If you could, what would you tell your younger self?

Teagan Gaviola, Editor-in-Chief

Whenever I talk, it feels as if all my energy and emotions flow out with the words that come out of my mouth. After talking for so long with such emotionally draining people, I become numb. No, not numb. Numb is too…unfeeling. No — I become an everlasting void of nothingness. I become white noise surrounded by big bangs and crashes. I become blank stares glued to the wall. I become so very unfeeling, yet not. 


I was empty. So, so empty.

I could physically feel the tears rolling down my cheeks, but I couldn’t feel what the tears were for. Pain? Sadness? I didn’t know. I was so emotionally drained that my mind became numb to the sensation of emotion… It was like my mind forgot everything about feelings, so lost in this sea of nothingness that the knowledge of what emotions were was just a distant memory lost in the wind. 

I wrote that when I was 13 years old with the intent of it being buried among the rest of the sorrowful, heart-wrenching journal entries I had written at that age. Young Teagan never anticipated anyone besides myself would see it.

I was 13 and I was unhappy. Writing my heart out, fresh-out-of-middle-school me could only produce a piece of literature that conveyed the same agony I held within me. On top of this, I was a melodramatic and depressed kid that thought the world revolved around me (if it wasn’t already obvious).

Oftentimes, when looking back on one’s younger self, people feel inclined to cringe — recoil in embarrassment of the antics and immaturity of someone who has yet to grow. And, I do admit, my 13-year-old melodrama and over-the-top writing made me cringe severely, dragging out the deep desire within me to delete everything I copy-and-pasted so that no other soul could ever read it. It truly rattled my insides — I really didn’t want anyone else to see this. However, something other than sheer embarrassment overshadowed my entire feelings towards this journal entry and shook me to my core. When I look back on this, sorrow seems to overwhelm every other thought in my mind. Reading this, I found myself only feeling sorrow for my younger self. 

She was so young, yet full of so much misery.

There’s a popular prompt that people often ask with the intent to stir up a person’s nostalgia and tap into their sentimentality: If you could, what would you tell your younger self?

I find this prompt so cliché and common, yet impossible to answer. 

To be frank, I couldn’t possibly articulate all that I want my younger self to know — a person’s relationship with themselves is far too complex and confusing to do so adequately. 

However, thinking back on my younger self and her lack of guidance and absence of any hope that things will get better, I feel as though I should at least try.

And so, this message is for her.

You know the days when you wake up to a quiet house in the early morning as the sun peeks through your bedroom window? And as you rise from your bed, you hear the birds chirping outside and it feels as though the world is at complete peace?

And you know that feeling you get when the girl you like brushes her hand across yours, and you get something grander than butterflies in your stomach, like an entire stampede of elephants is passing through your insides?

You know those happy little moments in life? That seem utterly inconsequential and quite trivial in comparison to the mountains of problems you have?

Live for those moments every day, until you’re able to find something larger in life to live for. 

… I have yet to find that larger thing in my life.

And so, I can’t wait to see what my future self wants to tell me.