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 Jessica Vitalis, author of The Wolf's Curse, which comes out this Tuesday!
Dear Teen Me:
I see you. I see how you hide behind a smile that masks your pain. I see that under your confidence, under your determination, under your hard edges, there’s a scared and angry little girl––a girl who is determined to make sure she defies the odds. A girl determined to make sure she doesn’t end up in an endless cycle of abuse and poverty. A girl determined to prove to the world that her story matters––that she matters.
You don’t know it yet, but you’re on the right track. All of your hard work will pay off, and there will come a time when you will be able to take a deep breath. You’ll get an MBA from an Ivy League school, learn to sail and scuba dive, travel the world. Around that same time, you’ll meet a teacher who will challenge your notions of how the world works. You’ll meet a therapist who will help transform your demons into something more manageable. You’ll get married, start a family––learn what it is to love and be loved unconditionally. Over time, you’ll learn that life isn’t a battle—that you don’t have to fight for the right to exist. To matter. You’ll learn that your story is worth telling, that there are people out there who will listen.
Jessica as a teen