Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

Dear 13-year-old self,

You are beautiful even with a mouth full of silver. Don’t hide your smile in freshman gym class. Smile big and hard with those big shiny braces, because one day that smile will light up the world for two of the most incredible little people that you will ever know.

Letter to my 13 year-old self

Laugh your goofy Ricky Riccardo laugh because one day the man of your dreams will find it as endearing as you find it disgusting.Write in your journal, put pen to paper and remember these moments because they are what will make you who you will become. Be fearless! Try everything, go for your dreams, and exhaust your potential.

Walk tall my love, 5’7″ may feel enormous at your age when you are towering over all the boys but in a couple of years they will all be taller than you. Your value in life is not measured by the size of your jeans and comparing yourself to others is a pointless waste of time. Besides, you are never as big as you think and eating disorders and body issues are so not the way to go. With it comes years of shame and guilt and it will take years to undo the damage that you will do to your body. In the end, it only makes things worse. Be the best you that you can be. That’s enough. That’s better than enough, it is exhausting your potential and being comfortable in your own skin. It is amazing. You are amazing. This is more important than I can even make you understand. It is the kind of knowledge that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

No matter what box you have been put into by society, school friends or yourself; despite how you may feel, you are free. Your horizons are boundless. Your potential is limitless. Breathe little girl, there is plenty of time for growing up. Embrace who you are in the world. You are the perfect you and what seems momentous today and earth shattering will pass and make you stronger. Love yourself with the reckless abandon that you would love anyone else who has a special place in your heart. Appreciate the good in yourself, as you would do for any one of your friends. You deserve it! Sing at the top of your lungs, dance like nobody is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt and laugh like Ricky Ricardo! Be fierce. Be confident. Be yourself. Be Unlimited.

Your Older, Wiser Self

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About Deborah Cruz

You can read loads more from Deborah (@TruthfulMommy) at her blog The TRUTH about Motherhood and as a contributing writer at Smart Mom Style and the Stir.

Deborah spends her days drinking coffee in suburbia, shuttling little ones and planning social media world domination and occasionally, she sleeps.

She's at Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest too!

Being brutally honest and irreverent all over the internet since 2009.


  1. What a beautiful and poignant letter! Totally took me back to the day. I only wish I could have had the chance to read this when I was still a teen!

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    • I’m with you!If I knew then, what I know now…I would have most certainly have been the most confident and cool girl in the 8th grade.I think a true confidence shines through when you love yourself and are comfortable in being who you are in the world.

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  2. Alexandra says:

    I’m with Naomi…how I wish I knew then what I know know.


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  3. Kir says:

    Saw you in Hos and Pimps…and came over..what a gorgeous letter and what a powerful message to lots of women and young girls. GO YOU!
    (I Tweeted, Stumbled and LIKED in FB)

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  4. Loved this! Makes me want to write my 13 year-old self a letter too. And also hits home with me because my daughter is 12. I don’t want her to make the same mistakes I did. She won’t. She’ll make her own. I guess that’s how we grow up.

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    • Thanks for your kind words! Maybe you should write a letter to your 13 year-old self…and let her read it. Or let her come over to Miss Unlimited and read mine. She will know that she is not alone in some of the issues most 13 year old girls go through but we all survive and come out the other end better and stronger!

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  5. I want MY daughter to read this.

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    • I want my girls to know these facts about me and see that it all turns out fine in the end. I also want them to learn from what I went through and most importantly, I don’t want them to give a snickerdoodle what anyone else thinks of them. I want them to be fearless and follow their heart.No one puts my babies in a corner:)

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  6. Celeste says:

    SOOOO gr8! Almost had me at tears just thinking about how difficult it was back for us and how MUCH more difficult it is now for teens. Awesome post girl!


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    • Celeste,

      Thanks sweetie. You are not kidding it is harder for girls now. The world is so full of people trying to reach perfection; plastic surgery, trendy clothes have become staples in high school(I’m not talking about our Keds and tight roll jeans.I’m talking Missoni and Louboutins on teens). Puberty and sex are hitting a lot younger.Acne,obesity and any imperfections are a lot more easy to hide or get rid of in today’s society ( if you have the finances). It’s expected for kids to be older when they are younger and they don’t get to be just kids long enough.
      We all just need to teach our kids that they are enough, they are better than enough..just the way they are. It’s about more than just telling them (though that is definitely the way to start the process) we need to make sure they know it and believe it..every single day.

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  7. brandy says:

    What a beautiful inspiring letter…. I’d love to be able to put down in words a letter to my SIXTEEN year old self. Boy was that a rough year :)

  8. Dara says:

    This is just perfect – it so fully sums up the angst and the unlimited potential of life at that age!
    I think mothers around the world should print this to give to their daughters on their thirteenth birthdays. It’s about time we started passing down our women’s wisdom in a more meaningful way.

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  9. Dara,
    You rock! Thank you for such kind words. I;m thinking maybe they should just laminate it, and put it in the hospital diaper bag they send us home with along with the free formula:) Great idea!

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  10. Megan says:

    There are many grown women who need to hear this too. Lovely.

    And if I may make a shameless plug (because it dovetails nicely with this post): http://onethousandwordsormore.com/2011/10/05/icy/

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    • I love that photo that you linked to. It is so true what makes us different is what makes us interesting.
      Thank you for your kind words! I think that every woman, man and child needs to hear this letter. Life would be so much more pleasant if we could all just love the skin we are in and let others love the one they are in.We should embrace our quirks and idiosyncrasies, they are what make us special, indeed.

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  11. Christina S. says:

    Sounds advice for females; regardless of age! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • I so agree! We all need to love ourselves as we are not who we think we’d be suited better as. If we spend all of our time trying to reach an imaginary version of ourselves, we waste valuable time that could have been spent enjoying the life we have now.

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  12. JW Moxie says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

    I absolutely adore this post.

    I adore you even more for writing it. xoxox

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  13. This made me cry with recognition. Stunning. Way to set the bar super high for the rest of us MU writers who don’t have a clue…

    You are amazing. This is incredible.

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  14. UnknownMami says:

    Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. I’m dying to hear your laugh in person. I have a feeling it is FANTASTIC.

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    • Thank you!My friend, one day soon.You will experience the Ricky Ricardo in all of it’s glory. I tend to be pretty jovial and laugh most often…Ricky Ricardo laugh be damned. My girls, they have both inherited it as well:)We’re happy people, what can I say!

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  15. Classic NYer says:

    What a lovely concept. Though, if my thirteen year old self ever read a letter from my older, wiser self, she would just throw away the letter in defiance. ::sigh::

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  16. Galit Breen says:

    Girlfriend? I love this- so much!

    Also? At 13 we would have so rocked the braces and big hair together!


  17. Bruna says:

    Wow Debbie! You had me hanging off your every word. Where were you when I was 13? I wish I could write a letter like this to my own 13 year-old daughter and I would if I knew she would take it seriously. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

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    • Bruna,
      DO it. Put pen to paper, she may just read it. If not, she will have it and read it when she is alone. Curiosity may get the best of her and who knows, you could connect on a cellular 13 year old level. Do it! XO

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  18. Brandy says:

    I love this!!! Perfect.

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  19. Peryl says:

    I so could have used this at 13. Beautiful. Love you Debi!

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  20. I still struggle with the fact that some of the things I despise most about myself are the things that my husband loves the most.

    What a great letter. Will be sharing this with my girls so they know I am not the only one who says this stuff.

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    • Heather,

      I know it’s hard but girl, if he loves it..it must be something right! Try to think of it this way, if he’s awesome ( and obviously he is because he chose you) then he must have awesome taste…for being with you. Therefore, he knows awesome…You are awesome. Write it down and believe it because YOU ARE!!!
      I agree, I’m sharing this letter with my girls when they are teens. I will put it in their puberty kit:) XO

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  21. JennyMac says:

    Love this. And saw the link from a friend of a friend bc I wrote a similar post to my 8 year old self two years ago…oh, the wisdom we could have had, how wise we really would have been

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  22. Sarah says:

    Thank you for posting this! I may not be 13(only a year older), but this is something i’m going to save and look at once in a while. It really brings me back down to earth in a way. It’s a wonderful message for a person of any age and it’s something that can make me smile and think when i’m feeling down. Once again, a big thank you!

    • Sarah,

      Thank you for reading and I am so glad that it can be of help when you are feeling down. I know the teen years feel like they last forever, but soon they will be over and you will look back on these times with endearment. It may not seem like it now, but you will. BE who you are because that is more than enough:)

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