a 17 year old's letter

So i was looking through some old poetry that i had written when i was 17, and i came across this letter that i wrote to my favorite high school teacher.
it brings me joy to remember his incredible impact on me, and to just hear myself speaking in a voice i remember 5 years ago.
it is comforting knowing that the values i held as a 17 year old are still the values i live by today.  it gives me comfort to know that i understood the deepest needs of myself and others at a young age, and that since then, i have only come to be more passionate about those things.
i also still use some key words from back then:  silly, being once of them. haha.
(also, i think my writing has improved since high school.  good news.)

Dear Mr Cartan,
I just wanted to tell you how important you have been in my continual growth since i entered, and left your classroom. Junior year was a really important year for me, learning how to grow up and move on in certain areas in my life. I had to learn to take control of my life and turn it in directions that will guide me till the end of my days. And by changing my life in some ways, it made my life a lot harder. 
I know everything i do will eventually lead me to something great, but its hard for me to continue to remind myself of this. Its always in the back of my brain, that i know that i will make it through whatever i go through, but its hard for me to really focus on it and BELIEVE it. 
But i keep trying. I try to keep positive and encouraging. One thing that keeps me focused and happy is making other people happy. I try my best to support my friends through their painful experiences because, when i know that i can help them in someway, then i know that i can help myself. This dependancy on making other people feel better prob wont always be good for me, but I am continually learning different ways to just show compassion which will always help me, and others as well. 
Knowing that I am a compassionate person helps me to have faith that there are more compassionate people in the world, and that i have reason to keep going even when i feel like i have failed. If i feel like i can't go on for myself, i remember that by just keeping going, that i can do something for others in the process and that makes me feel better.

I remember in your class that you always always always repeated the phrase "seize the day." And for most people, i think it meant for them to "live life to the fullest" and "accomplish your dreams" and "please yourself and you'll be fine." 
But for me, "seizing the day" is to realize that everyday can be used to make the world better through anything you do. 
And that really means, HAVE COMPASSION and realize that you aren't the center of everything. Acheiving your goals rarely comes by only YOU doing something. Acheiveing your goals comes by you AND those who support you. For me, seizing the day is to take as much time as i have to help others get back up when they've fallen down. Because i know support can get you going on a path that, although hard at times, WILL lead you to greater things. And i also realized that I dont have to expect anything incredible to happen to me in the future because i know that incredible things are happening every day that dont have anything to do with me. And that gives me hope for a better future for everyone, which makes me so much happier than anything wonderful that could happen to just me.

Thank you for always encouraging me and supporting me through whatever simple or huge ways you chose to use. Unlike most of my teachers this year and in the past, you showed so much compassion to your students and encourageed them to keep going even when things dont go well or when they think they have failed. You are a wonderful person with a giant heart. Your beautiful spirit kept me going when i wanted to fall down last year, and remembering that support that i had has kept me motivated and inspired me to become the person i am today. Every little compassionate thing you have done for me has stuck with me. 
Compassion can never be hurtful to a person recieving or giving it. 
It always makes both people stronger through that apparent faith in someone that one person gives to the other. Thank you for having faith in me. Thank you for believing in me when no one else thought i could do anything of worth, and when i thought i couldn't do anything of worth. I now know that when i feel like i can't accomplish a silly project or goals I have set for myself, that I don't need to be afraid that I can't do anything of worth. I know that by me showing compassion to others, that i AM doing something great that has an effect on the world. 
I don't feel the urge to become an astronaut, a doctor, a scientist, a famous author, a famous muscian, or anything that has to have huge goals set to become something great. I don't have to make an impact on the world through constant studying or practicing an instrument or research. I can make a huge impact on the world by spreading love and compassion through every interaction i make with others. 
I have faith in myself that i can be great because of this. I dont need anything else other than faith in love and compassion to keep going. To keep going is to be great. To have faith is to be great. To spread love to others is to be great. To HAVE COMPASSION is to BE GREAT. You are GREAT, and i thank you SO MUCH for that. Thank you thank you thank you. Through your love and compassion that you gave to me, i can now spread this amazing love to others that have lost faith.

"seizing the day" for me is taking the time I have AWAY from myself and devoting my love and compassion to others as MUCH as possible. By doing this, i know that i can keep going and that whatever i do, whether it be small or large, is good as long as i show compassion and love.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

live and love,
Moorea Seal

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