Dear Ex,

It’s going to be my first time to talk to you in so many years. I never had the courage to, simply because I’m not sure how you’ll take it. I have so many things I want to say and ask, but let me start with Thank You.

I was 16 and I was naïve.

You broke me with being critical to me day by day and I doubted myself for the longest time. You beat me up. I still have all the emotional scars you left from belittling me, from tearing my self-esteem apart, and for taking me for granted like I don’t deserve anything in this world.

Sometimes I felt like I was two inches tall and worthless. Like the world is going to eat me up and swallow me whole. Sometimes you would push me further down, because I’m the naïve girl you always knew. You would tell me you’re just stuck with me and that I was nothing until I tear up in fear because I knew I was exactly that — nothing.

But when I was a little lucky, you would tell me that I just need to muster the strength to stand tall. That life is worth living. And I just need to make it through the threatening feelings. I long for those days — the ones where I felt a little empowered — those were rare.

So thank you, 16-year old self. Those days were a challenge, but you came through. You made it. Not like made it made it, but you’re here now, a little smarter, a little wiser, a little more mature.

I can now speak up and speak loud regardless of audience or say no unconditionally without the urge to explain why.

I can now dream big and take the steps to achieve it.

Take constructive criticisms and improve myself.

I can now fail many times and pick myself back up.

Face challenges big and small with my head held high.

I can now grant myself the chance to love myself better.

Embrace my flaws and imperfections and not let it hinder me.

I can now be even just a little bit better than how I was before. Even when you made it difficult to do so.

You used to tell me I’ll get there, wherever my there is. Because all our experiences in the past decade made me stronger. All I have to do is believe, work for it, and make it work.

And that’s what I’ll continue doing.

With love 10 years in the future,

Your 26-year old self