Last Updated Aug 10, 2017 6:25 AM EDT
Kesha's debut single "Tik Tok" topped the charts almost eight years ago. The party anthem became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, but her journey toward success came with several physical and emotional struggles. Kesha wrote a letter to her 18-year-old self with advice on how to overcome those challenges in the the latest installment of our ongoing series, "Note to Self."
At this very moment, you may be wondering if it was really a good idea to drop out of high school and move to L.A. with nothing but your grandpa's Lincoln Town Car and a demo tape.
I've got good news and I've got bad news, and I know you're a tad impatient so we'll start with the good news. You made it! And thank God because the best plan B we ever came up with was waitressing and we will soon find out that is not really our forte.
The bad news is, you nearly killed yourself on the road to success, fueled by fear of failure, crippling anxiety and insecurity. You will become severely bulimic and anorexic and the worse your disease gets, the more praise you will get from some people in your industry. And this will really, really mess with your head. But when you're trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation, it's never going to be good enough. No matter what you do.
Right now, you're killing it on Myspace, but beware because the internet will get way less innocent real fast. Just save yourself some anxiety and a few years worth of therapy and just skip the comment section. Skip it all together. It's a breeding ground for negativity and hate. And don't let people scare and shame you into changing the things about yourself that make you unique and interesting. Those are the qualities that will make your life so magical. That bad girl, I don't give a s*** attitude, it'll work for a while, and you will get a dollar sign tattooed on your hand that will last forever probably. But the truth is, you don't need to put on an act. You can just be Kesha Rose Sebert and guess what? Apparently that's good enough.
People will listen to your music and come to your shows as long as the art is honest and good and you're just being yourself. You're still in a society that worships photo-shopped super models. We all still feel the pressure to look like them because that's a symptom of a society that emphasizes all the wrong things and this will be an everyday struggle -- and you must be strong 'cause over time you will gain confidence and you will learn that words and art do matter.
You will meet kids who tell you that they struggle with many of the same things you've struggled with, or more. And they're gonna tell you that your music helped save their life, and that will change you. You're gonna learn that art can heal people.
I know you are very inspired by Bob Dylan and he's your favorite. Bob Dylan is one of the reasons you play music and one day you're gonna meet him and you're going to weep hysterical happy tears at the thought of it.
One day you're gonna write a song called "Rainbow" and you're gonna be really proud of it because there is light and beauty after the storm, no matter how hard things get. You're going to write this song so you remember to make it through. You're going to remind yourself to love yourself and if you have truth in your heart, there will always be a rainbow at the end of the storm.
More from our series "Note to Self":