The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Erika Lewis, author of Kelcie Murphy And The Academy For The Unbreakable Arts, which comes out Tuesday.
You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Follow your heart, always.
Dear Teenage Me,
Do me a favor, put down the controller, turn away from the television and focus. You’ve been granted an incredible gift, an audience with your future self, and I have something very important things to tell you.
Erika as a teen
You’re what everyone calls a tomboy. They have a lot of different names for it now, but what it boils down to is things like, you never feel comfortable in dresses (truth be told, you never will.) You’re more comfortable coxswaining a men’s crew boat than putting on makeup and trying to talk to them at parties. And you’d pick going to a karate tournament over a dance every time. I’m here to tell you that all of that is okay. You’re also a nerd, which you know, and right now that feels like another strike against you, but I’m here to tell you it’s not. You’re not cool, and that’s okay. The one thing you have always had going for you is you don’t care about being cool because that would mean people pay attention to you, and you’re just fine with everyone else being the center of attention.
Some of that will change. Public speaking will still make you sweat through your clothes, but you eventually overcome that shy awkwardness. Not easily though, and that leads me to what we’re here to really talk about.
Erika as a teen