By the time you are older, you smiles will not come so easily, or be so open. You won't smile just because you feel like smiling. You will smile as a form of greeting, or when you think of something funny, or to put on a face when you meet people. By then, you will not trust people so easily. You will become wary of them, suspicious of their motives. Of course, many people will give you a reason to mistrust them, because they will hurt you, and lie to you, for no other reason than they can, or that they don't know any better, or that they do, but are still insensitive enough to choose to do so anyway.
People will try to tell you that you're not smart enough, or pretty enough, or tall enough, or good enough. They will tell you whatever they want, in an attempt to make you feel bad about yourself, just so that they can feel better about themselves. Ignore them all. Each person is dealing with his or own her own demons, and that has nothing to do with you. There is a voice that is inside your head, that will speak to you if what you're doing is not right. Listen only to that voice. That is the voice that will never lie to you.
Never hold on to people in desperation, for fear of being alone. People who love you will never be cruel to you. They will tell you off, but never be judgmental about you. They will accept you for what you are, and love you anyway. Surround yourself with only such people.
You will feel tremendous pain in life sometimes. Heart-rending, soul-searing pain. Sometimes the pain will feel so great that you will wonder how you'll ever even begin to learn to deal with it. Cry, howl, scream, break down, ask for help, admit that you're only human, accept consolation. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you strong. Only when you know what pain like that feels like yourself, can you say to someone else, "I know what you're going through, and I want you to know that it's going to be okay."
Some people will leave you, will walk away from your life, and you may or may not know the reason. If they are important to you, ask them the reason, make amends for any wrong you did, tell them you would like them to stay, but if they still choose to leave, let them go. If you know in your heart that you are a good, decent person, then hold on to that. Whether people choose to stay with you or leave is not your responsibility, and not your fault.
Your childhood may be less than perfect, but understand one thing- it will be in your past one day. You may not have anyone to tell you that it's okay, not to be scared, you may not have anyone to lift you up and tell you that you are amazing just they way you are, and that you have been made in such a unique and special way, that there's no-one quite like you. Forgive people, even if it's your own parents, for the great injustice of not holding up a mirror to you to show you what great potential shines within.
Love without any agenda.
If the real world bothers you, create an imaginary one, and frequent it often. Over there, things can be beautiful, and perfect, and even though it's imaginary, no-one can take it away from you.
Forgiveness is a great virtue, one which not everyone is capable of. Try to make your soul expand enough to experience forgiveness,but don't force yourself. Only remember, that one day you may be in need of forgiveness too, and that day, it will mean everything to receive it- it will seem to you more precious than gold. Do what good you can do, but don't subscribe to the propaganda of what 'good' is. Everyone cannot be a paragon of virtue. Each person can only be the best that they can be. Try to be only that.
See things in perspective. There are worlds and universes and things that you have never dreamed of, and you are just a speck. Never overestimate the importance of things you are up against, and never underestimate your own importance.
Let the poison of anger and bitterness flow out through your tears and clean you from the inside out. Be good to yourself. Nobody else holds the power to make you happy.
When you're twenty, and people tell you that it's no age to wear ribbons in your hair, or giggle uncontrollably in public, or if you're thirty, and people say that it's no age to have a pillow fight or eat way too much ice-cream, or be hopelessly infatuated with a guy, or if you're forty, and people tell you it's no age to be dancing on tables, screw those people. Tell them to live their lives the way they want and let you live your life the way you want to.
When you're older, take these old pictures out of storage once in a while and look at them. Look at your eyes. Look at your smile. That is a child who doesn't know yet, how to be wary, how to be jaded. To her, the world is still a wonder, and they are so many lessons to be learnt.
Every once in a while, remember you are still that girl.