by Kristie Vosper
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The letter you are about to read is a personal reflection from Kristie, from her high school soul to her high school body. As you read, try to think about how you can relate to her feelings and reflections. When you're finished, we encourage you to write your own letter to your younger self—it can be very therapeutic!
Dear High School Body,
It turns out that it wasn’t actually as bad as you thought. You were really beautiful. I wish you could have felt beautiful too. I really tried to help you with that, but it only lasted a few moments.
Do you remember that picture? Yes, that one. The one that made you feel ashamed. I wanted you to know that you’re the only one that thought it was bad. You’re the only one that was defining your value by the way you looked in that certain (not so great) angle. That picture didn’t really show you off, but the rest of us knew how much there was to your beauty and that is what we would see when we looked at that picture. I’m sorry it hurt you so badly.
There was so much time spent being preoccupied with your body and with comparing yourself to your friends in the mirror and in pictures. That inner body conscious dialogue filled up so much time. We could have been enjoying so much more of life. It’s really too bad. As I look at these pictures of you, I wish I could set you free! I wish I could have told you that it was all just fine.
You weren’t alone, by the way, no one was admitting it…but most of your friends were wasting moments of their lives too. You were all getting dressed in the morning hoping that whatever you put on your precious bodies would measure up, hide, and create a good day. Imagine that, a “good day” was all about how great your outfit was. I know you were desperate to feel at home in your skin.
I wish I could have shown you all the dimensions to your beauty. There were so many and those pictures you hated didn’t have a chance of capturing them. Your beauty was found in your laugh, your smile, your creativity, the way you loved others, your voice, your style, your way of seeing the world. I could go on and on, there is so much to you. You are multi-dimensional, like a diamond, there are so many angles and ways you reflect beauty in this world.
You were so beautiful. It was a privilege to make my home in you. You served us well. I just wish you could’ve realized how valuable you were. It broke my heart to see how deeply you were hurting. At the very least, I hope you’ll make peace with the truth that exactly how you are, you are enough. Your beauty isn’t defined by a pants size. It never was, it never will be. You are radiant and beloved by so many…and we all want you to be free.
If for some reason you are reading this and your present day body is still struggling with these same thoughts and prisons, do everything you can to become free from these lies because I can only imagine you have become more beautiful and dimensional as life has been lived through you.
Be free, you are loved, you are cherished, you are enough and not too much.
High School Soul
What would you say to your younger self?