2016-03-09 06:06:53 (UTC)

Dear Elly

It's been a while since I've been able to write again.
So many things have happened since the last time I wrote. It was April 21st, 2014. I'm 19 now. I fell in and out of love. I'm about to be a sophomore in college. I made a lot of new friends. I lost some, too. Are you still plagued by your thoughts? That you were afraid of being lonely?
Your worst fear has come true: you are lonely.
But the loneliness isn't as awful. In the past, you worried that no one you knew would ever be able to deeply connect to you the way you'd like to. You were correct. In the future, it doesn't stop you from making substantial friendships. It's a pain you learn to live with. You were, and maybe still are, in love with the person you first laid eyes on in high school. You haven't seen them in a while though, so you're no longer sure it's still how you feel.
And be proud of yourself; you do most of the things you set out to do and are still working toward. You still float around like in high school, but you met an incredible Muslim community in the library one day and they've had your back since then. The group of people you brought together with one volleyball has collapsed into smaller circles but they still interact. I know you don't know what this means yet, but you will soon. You are developing long-lasting friendships with the people you care about the most. You're an intern at Chicago Votes, and you're still working with Logan Square Neighborhood Association.
You should be so proud of yourself. But I don't feel very proud. In fact, I feel nothing. But you should be, because you will accomplish this. I have accomplished this already, so I am just waiting for you to relive the experiences. You're turning into a leader, and that's what you've always wanted, isn't it?
E, I'm very glad that I love the people whom I love now. When you find them, you will love them, but not more than I do. You will be unable to feel the love they shower onto you, but you have to understand that it doesn't mean it's not there. Don't push them away. When the going gets tough, you must stay. No matter what. There's going to be a period where you lose your feelings for everything, E. It's similar to that of depression but it's not a sadness. It's like a chronic fatigue. You'll feel like nothing meaningful is being accomplished. Everything feels the same, as if you're wasting your life. It gets frustrating. You'll want to skip whole days of school, but your body turns on autopilot and leads the way. I feel this way as of now, but your feelings are intact. You are fresh. I am dull. Interacting with new people does not get any easier. It still requires energy.
E, I won't keep you. Tomorrow is your final day to perform your dances. Isn't that amazing? You're almost done with senior year of high school. You're so excited for college, but I am not. You are ready to go out into the world and make a change, but I'm well dried up of energy. Your family is there...cherish them. Love them. Please. From this point forward, who you choose to talk to may very well affect how happy I am now. Don't worry about orientation, you won't miss it. You go to Florida for a while and many things change, which result in you losing your feelings, but hold steadfast to what you believe in. You'll lose your identity, but you'll get to rediscover it again. I'm in the process.
Good luck, E. Stay vigilant and persevere.