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sad girl diaries

Elizabeth Sheline '22

Fall 2017

A letter to myself

I'm making this harder than it should be. I, like Baldwin, have started this many times, struggling with the commitment of words to paper. I started it first on the computer, but it didn't feel right. I felt like it should be handwritten, as if it would make it more authentic or something, or maybe more of a risk, harder to run away. Uninhibited. Raw. No holding back. But now, I return to the computer, for pure sake of turning this in.


You’re too hard on yourself. I know that's the last thing you want to hear, considering that's the only thing you ever hear. I know it’s tough, especially when the people who say it most are the ones who love to throw around the word “disappointment” or things like, “Don’t we all see something in someone at one point who never quite lives up to our expectations?” So yes, I know it hurts, and sometimes you don’t see it, but you're too hard on yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let your mistakes—mistakes that have hurt people—fly on by because "there’s no use in dwelling on the past." No, it means you need to wake up and actually learn from your mistakes, for once. Not to be hard on you...


Rather than make you feel like shit about the things you’ve done, I’m going to try a different approach. I’m going to tell you what to work on in hopes that you will have a happier future. Less weight. Yet, I’m still trying to figure out what that means—happiness.

  1. Put God above all. 

  2. Hug mom more often. Tell her you love her and actually mean it. She needs it more than you know. Don’t let your own selfishness get in the way of showing her love.

  3. Make a black, female friend. You surround yourself with so many people out of convenience. Try surrounding yourself with those you actually want to be around.

  4. To make a new friend, you need to have agency. Get over your fear of speaking on the phone. Small talk. Meeting new people. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Being shy used to be cute. Now, it’s not. 

  5. Fail.

  6. Be embarrassed and overcome it.

  7. Be your own motivator. 

  8. Stop caring about what dad thinks, what he thinks about the music you listen to or the movies you watch, the clothes you wear or the length of your hair, the people you talk to or the men you love. 

  9. Accept that, in all likelihood, dad will not change. Try to understand that there is so much that you are missing. So much you will never know or understand. All you can do is be a positive presence, and that maybe one day, he will wake up and see that the world might be a little brighter than he previously believed.

  10. Be spontaneous.

  11. Stop worrying so much. 

  12. Don’t let a salary control your career. Do something because you love it, not because it pays the bills. 

  13. Don't be complacent. 

  14. Respect the man you love, and recognize that God is working through him.

  15. Don’t be afraid of the world, but don’t be blind to its wrongs. 

Read this now. Read this tomorrow. Read this always. Because I know these are the things you want to do and the person you want to be. I have faith in you and God has faith in you. What more do you need?

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