I recently saw this trending on Facebook. I had to watch.

I’m obsessed with letters to my future self. I’ve written them a few times and I have gotten excited every time I discover said letter. What got me in this video was the letter wasn’t to a future self, but rather to a past self.

I’m not good in front of cameras. I re-discovered that this week when I had to be filmed for a project at work. So instead of making a video, I’m going to do what I do best—write.

Dear Laurel,

Hey. What’s up?

Listen. I know it’s rough. I know you struggle with everything, except for getting good grades. School comes pretty naturally—that’s sheer dumb luck or genetics. Either way, the fact is that if you applied yourself just a little bit more, you’d do great things. Oh, and sheer dumb luck won’t do you any good when you get to college. Take some time to really learn how to study and how to write. Put your brain to good use. It’ll pay off in the end.

I know that you have good friends, but you don’t get along with your family. You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that Mom is going to be your best friend. Seriously, I’m not joking. It won’t happen for awhile, but you’ll realize that she will ALWAYS be there and she won’t judge you. Yeah, she’s not the easiest person to talk to about dating or boys, but she will listen and sometimes, that’s all you need. Be patient with your family and try to show them love a little more. They may surprise you with how much they really do love you (yes, even your twin brother…).

I know that you desperately want to fit in, but consistently feel like you don’t. I know that you have mean things said about you by the football players and cheerleaders and, frankly, a lot of people. Usually it has to do with your weight. It has nothing to do with your personality or the traits that make you different. You are loyal, dependable, smart, and witty. You will do great things with your life as long as you don’t beat yourself up for not looking perfect. You are beautiful. Yes, you won’t get to go out very often and yes, there will be lonely times, but it’s not the end of the world. You’re going to find the best friends ever if you just get up the courage to talk to people.

Try new things. One day you will run a 10K and enjoy those 4 mile runs with your friends. You’ll lose a lot of weight and fit into a pant size that you didn’t think possible. All because you tried. Do something you don’t think you would do well. Try out for the softball team. Try out for the school play. Yes, you may fail, but failure is going to happen a lot. It’s better that you deal with it now rather than later.

Your life is going to be great. The experiences you have in store are going to make you into a person that is loved. LOVED. You may wonder how that’s possible, but it will become abundantly clear in good time. That’s truly the power of this thing called social media (trust me, you’re going to want to remember that). Just remember that as much as you are loved, you need to give love. You need to be kind to others.

Now go—live your life and enjoy it.