I think the biggest lesson I took from that letter was that I do have one obligation to myself, one that my 17-year-old naïve self somehow knew to articulate and my 27-year-old self suddenly understood: I need to love and respect my process of self-discovery. Because it’s exactly that: a process. I should feel comfortable that my experiences are learning moments teaching me step-by-step how to love and embrace me, cellulite and all. That even if the progress is subtle, it’s there, and I’m doing the best I can. And I think—no, I know—that’s something to be proud of.

I wondered for a moment what my 17-year-old self would think if she could see me now. I assumed she would convince me to get rid of the hideous green couch, put a new one on the credit card and pay it off later. I bet she would like my haircolor and think pilates was awesome. I guessed she might like me, too. A lot, actually.
And if my 17-year-old self saw me now and was asked to write to me again, I imagined her letter might end with “Next time, kick him in the balls.”