To my younger self:
Don't be afraid. The world is a big place and it can seem really daunting at times, but it is so full of beauty and wonderful opportunities. There are times that will be sad and difficult, but even the darkest places have slivers of light that just need to be nurtured to grow brighter and stronger.
When you see everyone running in the same direction, don't try to catch up to them, chances are that's not the right path for you. You never did follow the crowd well. It isn't because you're too short or too slow or too quiet. It's because you always take notice of the path, stopping along the way to examine something new. It might seem like dawdling to some, but they don't know the treasures you find by taking it slow. These treasures are the ones so well hidden, most people just pass them by without ever noticing.