The note fell out as I opened my locker before first period. It swirled around a little before softly landing on the ground, front side down. I bent down to pick it up and followed the clumsy text that covered the note, left to right.
 
"Happy Valentine's Day", it began with. Valentine's Day. A day that I felt nothing but pure hatred for. Who would be stupid enough to send this to me? I moved on to the next line and a small smirk replaced the frown on my lips as I read the rest. "Love from you-know-who."
 
Genius. He always knew what to do. I slid the note into the back pocket of my jeans and looked around me. He was nowhere in sight, but I knew he was lurking around at school grounds.
 
I kept my eyes open throughout the day, my guard constantly up in case he would show himself. He wasn't allowed on school grounds but, knowing him, I knew that he had his ways of coming around that if he really wanted to. 
 
It wasn't until right before last period that I got the feeling I was being watched. I recognized the feeling, and welcomed it back like a long-lost child. Without making a sound I swiftly vanished into the darker areas of school and became one with the shadows.
 
There he was. Standing a couple of meters in front of me, leaning casually against the wall like no troubles in the world could bother him. I started walking slowly towards him

"You know you're not supposed to be here."
 
He chuckled.
 
"Then how come it's so easy for me to be?"
 
I smiled and stopped, keeping my distance. Nothing good ever happened when he was in the neigbourhood, but the adrenaline rush just before that nothing good happened had become a drug for me.
 
"What made you come back?"
 
"You."

"And you expect me to just come running back to you whenever you feel like showing up?"
 
He chuckled again. "Yes."
 
I blushed and let out a soft laugh. "You know me so well."
 
He quickly took a few steps towards me, closing the distance between us. His hand went up to stroke my cheek and I shivered at the touch of his cold fingers against my face.
 
"Run away with me." His breath tickled my face and my eyes flit towards the ground for a quick second before my gaze met his again.
 
I put my hand behind his neck and leaned in to softly whisper in his ear. I could tell that he was getting goosebumps from my touch and couldn't help but love how powerful that made me feel.
 
"No."
 
He stepped back, a clear confusion in his face. "No?" he asked, not sure how to act.
 
Now it was my turn to carelessly lean against the wall with all the power in my hands. "Yes, that's what I said."
 
I walked up to him again and put my palm against his chest.
 
"I don't trust you enough yet to run away with you. I know that you are going to leave me again, and I'm just not ready for that."
 
With a light push I expanded the distance between us again and turned around to walk away.
 
"But... don't you love me?" I could hear the desperation in his voice, which for some reason put a smile on my face. I didn't even bother to turn around as I answered him.
 
"Feelings don't go away. But I need you to make an effort for me. I need to know that you really want me before I put myself out there for you again. I will always love you." I turned my head just slightly.
 
"You will always be in my heart, Voldemort."
Dear Future Me,

How is life? I'm so excited to find out everything that you have gone through as I go through the same things. 

I really hope you're doing all the things we always wanted to do. Have you traveled the world yet? If not, what the hell are you doing with your life?

Maybe you've found your dream job? I really hope that you gave, even though I don't know what that job is right now. Hopefully I figure it out eventually. Did I decide to go to university by the way? I still haven't decided, but it would've been good to know if I did and what effect that has had on my life. 

Have you met anyone yet? Boy, girl, something else? If you have, I'm really happy for you! If you have chosen them, they must be amazing. 

I don't know what else to write to you. You're the one who has been through all of the amazing stuff that I am still waiting to go through. But I promise you: I will make every second count until we meet again. 

Be kind and love yourself. See you next post. 
This is for the girls who suffer from eating disorders. This is for the girls who are overweight. This is for the girls with makeup. This is for the girls with no makeup at all. This is for the girly-girls. This is for the boyish-girls. This is for every girl in between. This is for all the girls who hate their stomachs, their face, their hair, their thighs, their butts and boobs.
 
STOP.
 
For the love of God, stop hating yourself.
 
I know, I know. It's not that simple that you can just stop when someone tells you to. But what if it could be? What if, when someone says "You're perfect the way you are, don't hate yourself", you could just take all that self-hatred and throw it to hell?
 
Well, I'm going to tell you a secret of mine. Feel free to tell it to friends and family, partners and enemies. It's not super important that it stays a secret, actually. Here goes nothing: You can do that! And what proof do I have that this is possible? Myself, of course! I have gradually taken every small hatred I have of myself, and I have looked it dead in the eye and told it to fuck off.

My confidence has taken a lot of beatings. I have been called everything from whore to shrimp-face (yeah, I don't even know the logic behind that one to be honest...). I have been told that I would stay single for the rest of my life, because no sane guy would ever want to date someone that looked as awful as me.

The worst thing was that I let each and every insult leave a deep scar in my confidence. I forgot to put that protecting "I don't care what you think about me, I don't think about you at all"-layer over my confidence, and instead just let them push me further and further down.

But no more of that bullshit. I am not going to let them get to me anymore. They're making me hate the body that I have to live with for the rest of my life. And if I don't love myself, then who will? That my friends, is exactly how I want you to think as well. So what if you don't look like a model? Not even models look like models! (You know, with all this photoshop that is available nowadays).

Now, put this paper away (or computer, or wherever you may be reading this) and go to the mirror. Take a close look at every part of your body that you don't like and repeat the following:

"I am a beautiful unicorn." (Don't question it, just do it). "I am unique in my own way, and I am also majestic because I love myself."

And the next time someone says a mean comment about your appearances, go up to them and hug them. Also, don't forget to tell them that you are 100% supportive of whatever visual defect they have. And smile, just smile, because you are alive and just that is something beautiful in itself.

 

"And the funny thing about it is,

I've spent so much time hating it

but it never says a bad word about me.

This is my body and it's fine

It's where I spend the vast majority of my time

It's not perfect, but it's mine."

- Tim Minchin