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Sarah Sol reflects on her growth, appreciating the dreamer she used to be and all the ways she has been able to make her teenage-self proud.  

Once upon a time I was a little girl with a dream. Now I am grown and I am living that dream. 

I have always been one who keeps a diary, full of emotions, thoughts, visions and plans. My mother is responsible for my diary collection of years and years of forbidden stories, as she always encouraged (practically forced) me to write in my diary each night before bed. 

However, when cleaning out my room I stumbled upon an oversized box filled with versions of my past selves. I laughed at the things I wrote in year seven. Of how I was furious at my mother for not letting me dress as a ninja turtle for a mufti-day because she was afraid I would get bullied. I remember being so angry at her and so upset I wasn't allowed to dress the way I wanted to, but if you had seen my outfit, complete with the orange mask and nunch

ucks you would also agree and probably thank my mother. I laughed at the tears coating that page and mother laughed at the pain I used to be (still am). 

My diary’s are full of spelling mistakes, different coloured gel pens, clothing recipes and drawings of discombobulated figures. But somewhere in my 2019 diary I found a letter titled “Dear Future Me” and I have never been so warmed by past me.

The letter stipulated where I was then. I was 16, I wanted to be single forever and shave a slit into my eyebrow, which I did, by the way. I was study-focused because I wanted to get into university. I had no idea what I wanted to study but I had a passion for writing. I wrote all my dreams and aspirations of growing my hair long, being proud of my loud laugh, reading widely, and wearing whatever I wanted to wear. I wanted a garden filled with flowers and plants, I wanted my bedroom, an array of blossoms.

Four years later I am everything my past self dreamed of. At university studying more than my 16-year-old heart would have thought I was capable of. 

When I was 16 my favorite flower was a dead one. Depressing I know, maybe I thought I was unique or something but I just sounded depressed. I guess I thought there was beauty in dead things too. I liked forgotten spiderwebs and interesting bugs, I doodled in black gel pen and did my eyeliner ultimately too dark. Of course there is nothing wrong with this style and I am always grateful for who I once was because she shaped me into who I am now. If you asked me now what my favorite flower is I’d list about 20 starting with tulips, peonies and daffodils just to name a few. I've ditched my super tall high heels and am no longer ashamed of my height. Instead I wear ballerina flats and embrace my five-foot figure. I wear long dresses in every shade of the rainbow and spend my free time in gardens. I have come quite far from the child who cried when my mother got me a Lego farm when I asked for a real one. 

In the letter I mentioned I wanted myself to be loved and to love in return. Not necessarily in a relationship but in things, with life, with family and with friends and myself. I'm happy to say that I am in love with life. With the flowers that grow and die each year, with the sun that shines, with my family and friends, with the books I read, and the meals I make. And with the simple things too, I love the train to uni that goes over the harbor, I love the clothes I wear each day, I love the smell of spring, stained with freshly cut grass and I love the soft country music I once hated.

Past me would have been proud of the women I am today. While vastly different, her and I, I am achieving the dreams and the goals she set for me with flowers in my hair.  

All I wanted for myself was to be happy with myself and my life, to love and be loved. So, dear reader, I want you to be loved and to give love and I wish you happiness for all the years to come. 



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