Growing up isn’t about how fast your body grows or how old you are. It’s all about how you think and what you do.

When you grow up, you will know when to go home, and you’ll know when to let go. Even when your heart tells you otherwise, when every cell in your body insists on staying, on holding on, you’ll leave and you will never look back. You will accept that you aren’t for everyone and you will stop forcing yourself to be who you’re not. You will stop trying so hard to seek approval from people who have little to do with you and your values.

Instead you’ll start embracing who you are and feeling okay with being yourself, with not living life the way others do or want you to do. You will choose you over being liked or fitting in. You will stand up for your unique traits, prioritise your needs and acknowledge your every feeling. You will give a big “fuck you” to social pressure. You’ll know yourself well enough to claim your own worth and tell your story your way. That’s right. Growing up will shine through your everyday actions, through decisions at 10 pm when you ask yourself what’s really good for you in the long run and do just that.

When you grow up, you will understand deeply that you don’t have to fit in with everyone and luckily this is a world that’s big enough for anyone to find their own space and their own people. You will stop having interest in people who aren’t interested in you and be able to say, hey you know what — it’s cool you aren’t interested in me. In the case you can’t deny your attraction to a charming someone because well, the heart wants what it wants no matter how irrational or stupid, you will make sure you don’t get carried away and act on that attraction once there’s a sign that person doesn’t see you and choose to be with you.

You’ll only want someone who you can be sure that sees you and chooses to be with you. You will patiently wait for that person who looks into your eyes making you feel important and actually listens to what you have to say. They will share with you about themselves and ask you questions after questions, picking up on the details you only told them in passing moments. They will appreciate you for being you whilst bringing out the best of you. They will know you care from the little things few ever notice. They will like that you care. They will ask you to care more and more… about them, about life, about being alive, and less about anything that isn’t worthy. Of course, you’ll be able to work the same magic on them especially just by being authentically you.

For sure, it won’t be a smooth journey though. You will definitely get hurt at first. Bad. You will repeatedly take the wrong turns and give your heart to the wrong people. You will doubt yourself and you will believe there’s something wrong with you after enough demeaning words and shifted gazes. Tears will fall down your cheeks and rest at the tips of your tongue bitterly. On dark days suicide might even creep into your mind and you will find yourself looking into the mirror desperately questioning why what you see is never enough, never wholly loved, never worth sticking around with. You’ll feel as though you’re left with nothing but an open wound that would drip blood at even the slightest poke.

Luckily when you grow up — when your mind matures and your heart opens, when self-love and self-understanding are welcomed in, you will have much more confidence in yourself and much less tolerance for bullshit. You will have the strength to endure any pain and the courage to keep moving on to all what you deserve.

You will not be afraid to speak up your mind, defend your opinions and let go of things you’ve only ever had a tasteful illusion of having but don’t actually have in the first place. You will be completely honest with yourself and find a way of life that will allow that honesty to breathe and thrive. You will go for the good options instead of the easy ones. You will be clear about what’s important and know what exactly to do at 10 pm without having to ask yourself any question. And damn straight you will not settle for half-arsed attention and affection. In fact you won’t even spare a single thought for any “almost”, “sort of”, “kinda”. You’ll give your all and you’ll loudly ask for the same back.

You will grow up and be stronger and braver. Even when the world tries its best to knock you down, you will count the bruises and stand back up. You will be you —  fearlessly and unapologetically.