Dear High School,
It’s almost time for me to go. I’m not very good at letters, so I’ll try to keep it brief. But you’ve meant so much to me, it would be selfish to leave without thanking you. I really have nothing to give but myself, and so your words today are also the ones I needed to hear, when I needed to hear them. If they touch even one of you, I have succeeded–so please indulge me as I write.
To the seventh grade me: I love you. Before anything, know that You. Are. Enough. Your shortcomings do not and will never define you. In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland, “God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.” Please… please believe that. Get whatever help you need, and press forward. Don’t look back. You. Are. Enough.
To the eighth grade me: This is it–this is your beginning. The start of the rest of your life begins today. Right now. Not this summer, not the first day of Freshman year,not tomorrow. Now. They say it takes 66 days to form a new habit, but you only need two seconds to change your world–to decide in that moment who you will be. Life is made of moments, really. Go for it.
To the ninth grade me: Cozybooks, when you get home today, spend ten minutes talking to your mom. I know it seems hard right now, and you’re freaking out because she found and read your journal, but love your family. Your parents love you an incredible amount, and in the years to come they will give you more support, more strength than you know. Do not wait until it’s almost too late to build that trust with them. And don’t worry about that fight with your friend Lacie–everything will work out in the end, if you don’t give up. People grow apart if you don’t work to keep together–so please love the right way the first time around.
To the tenth grade me: This year–the end of this year–has changed you. Let yourself be changed.
To the eleventh grade me: Sit down and zip your mouth. Cozybooks, your convictions never give you the right to be disrespectful. The biggest regret of my high school career is mouthing off to a teacher–two teachers–in my Junior year. (Out of respect, I will not name them.) But know this: I had a chance to learn amazing things from two amazing people, and for most of the year I blew it. Nobody will agree with you on everything–but never use that as an excuse to not learn.
To me, yesterday: You’ve arrived, Cozybooks. You can do this. The future will always be uncertain, but if that’s so then how much better is it to live! It’s our world, guys. It’s our future. Let’s make it what we want. M______ class of 2016, I believe in you.
And so this is who I am. I stood in awe of those seniors in ninth grade. Now, I feel honored to stand as one of them. You can do great things, if you’re willing to listen. Listening can be painful and the growth from it even more so, but it has no substitute in life. With that growth, you can change your world–but just in case you fail always remember that always—no matter what–you are enough.
With all my heart,
I put a lot of thought into this, but didn’t get chosen to perform (that’s ok, there were a lot of really good speeches, and the school still got the messages I tried to convey). I’m human, though, and wanted some sort of closure–someone to hear my Last Lecture. thanks for reading!