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A Letter to My Eight-Year-Old Self

Courtesy of Pixabay

I hope that when you look down one day, instead of seeing dirty, grey trainers that carve blisters with each step and faded laces that get pulled over and over again until they become raw thread, you’ll notice daisies sprouting from the earth, embracing your callused feet. I hope that when little kids on the playground make fun of the dirt trapped inside those worn-out soles, you’ll be planting even more soil so that one day, you can be crowned with flowers from head to toe.

I hope that while you’re looking down, you remember to look up. Instead of sulking at the forlorn clouds threatening to rain on your parade, I hope that you’ll admire the shadows forming at the base of those clouds, alternating order – in, out, in, out – like a ballet teacher instructing her students to get in their windows. When the rain eventually loses her balance and tips over those clouds, I hope you’ll dance wildly with no inhibitions alongside the cascade of droplets and receive a standing ovation with thunderous applause.

I hope that as you’re looking up, you don’t forget to look behind you. Instead of dwelling on your past mistakes and viewing them all as regrets, I hope you reminiscence on old lessons and memories, tales of laughter and adventure. Behind you is a valley not too far away, where you can run away for a little while if you ever tire. Remember to breathe. Remember that even the safest havens contain the darkest depths, and you must make peace with your secrets before you can make peace with others.

I hope that after you look behind, you will look around. Instead of daydreaming about what could have been or what could be, know that the present is the most certain dream that could ever come true. Spin around in circles and behold the whirlwind of colors that encapsulate what it means to be alive. Promise me that wherever you may end up someday, whether it be another desolate playground or a castle filled with riches, you will never forget to look. And I’ll be there, looking for you.

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Written by Lori Woo

Lori Woo is a high school senior who believes in the power of emotional vulnerability and advocating for underrepresented voices.

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