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Friday, October 17, 2014

To the girl who asked how to make friends...

You probably won't read this tonight. You're in 9th grade and you said you don't have a computer at home. We met at the roller rink while my friends did the Hokey Pokey and I tried to take pictures. You asked how to make friends.

I wish I had a better answer.

I wanted to hug you, but I'm not sure if that would have been appropriate. I told you the teen years were tough. They were for me. I had a freshman class of 900. Fourteen years after graduation, I don't know where the other 899 are. I knew their names and stories, but I don't think anyone ever bothered to know me. I was just that quiet girl in ripped jeans, a red flannel, and a sci-fi book. No make up. No cool shoes. No clique to hang out with at lunch.

I told you to sign up for clubs in school. Try theater, band, or newspaper.

I told you to talk to people, ask them about themselves.

What I didn't tell you, is to love yourself first. Be your own best friend. Never doubt how special you are.

People come and go in your life. Grade school friends drift apart. College crushes become nothing more than memories. Even family can let you down at times. The only person who will always be there for you, is you.

I wish I'd told you that, or how cute your bright pink jacket was, or how surprised I was you were willing to come up to me and trust me to help you. I wish I could have been your fairy godmother, waved a wand, and given you the friends you crave. I wish I'd had that golden secret to being popular.

I hope you read this one day and it makes you smile.

I hope you find the friends you deserve.

I know your courage will take you far.

Wherever you are in life, know this, you matter. You follow your dreams, chase every rainbow you see, and the friends will show up like flowers in the springtime. They might not all last forever, but sometimes you only need them for a season, and you love them while they're there.

Good luck, 9th grader in the pink hoodie. Do great things. I'll be waiting to see you change the world.
- Liana

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