Caring is Cool: A Letter to Myself At 14

Dear Amanda-at-14,

I just want to let you know that caring about stuff is okay. In fact, caring is pretty cool. I know how much easier it is to pretend like you don’t care, because if something goes wrong no one has to know that it mattered to you. I know how much you hate to fail. But the risk of everyone knowing that you’re hurting is worth it, because caring will allow you to experience the world in a much richer way.

You will care deeply about people who will betray you, who won’t support you, and who will make you feel less than. It will be hard to get their words out of your head and sometimes they’ll get louder. But…

You will care deeply for people who will always be there, who will never let you down, who will let you make a mistake or two every once awhile. It is when you meet these people and love these people that you’ll see just how important it is to care.

You will lose people because you didn’t show them you cared. Open up your heart just a little more sometimes.

You will learn to take care of your body and you should never forget that accomplishment. Moving your body and eating good stuff isn’t scary, it’s freeing, and you’ll find a different, and really cool, part of yourself on gym floors, and early morning runs, and yoga mats. She’ll make you happy even on grey days.

Sometimes you’ll find that you care too much and you’ll be really hard on yourself. You have the tendency to overdo everything. Try not to do this with caring. Don’t lose yourself in other people, don’t stress about everything you have to get done, don’t worry about missing a workout. In that way you should remember how you feel now, at 14, when mistakes don’t feel so serious.

I know you’re afraid right now, that you’re going to a school where everyone seems perfect and smart and beautiful. You are too. I know that’s hard to believe but stick it out, do your best, care about stuff and in a couple of years you’ll find that no one is perfect and you’re just as great. You got this.



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