Fifteen (or, Your Guardian Angel)

Right now I’m sick in more ways than one, and many important chapters of my life have ended…I don’t do well with change at the best of times, let alone now.

I don’t have anyone real to talk to, at least not today…they’re too busy or they don’t care, I don’t know. I’ll reserve judgement until I’m better. I’ll know for sure then.

Times like this sometimes I feel like talking to the Internet – maybe no one is listening, but hitting send makes me feel like someone MIGHT be.

I wish I could say that these moments are rare occurrences but they’re not…and I am always reminded of when I was fifteen and I had someone to “save” me in my weakest moments. My problems back then were far fewer in number and less serious. If you ask me now they weren’t really problems at all, but rather things to be proud of.

But I didn’t think that at the time. I felt like I wasn’t as pretty as all the other girls, like I would never be loved by anyone. Except for my best friend. I also thought that my life was over at fifteen. I said, and I quote, “It’s grade 10, if I don’t move on with my life now, when will I?!” I just want to shake her by the shoulders and be like, “Oh, honey. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Things are going to get much harder from this day forward, but it’s going to bring you beautiful moments. Someday you won’t just be hearing these things and not understanding – you will look into someone’s eyes and KNOW they love you.”

I had someone then who would tell me I was pretty and smart and funny and talented, and if only I would just have a little more faith in myself, other people would see it too. I had someone who would promise that they’d never leave me; they’d always be there because they needed me just as much as I needed them.

I’ve never really heard anything like that since. Not to that degree or so sincerely. I don’t have someone like that any more. And now, I want nothing more than just to have someone tell me those things and really mean them, so I can feel loved and important to someone. But that doesn’t happen so I tell them to myself. I may not be fifteen any more but I’m still that girl. And if she was pretty and smart and funny and talented then that means I am too.

I’m more sad than I can ever possibly convey about the loss of that relationship…I’ve never seen anything more pure and innocent, at least for that relatively small window of time. But all I can say is thank you, for that moment which keeps me going even now, and reminds me that no matter what my circumstances are, somebody loved me once, when I don’t remember what that feels like. It’s become my mental grounding (a ‘trick’ to managing anxiety – I always panic when I start to spiral). I don’t think either of us ever thought that I’d remember it so clearly some 7 years later.

The thing is, based on that moment I know exactly what I need to hear – it’s what I’ve always needed to hear, but just didn’t know it until then. I may be alone, but if this is the way it’s going to be, I want to make things easier for someone else.

Just in case someone ever does come across this and you’re having a bad day, this is what I was told (well, paraphrased, my memory isn’t that great), and this is what I tell myself. If you need to hear something like this from someone – I’m saying it to you, and perhaps I don’t know you, but whether I do or not, I mean every word:

It’s okay. You’re going to be okay, because you are beautiful, and smart, and funny, and talented, and you are stronger than you think and capable of more than you know. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you’re a guy, you are also all of those things, but if you’d prefer I can say you’re handsome instead of beautiful. You are everything  – anything that you want to be, you are, and if you’re not there yet, you can get there. You probably have great ideas, even if they only exist as tiny sparks of hope right now. I promise you that things are not as bad as you think right now. Maybe they’re still bad, I don’t know…but it’s not as bad as you think. Cling to those good things and rays of hope. It doesn’t make you weak or foolish or naive to believe that things will change. Remember, I think that you’re perfect, so don’t worry about anything else.
[ok, some of that is my own addition.]

That’s all. I promise I’ll be back soon with something happier.

I will never let you fall
I’ll stand up with you forever
I’ll be there for you through it all,
Even if saving you sends me to heaven
It’s okay.
It’s okay.
It’s okay.

-Your Guardian Angel/The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


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