By Erin Urhahn
Dear Erin Urhahn,
I was once a girl in second grade who desired so fully to be grown up. I would toddle in my mother’s closet, flipping through the clothing, admiring adulthood. This was me when I was only seven years old. Now, eight years later, I’m the same girl, with the same burning desire to be you today. Currently, I’m both dying to know you and living to become you.
I’m a little sorrowful that by this point, 15-year-old Erin has passed; for she was a good soul in this world. I’m the same heart, though, and I’m overjoyed I am now 20 years of age, living and thriving as an adult. You, Erin, have come so far in all you are. While I don’t have the privilege to be you yet, I can only imagine how wonderful you will truly be. I hope you continue to live your life intentionally, and never let fear withhold your essence. All that you do, I wish that you pursue wholeheartedly.
By this time, it would be wonderful if you were obtaining an education in a career you were truly passionate about. I hope you make friends who care about you deeply and bring happiness to your life. In the trials that life brings you, remember to stay faithful to who you are. When you are lost, turn to the Church, for that is where you’ll be found. When you wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, I hope you know that you are loved. Remain in love with your life, who you are and who you will soon become. Chase your dreams. Go find the love in your life. Visualize the beauty of the world you live in.
Return back home, to see how blessed you always have been. Don’t let your teenage years disintegrate from your mind, for they molded you into who you are today. Your school, your home, your parish and your friends all carry small pieces of you with them; make sure you do the same. Know that whatever you’ve become, either for worse or for better, you are enough. Know you are loved fully by the girl you used to be.
Think back to you when you were two years old just learning to walk properly. Think about the first day of kindergarten when you pierced the whole class trying to find one girl to be your friend. Think about fifth grade when you thought you had life figured out. Think about all the dedication you put into sports in high school and all the pictures you took smiling ear to ear with your friends. Remember who you were. Remember who you are. Remember that you’ve got your whole life to be the person you want to be. All of these girls you have been were so different, but in a unique way, so the same. They all were waiting for this moment to be you. They all love you. They all support you. They all wanted to be you.
Now, I am 15 years old. I’m trying to survive high school. I’m writing to you now so you’ll always remember you aren’t alone in this world. I want you to know, your twenties won’t come without struggles, but you are strong. In waiting, be persistent. In chaos, be calm. In doubt, be faithful. In distance, be present. In moments of fear, be love. In a world where you can be anything you want to be, be Erin Paige Urhahn. All you have to be, is you.