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Love Letter to My Younger Self
heART's hope Honorable Mention

H Nielson - a love letter to my younger self no. 1 (2021) - Matt Ruskin.jpg

Artist: Heidi Nielson, 32

Washington, DC

Ethnicity: Japanese

At age 32, I feel like I'm finally parenting a very lost and lonely inner child and showing her the love she always deserved. After reaching a crisis point with my mental health about two years ago, I finally sought professional help, found the right therapist and right medication and am slowly, slowly learning to validate myself instead of always basing all of my self worth on how I am viewed by others. I am sure I'm not alone in having been extremely hard on myself when I was young and beating myself up that I couldn't "fix" everything I hated about myself. I used to absolutely HATE this series of photos of myself, so painting and embroidering them was very therapeutic. It was honestly a struggle to write a neutral list of attributes that did not include negative words like "awkward" or "nerdy" or "weirdo," so I'm proud of myself for being kind to this BB who was not kind to herself.

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