A Letter to the Past

Jillian McGuire, Columnist

Recently I came across a letter I wrote to myself at age 13 to give to myself on my 17th birthday. I have no recollection of writing the letter, but reading the questions I had for myself made me want to respond.

Dear Jillian,

You are now thirteen. Middle school is not easy for you. You spend most of the time afraid to be yourself authentically. You are at the lowest point with your depression and anxiety. You feel lost. You feel like something is wrong with you.

I am sorry for the way you feel, and it does suck. I know the last thing you want to hear is this, but guess what, you will make it out. You will finally make the friendships you deserve, slowly, but surely the loneliness will go away. Right now you hold yourself back. You lack confidence and your life feels meaningless. 

You will achieve your goals. You will make the honor roll. You will discover your passion.

Here is what being 17 is like and what you will get to experience. It is everything you crave and more:

Junior year is my favorite year of high school so far. I actually really enjoy the atmosphere of the student section. I have made so many new friends this year from different groups. I work at a daycare now and love getting to be with the kids. I love volunteering at the nursing home.  Griffin just turned nine, and he is one of the biggests gifts in my life. My older brother and I no longer fight. My parents still love me and get to experience me happy. My life now is not perfect, and I still face uncertainty, but junior year makes me want to remind myself all the pain I felt in middle school will be happiness I get to experience in the future. 

Dear 13-year-old Jillian, hold on for the ride, you deserve it!

With love, Jillian at 17

Jillian’s Journey is a column written by junior Jillian McGuire reflecting on her high school lessons. It appears bimonthly on The Mustang Moon.