Dear Young Jaz,

I am writing to you from the future, 2018 to be exact. Sounds crazy right? I’m you and you’re me.

Let me first begin by saying that you are beautiful. I don’t think you heard that enough. Time has flown? We’ll be 40 next year! Big deal right, because I know you didn’t believe you’d make it. I know the thought of ending your life was very real and appeared to be the only way out, but you were wrong!

I don’t know where to start.

Intelligence…You are such a smart little girl! Always have been. I want to let you know that your intelligence is a gift and not a curse. You say you want to be an Anesthesiologist? At six, how do you even know that?!? I want to tell you that you can do it! You can be anything you want to be. Being smart is and will always be your superpower. Ignore those who doubt you. Don’t allow their constant teasing and hurtful words to distract you. Keep pushing because the possibilities are endless.

Your body…Always remember that your body is your temple. Let me explain to you what that means. Your body is a gift from God. It’s precious and once it’s given away you can never get it back. You don’t want a reputation that follows you through adulthood. Sleeping with boys will not make them like you. Sleeping with boys will not make you like you. Sex is and can be a beautiful thing. Do you even know what sex is? It’s a beautiful act when shared between two consenting adults, you’re not an adult. There’s a level of mental preparedness you need in order to deal with the emotional aspect of sex, and you don’t have that yet. Wait for it. It will be worth it.

Be you…Being a nerd is okay. You don’t have to fit in. Fitting in is boring. Create your own way. Embrace your quirky sense of style because one day people will appreciate it. You can trust me on that one. Being YOU will attract the people you need around.

Fear…Guess what? Fear isn’t real. I know, blew my mind too! It’s going to take you decades to learn this lesson but, don’t be afraid. Afraid to try new things, meet new people, go on adventures.

Sexual orientation…yeah, I know. You think that little girl is cuter than that little boy. No, nothing is wrong with you. Yep, God still loves you. You don’t have to hide. I know what you’re feeling makes no sense and there’s no one to confide in, but know, it will all make sense one day.

Mistakes…you’re going to make lots of them and that’s okay, but always remember to learn the lesson. A mistake is made only once, anything beyond that, is a choice.

Your heart…sorry to break it to you, but it’s going to be broken, by family and by those you thought were friends. The amazing part of it though, is that it will heal! What I’d like to tell you is, you can still trust even after a broken heart.

 

Lastly, go easy on your self little girl. While perfection is the goal, it isn’t always the destination. One day you’re going to grow up and share your story. One day every mistake made will make sense. Your story is your gift. You will do great things! Today I want to give you permission to live and be free. Free from the idea that you aren’t enough. Free from the idea that you have to live a life to please everyone other than yourself. I love you, forever and always!

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For this contest, you needed to upload three 59 second videos of the following:

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