This letter is part of our inaugural editorial series, “Letter to Myself,” in which we asked 40 remarkable queer people to write a note to their younger selves.
Dear Melissa (“Missy”),
You were growing up in a world that didn’t understand a lot of things. You do not see a reflection of what you feel inside in the world. Hang in there. People change, situations change, the impossible becomes possible. Believe that every step you take in your own truth not only will make your life richer, fuller, happier, but it will actually have an effect on the whole world.
On a personal note, I would say, start loving yourself as much as you want others to love you. When you look for that love outside of yourself and think that someone else is going to fill up that hole, it only leads to a bigger hole.
So start now—loving yourself, finding yourself attractive. Finding yourself witty and fun, and all those things that you are looking for someone else to make you feel. Because believe me, in the end, it is only yourself who’s going to make you feel those things.
Melissa Etheridge is on tour throughout North America.
Read more letters here.