Dear 16 year Old Ella,
Wow you have no idea what kind of adventure you have ahead of you. I really wish I could tell you everything, but I also know that you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. You need to learn everything in due time.
I know right now you think you’re with the guy you’re going to marry one day. DUMP HIM. Seriously. You know deep-down that things aren’t 100% right – but you’re definitely going to figure that out in a few months. All I’m going to say is trust your gut instinct. It may seem like it couldn’t possibly be true – it is. Although you are learning a lot from him, he is also going to hurt you worse then you have ever been hurt before. These wounds will take a long time to heal – but in the end you will actually emerge happier and stronger and in some ways glad that it happened to you. You learned from it and became the person you are today because of it.
Keep your eyes open, there will shortly be someone else on the horizon – you actually know him already, but you won’t really give him the time-of-day for another year or so. I know that sounds bad, but everything has to happen in its own time. For many years he will make you feel happier and more loved then you ever thought possible. Unfortunately he will also hurt you very badly, but once again you will surface with a new inner strength and a new perspective on the world.
Everything else you will just have to wait and see what happens. I can guarantee you it will be a journey. You have had many ups and many more downs – to this date you are still waiting for “Prince Charming” to arrive, but you have also learned how to be happy on your own and stand on your own two feet.
You love your girlfriends more than anything, and I’m very happy to tell you that you are still very close to most of them! You will also meet 2 amazing new girls in the next few years. You will all have your arguments and slight fallings-out, but in general you are all still the same group you remember – with better hair, better clothes and drivers licenses! Learn to lean on these girls, I know it’s always been hard for you to talk about your feelings – but they care about you and will help you when times get rough.
You have no idea what you want to do with your life – and trust me that realization is many years coming. You will go down many different paths until you finally accept what your passion is. Don’t even bother with math and science – they really aren’t your strong suit. Instead, stick to history – there’s a reason you’re so drawn to it.
Your family life will not change very much. Sadly you will lose a few family members, but you will also gain a wonderful second generation of cousins. You still have a slightly complicated relationship with your father, but it seems to work for the 2 of you. Cut him some slack, he really loves you and he does the best he can. He will take you to many exotic destinations in the coming years, enjoy the gift of travel. These places will also shape the person you are. You and your mom are still as close as can be. Right now you’re still living at home, but that may change in the coming year. Cherish the simple times like watching TV together or going shopping for groceries.
Wow Ella, as you can tell you still like to write and you still ramble a lot. You’ve never been in a hurry to grow up – keep it that way! Treasure every day of high school, you will miss it when it’s all over. Don’t be scared of the next step, there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.
Dearest Ella, take every day by the reins and push forward. There is nothing (no matter how painful) that you cannot overcome. Never have regrets – it is precisely these decisions that make you the person you are today.
25 Year Old Ella
24 Year Old Me, Dublin, Ireland