Very often, I’ll ask my students to write a letter to their younger selves. What would you tell yourself at thirteen? Fourteen? Fifteen? What would you tell yourself at twenty? What do you know now, that you’d wish you had known then?
It only seemed appropriate that I also reflect. Remember. Consider. So, here it goes…
If there’s one thing that I want you to know, it’s that people will hurt you. They will shatter your heart into a million pieces and stomp on it with their shoe. And sometimes, all too often, they will not give your heartache a second glance. They will break you when you feel your strongest – they will hurt your good heart, your pure soul, your best intentions.
They will hurt you, there is no doubt about that, but oh, sweet girl, that doesn’t mean that you have to become hard. It doesn’t mean that you have to become angry. Or mean. Or bitchy. No, you don’t have to become that at all.
People are uncomfortable with vulnerability, with reality. Those who show their true colors are few and far between. It’s rare to have someone bare their soul, naked and raw, without pretense or pomp and circumstance. You wear your heart on your sleeve – your tribe is few.
But, sweet girl, what makes you so wonderful, what makes you so worth loving, is that you love fiercely. Passionately. You love without cause, reason or logic. You love because you see the good in people. You love because you feel the connection that two human beings can have, despite any other factor in the equation. You love them because you see the light in their hearts that they cannot even see themselves. You see their beauty. You see their heart. You see their good.
And so, sweet girl, don’t lose that. Don’t abide by the rules and the bullsh*t and the mind games. You go on loving on people how you feel like you should. You give that fierce tenderness to those who need it most – and don’t you dare apologize for it. Don’t let those who are unsure of the emotions that exist in their own being make you feel like you are somehow less of a person for wanting to love.
Love is what makes this world go round. Love is the thread that binds us together. But remember, love is messy. It’s ugly. It’s the furthest thing from the movies and books that we dive into. It’s imperfect. It’s insanity. It’s insatiable. And sometimes, it hurts.
Sometimes, you give your heart and soul and mind to another. Sometimes you trust another person to take care of the love that you give them, and you expect them to give it back. And there are moments when it works, and then there are moments when it all comes crashing down in flames. It’s those moments, when it all comes crashing down beside you, that I urge you to remember you. That you love. That your love was great. That there is nothing wrong with loving and having it fail. You will question; Was it real? Were you stupid? Was it a dream?
And my answer to you, sweet girl, is two-fold. Yes, it was real. No, you weren’t stupid. And no, it wasn’t a dream. It’s just…life.
Sometimes, in life, those who you love so fiercely, so passionately, so fully, so completely…sometimes, those are the ones who hurt you the most. Those are the people who break your heart into a million pieces, pieces so tiny that you don’t know how you’ll ever put them back together.
But, sweet girl, listen to me carefully…you will put them back together. And you will love again. And it’s not your fault for loving so strong – not your fault at all. Your love, your fierce, beautiful, strong, loyal love – never apologize for that. Never try to change that. It’s part of the beauty of you, of the goodness of you, of the wonder that is you.
You Are Stronger Than You Know.
Megan Minutillo is a playwright, director, theater teacher, and the Founder & Editor in Chief of the arts, entertainment, and arts education website, The Write Teacher(s). Most recently, she has conceived and launched the original concert Series, Lucky Disaster, which she also produces. She’s currently at work on her first documentary, PER DIEM (working title.) Megan lives in New York and believes chocolate should be a daily food group. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MeganMinutillo.