Writer and comedian Allison Raskin is a contributor to Rebel Girls’ new book Dear Rebel, in which 145 trailblazing women share their advice for the girls of today. For more incredible stories, letters, and advice, preorder Dear Rebel now.
My Best Advice For My Younger Self
By Allison Raskin
Dear Younger Me,
I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend to you when you needed me most. I’m sorry I was critical and mean and said all sorts of nasty things to tear us down. I’m sorry I convinced you that we weren’t good enough and that no one would love us.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“What I didn’t realize was that what we needed most was to love ourself.”
I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I thought all my bad thoughts about us were true instead of just . . . thoughts. I thought we had to look a certain way to be happy. I thought we had to find someone else to love us in order to be worth anything. I thought we were “doing life wrong.” What I didn’t realize was that what we needed most was to love ourself—not beat ourself up.
You probably don’t believe me, but as you get older, those mean thoughts begin to fade. We start to fight back and stand up for ourself. We learn how to appreciate the things that make us special and work on the parts that have been making life harder. We fall in love (a bunch of times), and we figure out how to love back in a way that makes us feel safe and content. We do so many cool things and make ourself so proud. We figure out what makes us happy and what doesn’t. We do our best to fill our life with the good stuff, while remaining strong enough to deal with the bad.
Our brain isn’t so scary anymore. I promise.
I wish I could go back and protect you from all the wrong things I made us believe. But we can’t go back. We can only go forward. Luckily, that is something we get really good at doing. We know how to keep going. And I love that about us.
“The day you learn how to be kind instead of critical will change everything.”
I have learned so much since I was you, but the biggest thing has been the importance of kindness: to others and to ourself. The day you learn how to be kind instead of critical will change everything.
You will change.
You will become me.
Love always, Allison
Allison Raskin is an American writer, YouTuber, podcaster, and comedian. She is the New York Times best-selling co-author of I Hate Everyone But You.
Check out her story and more in Dear Rebel, available for preorder now.