Meeting My 14 Year Old Self

By Lilibeth Tapia


PROMPT — Who am I today?

Today, I'm taking it easy. Breathing. Pacing myself. Trying to focus on one thing at a time. My mind is always thinking of things to do and if I don't write it down, it won't get done. If I don't write it down, my tasks don’t exist. All my thoughts are always jumbled up in my head. I've always loved to write — writing my to do's, my schedule, my feelings, even journaling.


I kept journals in middle school and I cringe at the thought of reading them. I cringe at the thought of reading the ones from high school. I know I shouldn't feel this way about my journals but I don't know if I'm ready to make amends with my old self. To accept and recognize the way I thought. I never, or I felt that I never, had anyone to turn to when I was young. I'm the oldest siblings. I'm eight years older than my sister and fourteen years older than my brother. I didn't have that one best friend like you see on TV and everywhere else. My only outlet, my truest friend and only confidante was my journal. A place where I could express my thoughts and feelings without being judged. A place where I could "talk" and the other person wouldn't make the situation about themselves, downplay my feelings, or change the subject.


I've always found comfort in writing. I've tried to journal in recent years and those entries are okay to reread. I like seeing where I was mentally, who was important in my life, and seeing what I chose to write about. My relationships with people are always changing. I guess because I'm always changing. Or my thoughts are? Is that growth? I don't know, maybe I should go back to talking to someone professionally.


Anyways, I'm not ready to meet my 14-year-old self. But if I could go back in time to meet her, to see her, I would first tell her that she looks fine. I would tell her that she's going to be okay. That there are going to be people in her life that will hurt her but that she's going to make it. I will tell her to always keep in mind her kids because her kids are amazing. I would tell her to focus on the good people in her life. To be kind to others. To be empathetic. And to most importantly, be kind to herself. Let her know that she's going to meet some amazing people in college and to hold on to them. I would tell her she will always be enough. I would give me a big hug and tell me that I'm not alone. To keep writing and to keep living. There isn't anything I would tell her not to do because all my experiences and mistakes have made me who I am today. I would want her to know everything always works out, sometimes in unexpected ways.


I would tell her I love her.


Lilibeth Tapia currently lives and works in Boston, MA. She is a millennial trying to avoid Tik Tok and social media fads. In her free time, she likes to browse stationery supplies at retail stores, dabbles in yoga, and likes to indulge in rom coms.

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