The day you thought was so far away has finally arrived! You have graduated from college! You are now officially a teacher! Go you! I know that it was never your plan to become a teacher. You wanted to be a pop star, and even though you have done many things on stage, it turned out you weren’t quite Beyonce. Doesn’t matter. You wanted to be a vet too, until you found out that you would actually have to cut open animals. In your imagination, you would just be cuddling cute pets all day long. Considering the fact that you can’t even watch surgeries on television, it is probably best you let go of that dream. For a short while you even thought about working in the music business, but that also did not work out as planned. But even though teaching was never your dream job, you can do it well enough and you still have enough time to chase your dream of becoming a writer. A win-win situation!
Ingrid, I knew you were afraid. Life was not easy for you and I recall you looking at the stars every night, hoping that life would get better when you were a little older. When you did not have to rely on others to make decisions for you, but when you could make your own choices. I know that you always thought you were weak, but you weren’t. You were strong. You’ve dealt with things 12-year-olds should not have to deal with. And you survived. You’ve made it out alive mainly because you were not afraid to keep dreaming. No matter how many times someone told you you could not do something, you proved them wrong. And yes, the road wasn’t always easy. It was packed with insecurities and anxiety and the feeling that you were never good enough. You were good enough then. You are good enough now.
I sincerely hope that you are proud of the person you’ve become. I hope that you feel like you’ve learned from the choices you’ve made, both the good ones and the bad. You’ve closed another chapter in your life and the future is shining bright ahead of you. And those stars you’ve seen dancing in the sky at night, they do not seem so far away anymore. Please forgive those who have hurt you and love the people that love you. Know that I am proud of you and I am proud of our growth. The only way is up from here.
You are going to change the world one day. Your voice will be heard and your words will matter. Even though you always felt that nobody could hear you, we are going to make them listen. You and I. We will grow stronger.
I love you and I care for you.