Dear 12 year-old me,
How are you doing? It’s been a while. Everything is seemingly fine on the grown-up front.
I wanted to write you because I know how hard the next couple years are going to be.
I know that it’s gonna suck and that you’re going to feel like crap consistently. You’re going to cry, you’re going to scream. You’re going to wish that you were never born.
You’re going to have scars, both emotional and physical. It’s gonna hurt. It will, and I’m sorry.
Your friends, who you would die for, will grow up and you will fade away. the bond that you once had with them will fade as the distance between you grows.
Even with the absence in your life, you’re both still very happy, and every now and then you’ll hear something from them. They are happy, and that’s all you could ask for.
It’ll be rough, feeling as if you’re alone. It’ll continue to suck for a little while. I’m sorry, but it will.
I like to look back on that time and, while it is a dark hole in my life, I like to think that it made me who I am now.
- Because we’ve been alone, we know who we are a little bit better.
- Because we’ve held on tightly to friends, we know how important others can be.
- Because we’ve let them go, we know that people can change.
- Because of the darkness that we had to fight through, we know how to escape.
Things had changed for sure. You’ve said somethings to family you don’t mean. You’re a teenager and you are boiling with emotion. I know, it’s okay.
You’ve also done things to look cool – or your own perception of cool – stop it. You don’t look cool, and if anything, you look more like a kid (Emo days. *shudder*)
You feel like you’re being left behind. You feel as if you’re sitting still and everyone is passing by you. Your friends are going to dances and getting into relationships, while you’re sitting at home playing on the computer.
Let me tell you, you are not behind anyone.
Something I’ve had to learn to ask recently – Are you better than you were yesterday?
- Did you learn something new?
- Did you do something nice?
- Did you improve your world just ever so slightly?
If you did, congrats, you’re moving up in the world and you’re already ahead of your peers!
Maybe you feel as if today was a waste, that nothing happened and that you shouldn’t even have gotten out of bed.
But you did, didn’t you?
You got out of bed, you got a shower, you might have even eaten something today. You did a good job, just in taking care of yourself. That’s no small feat.
You’ll be okay.
Say it with me. You’re going to be okay.
You’re going to love and lose, you’re going to hurt and be hurt. You’re going to fail and you’ll be okay to fail.
I know, it’s a scary thought, huh?
One of these days you’re going to see yourself for exactly what you are. You’re not a horrible person. You’re not a perfect person. You’re not the evil villain, no matter what you might be feeling. You have potential.
You are the only person who can control your life. Even if you feel like you can’t control your life, you can control yourself. Your reactions, what you say to people, what you do to people, the tone in which you use – that’s all up to you.
It’s easy to blame others for your short comings.
- If mom had just put us in public school, we wouldn’t have felt so stupid.
- If dad didn’t have to work, we would have been able to go on that camping trip.
- If mom and dad would have just let us go to that dance, then we would have been able to have fun and feel like a normal 12 year old.
What if I were to tell you that, while they do control a good portion of your life, it’s ultimately up to you. You can choose to react to bad situations with grace. You can control what you say and how you say it.
The only person in your way is you.
It’s easily the best news and the worst news.
Its scary to realize that you’ve had the power the whole time. You’ve been reactive and – I know, I’m gonna sound like dad here, but he does have some good advice every now and then – you need to be Proactive verses Reactive.
If you want something, put the steps in place to get it and then follow them.
You’re in control here. You have influences, sure, but the only person who has the final say is you.
I want you to know that you’ll be okay. It’ll take a while, but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s hard, but we all have to go through it.
One thing I know you’re scared about is moving.
I know you don’t want to move and have to find new friends and find your way in this world. You think moving to the south is gonna be like hillbillies and eating roadkill. Trust me, we’re not that far south.
You’ll love it here. It is incredible what all there is to do here.
While Iowa will always have a place in our hearts, there is nothing quiet like this place.
It’s beautiful in the fall, the storms in the spring are awesome, and summer is actually pretty manageable (oh, and btw, we actually have seasons! I know! It freaked me out too!)
There are so many more opportunities here than in Iowa. The people here are lovely, and you will find new friends. And they will be awesome.
- You’ll eat strange foods that aren’t in Iowa (Octopus isn’t really anything to write home about and Tofu is really only good covered in a lot of sweet sauce.)
- You’ll see college sports live, which, because of your close group of friends at that time, will be amazing.
- You’ll get to drive a car! Legally!
- You’ll find a job that you adore, and that you’re good at.
- You’ll have great friends.
- You’ll have a really cute boyfriend (and no, he doesn’t look like Gerard Way. I’m sorry, but you’ll thank me later.)
You’ll be okay, kid. It’ll be tough, but you’ll make it. These next couple years of your life are so important, please cherish them. Do the right thing, and do what you think is right (what you want and what is right are often two totally different things, fyi).
You’re smart, you are kind(whether you want to believe it or not), you are beautiful.
Thanks for sticking around.
I love you,