Women and young girls are underestimated. This is something I wrote on the back of a calculus packet in 12th grade. Chase your dreams girl… and most importantly, listen to your soul.
“I know what you are. Growing up you could feel the gnawing uneasiness that you are different. Those seemingly constant reminders that your brain doesn’t work in the same spiritless, tedious way as your friends’. In class your brain is a whirlwind of rugged mountains and To-Do lists and Montana sunsets and the incessant longing to be on the other side of the glass that you stare out of every damn day. You tried to bury your passion, drown the voices inside of you that insisted you needed more than anyone realized. You fought the itch in your veins that reminded you there was so much more than this. And while others sat, ate their lunches and gossiped, your mind was constantly churning, wondering where you were going to end up and where you wanted to go next.
I know that there were days when you physically couldn’t get out of bed because of the paralyzing disappointment that you will be stuck there, in a chair, for the next 7 hours. That you will not be diving into a swimming hole and you will not be walking in the shade of the forest. You will sit there, for hours, with people who don’t have an inkling of what goes on inside of you, to learn things that you will most likely never use.
I know that it has been hard for you. Hard because half of your heart is anchored here in this town and the other half is being pulled by the stars to places far, far away. Hard because you want the security of a job for your future but everything in you is screaming for freedom. Hard because you are expected to settle down, to become an adult, to have a life plan at the age of nineteen. Hard because you have stayed here when all you wanted to do was leave.
I know you are torn between becoming free and settling down, what is expected of you and what you expect of yourself. I know how hard you are on yourself. But it keeps you sane, keeps you on track. Being hard on yourself means that someday, years from now, when all you have to answer to is you- you won’t be disappointed. You won’t regret the chances you took.
I know you crave for people to understand that sometimes you need to go alone. To prove to yourself that you can do it. To find something that you’ve been looking for since you were a child. You have to realize most of them have never felt the twinge in their heart when they think of things they have yet to do. You ache for someone to say they understand, to tell you to go, that they’ll be here when you’re ready to return.
I know that you would give anything to not be constantly split in half at your seams. For your heart and your head to acquiesce on something, or preferably, everything. I know that you are exasperated with yourself, tired of the constant stream of thoughts that burn like lava, seeping through your brain, scorching every rational thought that was left.
I know that someday you will find peace. You will learn to accept the constant tug-of-war in your mind. Teach yourself methods to get your restless brain through a semester of college without quitting and escaping to California. You will learn to temporarily get by on weekend trips away from reality. Realize there are other people like you, you might be rare but you are far from alone.
I know that you are irrepressible, that you cannot dampen your fire. And on days that you feel flawed and peculiar, when you feel lost, I want you to know that someone out there feels this same, indescribable feeling… completely, unapologetically wild.”
I can’t explain how good it feels knowing that version of Cassie would be so ecstatic that I listened. And if I could I’d say “Hey 18 year old Cassie, I’m getting out of here and hiking the AT. So get your ass up and get to school, you’ve already skipped like 22 days!”
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