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A Letter To My Thirteen Year Old Self

sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been too busy to break my own heart.
your writing, it breaks my heart.
I know that technically it’s My writing but I don’t recognize the words anymore.
I understand that when someone talks to you the world catches on fire,
and that you have so much to say but your voice stays in your throat,
because although I stand on steady feet I sometimes feel that too.

but every time I read your words it feels like a puzzle I can’t quite solve.
I remember every line but not the heart that wrote them.
I see that you’ve been shrinking into yourself and slamming doors,
in your own words you are “running in a dark maze” with “no way out.”
you’ve been staying up late writing love letters to your sadness,
taking cover in the forceful quiet of midnight.
sometimes this feeling seems ingrained in your bones and you think,
“there is no more time for the girl i am.”

so this is a letter to the “crushed with sadness me”,
because I need you to know that I don’t understand.
the Me that loves sunsets and takes way too many pictures of my food,
who is in bed before eleven and drinks extra sweet iced tea
reads the words you wrote while nestled into darkness
and it’s like there’s a bruise in My heart,
because I can’t understand that you would ever want to burn your body to the ground.

you need to know that things are different now.
once i carried sadness like a badge of honor,
but after several disagreements We have decided to part ways.

I want you to know that poetry is meant to be reliable.
instead of spending nights writing about an overwhelming hopelessness,
I now write about things like boys and autumn nights and laughter,
and I carry My words with me instead of shoving them into the corners of bad days.

I need you to know that you were not made for this,
you were made to run out of the fires that call your name.
one day you will stand on steady feet,
and instead of building your life in the crevices of other people’s dreams,
you will build it underneath My kitchen light and in the sound of My mother’s laugh.
you will learn that happiness belongs tucked into the pockets of My favorite overalls,
and you will find you can no longer grasp the words you wrote when you were thirteen.

I need you to know that it all changes.

sincerely,
The Girl you Will Be.
By Ava Berarducci

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