dear Lydia,

I know you think this is love, but it’s not going to turn out the way your romantic hopelessness paints it to be. It’s exciting and exhilarating to start out, making it easy to neglect everyone and everything else in your life. It’s too easy.

Life will teach you not to put all your eggs in one basket. Your dad is right, regardless of the metaphor (stocks or eggs alike), you need to diversify. You can’t put the entirety of your energy and future into this one person. He will let you down.

Even if this guy is the best possible person for you, he will never be enough. No one can be enough if you expect everything from them. They will let you down, and you too will let yourself down in the process.

Your friends are much more important than this fleeting romance. These are the times when lifelong friendships can be formed, hopefully long after high school ends. If you keep on like this, you’ll lose them. They won’t be able to stick it out through your dramatics and you’ll push away those who loved you before this guy was even in the picture.

It’s so hard to love yourself, but you need to find a way to be alone and be happy in your own company before sharing it with someone else. I’m not saying you have to completely love everything about yourself, but you can’t love another person without an individual grounding. This requires a maturity and experience that you will have to gain and learn the hard way.

I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but it doesn’t work out. It lasts a year. You end up completely torn apart and heartbroken with cuts on your wrists and thighs and friendless. He leaves you, you hate yourself. You lament that you didn’t see this coming, you regret throwing those friendships aside.

After many years, you will recover. You will find out you have bipolar disorder and you will learn how to live with it. Your cuts will become healed scars and you will reach those goals that slipped away from you. However, the friendships you lost will never be regained; you will never stop missing what could have been.

The romanticization of a person and a relationship is more dangerous than I could ever express through words. I wish I could save you from this, but I can’t. I know you’ll end up better for it though.

Sincerely,

an eight years wiser Lydia

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