend will eventually break up, and it will not be a clean one. You’ll lose the weight, but will gain twice as much back thanks to PCOS. You’ll give up on living and become an empty shell of the once vibrant you. You will be raped, and make a vow to never return back to the state of Rhode Island. And you will be lonely. So incredibly lonely in NYC, one of the most populated cities in the world.
But Yetti, Phenomenal Yetti as you will eventually dub yourself, you will abso-fucking-lutely survive.
The days of you allowing a man to impact your sense of self-worth will die, and you will learn to trust what matters the most- yourself. You’ll embark on the journey of self-love and self-care every single day, and inspire many others to do the same. You’ll learn to forgive yourself for the shitty things you’ve done to others and yourself. You’ll also eventually forgive yourself for the shitty things people have done to you too. You’ll understand that with pain comes revelations and intense healing, and somewhere along the road, you’ll gain the gift of storytelling through it. You don’t always believe in your talents, but the universe will show over and over again that your skills and passion are deliberate. You will grapple with what the number on the scale reads, but that number won’t stop you from living, loving, and elevating through life. And you will find a man that loves every inch of you just as is and fairytales will become a thing again.
But you need to experience the hard stuff. You need to build your resiliency and learn those shitty lessons. Doing so will help foster the confidence and trust you need, to understand the universe and spirit have your back. And they do. Remember, you always survive.
Loving you like no other,
P.S. Your father will become one of your best-friends, and God, it’s so dope.