April 17, 2015

A Letter for YA Alexa

While I could paint your experience in an optimistic light, rose-colored glasses fixed in place, I think I owe it to you to be truthful. Let's face it: junior year has not been the best year. Instead of moving forward, you constantly feel like you're lagging behind all the people who are smarter and driven, who are confident and lovely. You feel so alone, even though most days you're surrounded by a great group of girls who are supportive, inspiring and kind; it's not that you don't appreciate them, but it's the knowledge that there are some things that they just don't understand yet. You feel a yearning in your soul for something, or perhaps someone, but you can't figure out what it is and continues to drive you crazy while you chase after something you don't yet see.

You will experience a lot of heartbreak in just this year. There will be unexpected hurts for your family, feuds among your friends and an unrequited crush. Each one will feel like a crushing blow, and you will spend many nights crying silently into pillows or awake and raging at what life has handed you. Every emotion will put you on edge, making you sharper and building up further walls around your already well-protected, enclosed heart.

Let me tell you this: It will just get better from here on out. I wish I could tell you that you will never go through another year filled with turmoil and emotion, but that's not true. What I can tell you is that no matter how much you feel life is going to break you at this very moment, it won't succeed. With every struggle, you grow - stronger, smarter, more beautiful. And every single one of those struggles will be worth this growth.

So, my dear Alexa, trust in the hope that remains a steady flame in your heart. Trust in a happily ever after, a romance that will sweep you off your feet and be everything you ever wanted and more. (Believe me, it's very surprising when the love of your life comes. You won't even see it coming!) Trust in true friendships, the kind that are mutually supportive and inspiring. (You'll realize, at 25, that you have some of the best people in your inner circle.) Trust in your mother's strength, your father's love, the joy and faithfulness of your sisters. (Your family is rock solid, despite the many things that threaten to rock the boat.) Trust in good things, and keep the hope alive because there is so much more to life than the little world you're currently living in.

Trust in your love of words, how it will allow you to express all your pain and your happiness with the stories you share. Trust in your love of novels, how they allow you to escape for hours at a time, how they challenge your imagination. Trust in these two things, dear girl. Because one day, these two things will lead you to a community that will embrace these passions wholeheartedly and you will find some of the most amazing friends you will ever make.

The picture I've painted for you must seem too good to be true, right? You may be an optimist at heart, but even that has its limits. And truth be told, getting to 25 is going to be filled with pitfalls and problems, even as it is filled with fun and good times. Stories have always been your solace though, and so, I thought I'd share a few titles that would inspire you, challenge you and remind you of the things you hold dear - travel and imagination and friendship and family and romance.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Keep your chin up and trust in yourself, Alexa. I promise that it will be worth it every single step of the way, through the tough times and the easy ones. You'll make mistakes and you'll mark achievements, but it will be a worthy journey to the life you'll be leading at 25 (in New York City and married, settled in the truth of who you are and what you have to offer the world).

25-year-old Alexa


  1. Holly (nutfreenerd)April 17, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    What a great letter! I can only imagine what I'll write in a letter to my YA self when I'm older, since I'm still in high school. It'll have to be brimming with words of encouragement and support, because I've had plenty of ups and downs!

  2. This is such a wonderful and inspiring letter<3 I'm so happy you found your true love and have made so many great friends, and I'm especially glad you decided to start blogging because I love reading your opinions :-)

  3. I would probably tell my YA self not to worry if I didn't finish a certain book within a certain time! Also I'd probably recommend The Secret Diamond Sisters to my younger YA self

  4. What a wonderful letter Alexa! I'd totally tell my younger self to take chances, to embrace being weird and what I love and not to try and present a different face to the outside from the one on the inside.

  5. Oh, I love your letter! Beautiful writing. The messages and advice you gave your YA self were wonderful. And I'm so glad that you're in such a great place with life and know who you are. :)

  6. Oh Alexa, this is SO LOVELY. Your words touched a really deep place in my heart. Thank you for sharing this with us. As long as I've known you, you've always been such a positive, optimistic person and I see now that you were this way when you were a teenager, too. LOVE THAT! Such an endearing quality to have, especially at a young age. Thank you for being apart of this feature with me. xxoo


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