Dear Alissa

Dear Alissa,
    I’m writing this today to remind you when you look back how you felt when you were 21. Today you are starting your second year of college at KU and officially start your fashion industry internship. Today you are incredibly nervous as you always are and worried that you are going to have another horrible semester like you did in the spring. You are 21 years old, excellent health and recently ran a 5K. You are pursing things that you never thought were possible for you and you are comfortable with who you are. You don’t know where you want to end up but you know who you want to end up with. You’ve made it this far even when your family doesn’t support you and you had to borrow money. Your boyfriend is supportive, amazing and completely helps you in every way possible. Sometimes you cry too much, including at Mott’s Tots commercials, the Olympics and Big Daddy. You still are struggling with math and Italian but you know that and really want to fix it. These things will not be the death of you and though at times you feel they are going to kill you, they will just make you stronger.

 I’m crying right now. Why? Because I never thought I would be this happy. Ever. I didn’t even think it was possible to be this happy. Yes, you struggled and cried through last semester and probably will once again. Yes, you are still working out some of the anger about how you grew up/were taught. You have acknowledge that you weren’t taught everything you needed to know growing up but you are trying. Sure, you aren’t brilliant but you have accepted it. You do need to learn though that it’s OK to make mistakes and fall. Yes, you are going to get sucky grades and not everything is going to be a perfect A like it was before. It’s OK. You don’t know what the heck job you are going to have, in fact you start to panic when you think about it. It doesn’t seem possible that you are old enough to start considering a career. How did that even happen? You aren’t going to start out at a job that pays great and allows you to afford Michael Kors bags every paycheck. You need to remember this. Success isn’t going to be defined by money, remember this.

You are not allowed to focus on the blog as a way of validating yourself. You are not allowed to become that blogger that is obsessed with followers and your stats. The moment you do turn into that you need to realize that you are not who you truly are. You are blogging for yourself, yes, it’s incredibly fun and you have met great people, but don’t make it about numbers or stats. 

I’m proud of who you are. In fact, the fact that you started the blog and when a friend said something negative you didn’t shut it down makes me realize that you really do love who you are. So keep wearing those weird patterns that aren’t typical in Kansas. Stop caring about looks your “friends” are giving you. They are probably jealous they aren’t being who they are. You are an original so stop trying to be a copy of someone else. You are your own person and no one may understand you but all that matters is that you do. You took some risks this year and some have paid off and some haven’t but that is life. 

You need to remember that you aren’t doing anything in life except for you. Stop trying to please those around you. In the end you still have to deal with your issues at the end of the day and they probably won’t even be there. 
21 year old me