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 Ava Reid, author of A Study In Drowning, which comes out this Tuesday.
Dear seventeen-year-old Ava,
You don’t know this yet, but you’re going to be okay.
It’s not going to happen right away. It’s going to take years, and a lot more pain before it’s all said and done, and even when it’s over, it’ll be a long time before you really believe it. Before you trust that everything isn’t always on the verge of crumbling beneath your feet.
But here’s what I wish I could tell you:
You’re going to be able to eat without planning for it, without weighing and measuring and counting and running off to the bathroom at the end of every meal. Someday, I promise, food will bring you joy. You’ll especially love Reese’s peanut butter cups.
You’ll be able to look in the mirror and not hate what looks back at you. When your partner tells you you’re beautiful, you’ll believe them.
Yes, you’ll have a partner. And, amazingly, they’ll love you—the sharp broken bits and all.
You’ll exchange your nicotine addiction for a caffeine addiction. Sorry. It was the best I could do.
You’ll stop dyeing your hair black and ditch the goth clothes. You’ll always have a soft spot for My Chemical Romance, though.
None of your writing is a waste. Even your Hunger Games fanfiction will teach you something. Don’t quit.
And yeah, all those weird little stories, the ones you don’t think anyone but you will ever read? Well, they’re going to be published someday. They’re going to be bestsellers. They’ll even win awards. (Okay, not the Hunger Games fanfic).
Ava as a teen