Dear Thirteen Year Old Me,
I wonder what you’re doing right at this moment. You’re probably racking your pretty little brain about things you can not control, like why the boy you’ve been dating for two weeks that you swore you were in love with just broke up with you, or why your best friends told everyone that secret. Maybe you’re stressing out about that social studies test you try so hard to study for but you can’t pry your eyes away from MySpace. Are you in your room crying about how much you hate your life? Are you wishing and praying if you could just look like this or be like that, your life would be so much better?
Thirteen year old me, please breathe, things aren’t as terrible as they seem. Stop looking in the mirror and pinching the skin on your stomach because as much as you swear up and down that you’re the fattest thing on the planet, you are far from. Stop pulling your eyebrows in every direction and shifting the shape of your nose to try to conjure up what perfection looks like. Put down that Cosmopolitan magazine and realize you were blessed with what you have and no matter how hard you pray, you will never look like the girl on the cover and that is okay. Thirteen year old, impressionable little me, your mom truly means it when she says you’re beautiful the way you are and she’s not just saying that because you’re her daughter.
Thirteen year old me, stop telling your mom you hate her when you’re angry. She is the most valuable person in your life and you would be truly devastated if she were gone. Listen to the advice she gives you and try not to roll your eyes because even though you’re whole heartedly convinced she has no clue what she’s talking about, she too was thirteen once and walked in your shoes. Teenage, self-centered me, thank your mother for the love she gives you, you honestly don’t tell her enough. Stop thinking her punishment is the end of the world or she’s ruining your life because she is only saving you from making some of the worst mistakes. Prideful, stubborn me, it’s okay to tell her you’re suffering. You don’t need to feel so alone.
Thirteen year old me, those girls you’re telling your deepest, darkest secrets to will betray you. Yes, you will feel more alone than ever once they do but I want you to do it anyway. Trust them anyway because only once you’ve had your trust broken will you realize who you can and cannot trust from then on. Conceited, stuck up little me, stop thinking your worth is determined by the number of “friends” you have and stop putting down those who have less than you. Hollister, Abercrombie, and American Eagle do not make you a good person and once you’re older you’ll wonder why you ever spent $60 on a shirt with a stupid bird or moose on it. Mean, hormonal me, be nice to EVERYONE because you don’t know what another person is going through. Narrow-minded me, that girl you just met who moved from out of town, she will be the one person who will forever stand by your side so thank you for befriending her. She will be your strength when you are weak, and your comedian when you are down. She is your best friend.
Thirteen year old me, you’re going to have your heart broken… a lot. You’re going to fall in love, and out of love, then back in love again and again, sometimes with the same person, but do it anyway. You’ll hate yourself for allowing your heart to be so open and you’ll hate the fact that you place so much optimism in each new love, but don’t ever change that. Stay hopeful that you will find someone who won’t betray you, because I promise you that day is coming, you’re just going to have to wait a little while and fall a few times. Those bruises will heal and the scars will remain but it’ll remind you of what you’re worth. Heartbroken, falling apart me, cry as much as you need, I promise it will only help you heal. Your prince will come and you’ll be surprised when you find out who it is.
Thirteen year old me, it’s okay to laugh when you feel like crumbling down and crying. It’s okay to make mistakes and more mistakes. Just remember to learn from them and not do them again. Younger me, you’re going to make some of those mistakes again. Sometimes twice, sometimes three times, sometimes even more, but you’ll be stronger from them all, I promise you. Stop buying into other’s ideas of what you should look like, act like, who you should fall in love with, what career you should choose, and what path to take. Follow your own path, be your own person, love how and who you want to love. You may not fully love everything about yourself, but slowly, more and more each day, you will love those parts of you.
Thirteen year old me, ten years from now you will not be anywhere near where you thought you would be in life, but as your mother and father always said, THAT IS LIFE. You aren’t going to be friends with half the people you call your lifetime friends right now, you won’t have the career you thought you’d have (because let’s face it… a model? You’re 5’2″, accept that), you’re going to do things you swear you’d never do. But I’m glad you did it all. I’m thankful for the choices you’ve made up until this point, because ten years from now, thirteen year old me, your choices have paved the path of your life and your life is so much better than you imagined.
If I could tell you that at twenty-three you’d be where you are now, your smug little annoying face would roll your eyes at me and laugh (and I’d probably want to punch you like your sisters want to every day). Instead, I’d want to hug you and tell you to just wait… enjoy the ride it takes to get here. It won’t be smooth, it won’t be easy but you got here and that is a blessing in itself. If I could tell you that boy you’ve dated about five times already (amounting to a total of probably 2 months) would be the man your life leads you to again, I know you wouldn’t believe me. So thirteen year old me, make fun of him anyway, hate him anyway, grow apart anyway, because if you never had, you never would be where you are experiencing such amazing things with him.
Thirteen year old me, tell your mom, your dad, your step mom, and your step dad how much you love them. Tell them over and over because they love you more than you’ll ever fully comprehend. Too-good-for-anyone me ten years ago, kiss your sisters because they will replace the friends you love and lose before you’re eighteen and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thirteen year old me, hug your gram tightly and cherish every time you do because you will lose her before you reach this point in your life and it will be the toughest thing you ever go through. And when you are truly in need of one of her embraces, you won’t be able to receive it more than the memories you are left with.
Thirteen year old me, I promise you everything will be okay and your life is more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
Dear Thirteen Year Old Me,