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Growing up with a single parent was not the perfect storybook situation, but you don’t need a storybook

To my younger self,

You probably never realized Mom was always by herself in the front row attending each and every one of your games, cheering you on from the sidelines just like the rest. Meanwhile, all your teammates’ parents were hand-in-hand sitting together as a couple, in what society defines as a “normal” family. Growing up with a single parent was not the perfect storybook situation, but you don’t need a storybook. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here; Mom played both parts and you proudly walk around knowing so. Her strength, unconditional love, and support that she gave was more than any two parents could ever fulfill. This does not make you any different than anyone else around you nor does it dictate your future and what lies ahead. We have the same chance at success as everyone else.

When high school rolls around, it’s easy to get lost in all the expectations and try so hard to fit in. You feel as though you need to start from step one and prove yourself to everyone all over again. Don’t let anyone rent space in your head for free. Take a step back, stop worrying so much about what people think, and be who you want to be, not whom you think your peers expect you to be. Embrace your individuality and where you come from, and always stay true to yourself. After all, this is what allows you to stand out from the rest, and it will be the ticket to your success one day. Although these four years feel like nothing more than a big popularity contest that never ends, you’ll quickly realize to let the small things go and please note they won’t seem so big later on. Getting asked to prom and being one of the popular girls… don’t even sweat it. A small circle of friends who accept and love you for who you are is all you’ll need.

Life is all about the twists and turns; we all go through them. There will be a handful of moments that could have been easier to get through, easier to overcome if you were dealt a smoother ride, yet you will continue to fight and never back down. Nothing in life is game over and every opportunity is right in front of you, just waiting for that fire inside of you to light it up. Don’t let someone else’s words, or opinion of who you are, knock you off your driver’s seat to where you’re going. You are the one in control of what comes next and only you hold that power.

Slow it down and enjoy the ride, each and every one of these experiences you’re going through right now, is only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s just a composition of the beautiful person you’ll become and the future you have in store. Life is so much bigger than this!

Love,

Your much older self

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