HAWMC, health activist writer's month challenge

Dear 16-year-old me

Dear Kirsten,

High school, right? I know!

You have some amazing friends. In the next few years, you and some of them will move across country. You’ll periodically lose touch and then regain it via social media. But, why lose touch with them at all? Don’t do it!

I know that you’re struggling with your self-esteem right now. Dating John isn’t helping things. All he does is give you candy and soda and stupid fatty things. He seems okay right now, but he’s not. He’s not mentally stable, and it’s going to cause you a lot of pain. I know that you think you love him. But obsession on both your parts isn’t love and it isn’t healthy. If you were smart, you’d cut it off right now and try to make it up to your friends that you’ve lost time with them.

Some day, you’ll meet an awesome amazing boy and he’ll actually be worth your time. Until then, maybe you should just hold off on anything serious.

Also, you’re not fat. You’re chubby. Chubby is cute. Embrace it. And wear clothes that fit you.

The most important thing you need to learn right now is to listen to your body. When it wants you to stop, please listen and don’t push it. Pushing is how you end up with bum knees and super expensive physical therapy. You feel awesome a lot more than not right now, and that’s great. Enjoy it, but carefully.

In a few years, your health is going to start getting pretty bad. You just need to know that you can fight it. There will be some pretty scary moments, but you won’t see the inside of the ER… mostly because you’re stubborn. But you probably shouldn’t be so with your health sometimes.

And stay away from methotrexate. It’s horrible.

Future Kirsten

PS: During your senior year, spend a little more time on your capstone paper! You get a passing grade on it, but I know that you could’ve done better. Work harder. This applies to both your IB paper and your college paper.

PPS: Wisconsin isn’t as horrible as you think. You’ll make your best friend ever there, and that pretty nice boy I reference earlier. Give it try. You can go back to Oregon by 2015.

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