She wrote a letter to me.
She started by saying, “I know you’re probably too busy to answer…”
Then, she explained that her parents are getting divorced, that her father’s been cheating. Before he walked out, he got mad.
He called her and her mother “a couple’a fat pigs.”
She closed her note, saying:
“You wrote once about losing your confidence, and I think I’m losing mine, too… I’m sixteen, and I really do feel fat and ugly. And I just needed to tell somebody…
“…And you actually seemed cool. I feel like I can trust you. If you share this, please keep my identity secret.”
Firstly, I am NOT cool. Case and point: I once tried to eat so much peanut butter that my wife had to get paramedics involved.
Secondly, I might not know you, but I knew someone like you. He looked like you, talked like you. It was hard for him to feel cocky after his father’s funeral.
His confidence dried up. He felt like the ugliest, most intellectually challenged dunce God ever had the misfortune of creating.
But this isn’t about him.
Okay. So your father—let’s call things what they are—is a lost soul. I’m sorry, but you asked for my ten-cent opinion.
You, darling, are nothing like the world’s lost princes and princesses—who have bucketfuls of self-assurance.
People like you and I are bullfrogs.
Try to stay with me.
I believe this big fairytale is full of people who consider themselves royalty. They’ve got royal confidence, too. Plenty of it.
We’re not like them. We have gangly legs and big eyes. We don’t think much of ourselves, we walk with bad posture. Big deal.
So you’re feeling bad. Don’t fight it. Look in the mirror and let those feelings happen. Cry. Cuss. Feel lousy. Let it wash over you.
And once you’re finished, don’t ever do it again.
Because there’s too much living to be done. And you’re too damn special.
We’ve never shaken hands, but I know you. You’re humble. God’s artwork. No matter what your father called you, or what your shape is, he’s wrong.
Try not to hold it against him—even though you have every right to.
I’m willing to bet you’re selfless and brave. That you let people cut in line, that you pray for those hurting—just like I’m praying for you.
Listen, one day your world won’t be this dark, darling. It might happen when a worthy person comes along. It will be someone smart enough to look in your eyes and see more than your eyes.
And when that happens, I hope you’ll stare in the mirror and see the same thing.
But let’s get back to your letter’s original purpose. You wrote me because you need a little confidence today.
Fair enough, honey.
I’ll tell as many people as I know.