To myself at 17...
First I'd start by saying..."The struggles you are about to face are all going to be worth it in the end. Challenges are about to come your way that are going to seem impossible to face, but you have the strength to get through them. Sometimes giving up would be easier than giving it the best fight you've got...but you will succeed so push as hard as you can to get through them.
Right now your worries about the right clothes, your body image, the cute boy you can't get over will be long gone when you're married (for the 2nd time) and raising 5children. Your worries change to money, health, your marriage, and keeping it all together. But you will find strength!"
When I think back to when I was a teenager and sometimes felt like my life was so hard, or was coming to an end over a silly situation I can't get over the fact that at those times I thought I'd never make it through. Little did I know I would be having a baby at 18, left to raise her on my own, putting myself through college, and finding love again all before I was 21 years old. I never imagined I'd go on to marry and have 4 more children. This job is much harder than anything I've been through yet, but looking at the past and where I've been and what I've been through I know that this time too will be something I look back on and say "Wow I did it. I made it through."
I'd also tell myself to live a little more. Experience more, date more, enjoy being single for a little while longer. Not that I would trade this life for another but it's good advice I give my babies...Live Life you only get one! Stop worrying about the end "prize" in a situation...the fun of it is the whole process.
Having a teenager now who is facing many of the same struggles that I thought I'd never live through I find it hard not to say "Suck it up. He's not worth it. When you grow up you won't even know him". But to her it's so real right now and her world really feels like it's going to end. Listening to her I remember those same feelings of hopelessness and thinking "he" was the one...whichever "he" it was at the time. Many more "he's" will come and go, but this too shall pass.
If only I could have written a letter to myself and received it when I was young too...maybe things wouldn't have been so emotional. What would you tell yourself?