Dear 17 year old Mika,
Darling you think you know it all but you have so much to learn. The bad experiences you have faced thus far are the beginning of a tidal wave that no one can control. Don't worry, there are plenty of good times to be had.
There are so many things I would have told you...so many times I would have kicked your ass for your words and actions.
Learn to let go.
Learn to dance-you loved ballet as a child but you're better at watching it in the crowd. Learn to tango or waltz. You might think it's dorky now but some day you'll wish you had.
Stick with your writing. A 4 year hiatus is not a wise choice after all.
Stop over-analyzing every aspect of your life, it will only cause you grief later.
Learn to love yourself. I know you at 17 are your worst enemy. People around you can and will pollute your mind to try to mold you into something you simply cannot be. Since the day you were born they have been trying this...don't let them win. Stand up and fight for who you are.
Think before you react. Your temper and hate for the world will only lead you down a path that takes nearly a decade to recover from.
Tell those closest to you how much you care - some of them will pass away, some will move away and some you push away. A handful will stick around but one you will hurt so much they are never the same again.
Take time to enjoy the moment. Turns out everyone is right, the little things matter the most.
Visit your siblings more...before it's too late.
Winter Snowball is the night your life changes forever. Remember the Christmas tree lights and being safe in his arms.
Save money. This is still a hard principle a decade later.
Ask Mom to teach you to sew. She will be thrilled and you will have a head start on mending clothes!
Oh and while you're at it, have her teach you to make homemade biscuits and gravy (your husband loves them and it's the one thing you can't make)
Buy the darkroom set!
I know we're all about film, but it's ok to accept digital as another outlet of photography. Granted in 2001 your basic digital camera is crap...give it a few years. You will still appreciate film!
Take better care of your music collection.
Take better care of you - I'm still working towards this.
Stop pouting. Stop crying. Start living.
I want to tell you to be happy, but it's just not that simple. Find the right balance and rise above your depression. Rise above your negative thoughts. Talk. Get help. Life will not go as planned, but through the detour you will find peace and surround yourself with some amazing friends.
I guess what I'm trying to say baby girl is don't hide away. Be you. Embrace every aspect of your life and you will live to tell the tale.
28 year old Mika.
Senior Prom 2002
Future husband <3