Letter To My Younger Self:
Style counts. Your personal panache (or lack thereof) says a lot about you. My motto has always been: "If you can't be good, at least be stylish." I don't mean it in the fashion sense. I mean that if you're going to make mistakes, make them big, and make them your own. Be 100% invested in whatever you do, even your missteps. If you can't give 100% then you've "settled," and you're living outside of your passion. If you compromise, you'll forever wonder what could have been, and is there anything more torturous than knowing your dream was within your grasp but you didn't reach for it?
When you live true to yourself, people may not understand; they may not agree. You've got to get past the need for approval because if you don't, you're never going to belong to you. There are energy vampires just itching to drain every last drop of authenticity and originality out of you. You were not born to preserve someone else's dream; you were born to be an original. Yet we humans keep competing and comparing, as if we were cookie-cutter people. Being the same only breeds boredom and low self-esteem. So how come it's going to take you a whole lifetime to learn to love yourself?
The irony of low self-esteem is that you were the only one who didn't see how super fantastic you were. You've had personal panache from the start. You couldn't see it because your eyes look outwards. You couldn't see yourself, you could only see others, and then others became your mirrors. Because they could only see the outside of you and not your eager heart, they discouraged you from making a bold statement. They didn't realize how much you'd been given, and how much you wanted to share. But that was way back; and here you are, miles and miles from where you started, and your heart never outgrew the miracle of you. Still, you never imagined it would take so much time to grow into you. All the while you've been looking for answers outside of yourself-a detour from the main event: your precious uniqueness. The answer's been walking around in your skin the whole mixed up, messed up time. You were supposed to be listening to you all along.
My advice to you, younger self, is to never "dummy down" your bright sheen for someone who doesn't like sparkly things. Never apologize for your inherent quirks, oddities and original ideas, because it's what makes you... you. The world obviously needs you just as you are, or you wouldn't be here. I say: Be the freak you are. Be extravagant, be outrageous, be too much if you must, flaunting your panache. Be the sun-kissed, fierce daredevil that was born to shake things up. When the energy vampires try to steal your fireworks, just pop one open and let the sparks fly! Because nobody can dull your sheen without your permission.
Learning your worth may take a lifetime, but it's worth the search. You'll forget who you are along the way. You'll leave behind little pieces of your heart every time it breaks, given to other broken-hearted superstars. Gathering those pieces back again won't be possible. There's no glue strong enough to hold it all together. So take what's left and re-invent yourself. Give the world a second version of you, but make it the right one. The next one will either be hard, unyielding and sharp to the touch, or you'll be unapologetically unforgettable.
Whatever you do, don't let your greatness get you down. Wear your crown for the world to admire. If others can't see it, pity them. Perhaps they haven't discovered how to live true to themselves. Remember, nobody said it was going to be easy, seeing as how you're royalty and all. But nobody can do it like you can, in the exact way you can. I hope you'll fall in love with the girl-woman in the mirror, because you're the one you've been waiting for. Until then, take my advice: at least be stylish.