Katrina Kibben

CEO, Three Ears Media

I'm writing from the future

Don’t ask questions, just listen. I know that’s not easy when you probably have a million things you want to ask. Shut up and listen anyway.

Eventually, you’ll learn that listening is more important than talking. The most important thing to listen to? The little voice in your gut that screams the answers you’re ignoring. If I remember correctly, there are a few things she’s screaming right now in your life I should clear up.

That wave of butterflies you feel when you’re with a girl? That’s what love feels like. You’re gay, and that shouldn’t scare you so much. I know you don’t see gay on TV or know what it would mean for your life, but know this. It won’t ruin you or make anyone worthy of walking beside you through this world think any less of you.

I know walking away has never been easy, especially because you’ve already moved 10+ times. It’s heartbreaking every time, but the resilience you’re learning will be the fuel behind the biggest wins in your life. Wins you can’t even imagine yet.

See, this part of your story is only a beginning.

I don’t want to ruin anything for you but know this. You’re going to surprise yourself over and over again. For every day you feel like this world will kill you, you’ll have 10 more days where you feel so loved and alive. For every certainty, expect a moment that will make you change your mind. Your all-or-nothing attitude will only get you two things: all of what you don’t want and nothing of what you do.

Success and survival are dials, not races.

You’ll take small steps and big leaps when it’s time, not just because you want them. I know that’s frustrating, but remember this. You already have a 100% survival rate on hard things. Trust yourself. When the world feels hard, retreat inward. Slow down. Rely on your resilience.

Oh, and call your Aunt Connie and Nana Ruby. You’ll need them more than you know to remind you that the feeling of a family doesn’t have to feel so bad. They’ll show you what unconditional love is if you let them in.

Just promise me this no matter what.

Choose you. Trust yourself. This life is not a dry run and you don’t get second chances. Prioritizing everyone else’s happiness over your own won’t make your life better. This is your story. Live it.

Thank you Katrina Kibben for writing A Letter To My 13 Year Old Self. Contact Katrina at Three Ears Media for expert recruitment copy writing

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