To: My 2014 Self

Hi, friends!

Today marks two years since I’ve moved back home to Hawaii. Recently, I’ve journaled about my experiences over the past three years. The year before I decided to move was one of the most emotional rollercoasters I had to endure. I reached new highs and new lows that I never saw coming. I learned a lot that year – about my friends, my family, but most importantly… About myself.

Here’s an open letter to me in 2014.

Hey, you.

You’ve claimed 2014 as your year… You’ll graduate college with honors, get your first job in the field you studied. be able to fully support yourself financially, and you’ll even start to figure out who you really are. Enjoy the good times instead of worrying about what may or may not come.

2015 is where things will really start to change. You’ll second guess everything you’ve worked for and start to wonder if doing what you love for a living is really worth it. You’ll start to think your worth comes from those around you, and when they stop needing you, you’ll believe that you’re absolutely useless. You’ll open your eyes to see that you’re in a dead end relationship and when things end, you’ll still try to fight because you don’t want to be alone. You’ll realize that the only way for you to heal is to move back home where you’ll be surrounded by those who love, care, and genuinely want the best for you. Once you realize that, you’ll pack up your things, see your favorite band in concert, then right after the concert, you’ll say “goodbye” to the friends and the life you’ve built over the past four years, and get on a flight back to Oahu.

When you get back home, things will start to get worse… But you have to remember that sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better. If there’s one thing that would help you in 2015, it would be knowing this one thing:

It gets better.

It really does get better. BUT, you have to go through all the hard times first. From 2015 to 2016, you’ll have more challenges than you do celebrations. You’ll want to give up, but each time you’re at the edge, something pulls you back to safety. That something is God’s love. You’ll find God in the midst of your darkness, and surrender everything to Him. You’ll fail over and over and over again, but you’ll always find your way back to the cross with the help of your amazing mentors. You’ll realize that you can’t do things alone and you’ll finally seek help.

2016 will be your year of reflection, self-realization, a little relapse, and the beginning of your recovery. For so long, you’ll fight all the signs that point to seeking help and go against everyone who tries to support you. After breaking down, you’ll hear God tell you that it’s okay, and that He hasn’t left you. It’s in that moment that you’ll truly start to feel and accept the grace that God has given you.

Going into 2017 will be tough. Your faith will be tested and you’ll think about giving up and going back into your old ways… But you won’t. You’ll stand firmly in your faith and continue to move forward. There will be times where you’ll fail. But it’s okay, you’re only human. Each time you fail, you’ll learn to give yourself grace the way God has given you grace.

2017 is where you make a big breakthrough. You’ll start working at a company you trust, doing the things you love, everyday. You’ll step out in faith and start creating tangible products using your designs and you’ll be overwhelmed with all the love and support you receive. You’ll find mentors who understand you, cheer you on, and won’t give up on you when everyone else has.

It got better.

There will be so many things you try to hold onto, things that you should have let go of a long, long time ago – and this time, you’ll let go. It’ll take a lot out of you, but you’ll move forward on your road to recovery. Even in times where you feel ashamed about what you’ve had to do to stay on your road to recovery, you need to keep going.

I hope and pray that you continue to move forward on that road and look back for only one reason – to measure how far you’ve come.

Never forget what your mentor has told you:
“Tell your story for His glory.”

(Your 2017 Self)

If any of you are struggling, please do not be afraid to seek help.

You are not alone in your pain. There are people who love and care about you and want to see you succeed.

Visit TWLOHA’s help page here to find local resources.

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