Dear young me,

I woke up this morning thinking about you. Yes, you, reading this. And then I sat in bed and wondered about some other things and it was alright. But I thought about how beautiful you are for taking the time out of your day to help people, to smile at someone, even if you don’t realize you’re doing it. I think that’s the best way to take care of humanity. Smile a little bit by accident.

I remember exactly the journal I had with me and what I was writing. I remember thinking it was both a gift and punishment to be around you all day long. We barely spoke. I know it was all in my head. And I had forgotten all of it. Until last night.

And then I went through my day and I admit I didn’t give you much thought after that. Not because you aren’t important; you are. But because I felt tired and sick of you, myself. That happens. It’s nobody’s fault. Sometimes I want to slide through my own ears, soft tunnels, right into my skull and hug my own brain, teach it how to feel and produce the right chemicals. Therapy by love. I want to do that to you. Is that weird? I hope it’s not too strange. I’d like to keep writing to you.

You’re not a creep and no, you’re not a bad person, either. Quit saying it. Quit thinking it. You’re beautiful and human, full of life and spirit you don’t realize you possess and it makes me sad to watch you struggle. I don’t think you’re weak. That’s not what I’m saying. I mean that if you feel like you need somebody, I could be there. I know a million people would love to do that for you. Because you’re great and you make my heart ache by being alive, stepping outside or staying indoors, clinging to the fringe of existence and then coming back like Sunday cartoons from commercial breaks.

I never meant to bruise your fragile chest, the place caged emotions are kept with store-bought locks when you aren’t ready for a safe. I am sorry for the torture, the late night talks where my thoughts leaked from between my fingers, trickling drops of brain matter; you were shoved into a river without knowing how to tread water.

I have a confession.

It was me.

I pushed you.

It’s like once a month I get these urges to let you know you’re going to be alright. Yeah, the world is pretty scary sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. Imagine me there, beside you. We could hold hands. Or if that makes you uncomfortable, I could be present, and not touch you at all. Not a looming presence like some god, only the quiet, sweet comfort of platonic friends.

You know.

Just because.

Sometimes I lay awake in bed with night bent over my body and wish I could have loved you romantically…but we don’t fit that way. You’re sudoku and I’m a crossword. So we’re both puzzles, yeah. But we can’t be filled out in the same manner.

I wish I could lead you in the right direction.

I hope all is well, and that if it isn’t, you keep moving anyway.

Yours forever,

the me now.