An Open Letter to the Heroes

by Kelsey Williams

We are young, but we are grown. Our minds should not be filled with regrets like a wastebin bloated with damp, wadded up tear tissues. We should reflect on our young lives with trapeze balance, and treat our past memories civilly, no matter how much they darkened our perceptions of ourselves. I want to be the hero that my younger self needed. I want to be the woman that has the strength to tell my younger self—“You are beautiful, you are beautiful, especially beyond whether or not you are wanted. Please believe me.”

I want to be there for you. I want to listen to your troubles, and hear about the friend who gave you the sweet smile that made your heart pound in deep booms, or the crush touch that sent goose pimples across your neck, or the bully comment that made you silent for days.

This is a letter to the heroes—to us. To our melodically chaotic teenage girl selves. Teenage girls are rock stars, superheroes, fragile and multifaceted humans, afraid artists sculpting the world. In the profundity of emotion, there is no better philosopher than the teenage girl, and yet we seem to have the incapacity to appreciate that beauty. Why must we silence the voices of those who feel emotion most intensely? We should listen. We need to learn. We must listen carefully to the chorus of those voices who are degraded for being women and scoffed at for being young and wildly passionate—we cannot afford to lose this passion because then the world would lose its light. We must learn from our teenage girl selves how to love loving again or else the darkness sets in.

I am proud of my teenage girl self because she made it out alive. I am here now and I can write these words and proclaim proudly, “I am beautiful! And love is the only thing I know to be true!” Here’s to those girls who didn’t make it. Here’s to those girls who are struggling now, finding their path and their voices and their selves, and here’s to our memories—being emotional is valid and true and the essence of what it is to be human. To feel most intensely is to be most in tune to the world, and you are growing along with it, and I cannot think of anything more beautiful than that. To us, to them—be our hero and don’t let the world darken your love. Teach the world a lesson. Be unabashedly who you are and don’t be afraid to feel.

We need you now more than ever.

With love and admiration,

Kelsey

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