Dear 13/14 year old self
Calm down. You feel ugly, you have braces, you’re too skinny, you have an opinion about everything, you know that you bound by too many rules and maybe once every week (or more) you wish you’d grow up faster. Now you’re ‘lucky’ you don’t have a pretty older sister so you need not worry about that, but everyday in school you see pretty 16,17 year olds, in their best version of the proverbial beauty and wonder why you don’t grow up already.
Well stop. You will grow up. You already are. Everyday, you get one day closer to getting older. And that, this growth of your body, your face, your thoughts, your expectations will only continue to expand day in and day out. You will be taller, prettier, smarter, sexier. You will grow up.
But you can never stop growing, nor revert back to your middle school. You can never turn back time and appreciate what school has to offer to the weird brace laden, fringe infested teenager if all you focus on is growing up. The experiences, the foolishness, the capacity to goof up is one thing that is constantly pitted against time. You will grow up. You will be given responsibility, you will have all the make up you want, you will have that wardrobe that you covet so badly, sheepishly stare at and yet deny, you will be ‘prettier’ than your awkward teens, but with each passing year, your ability to make mistakes will lessen, your goofiness will be challenged and your very essence of a carefree individual will be shaken. People might tell you otherwise but those dreamers are yet to change themselves, let alone society.
I know, you do worry about grades, and the world around you, the issues the world faces, I know you worry and plan and scheme as to how to change the world and what your contribution in the world will be and you dream and you aspire. I know that you are not ‘shallow’, nor incapable, but I also know that every time you look into the mirror, you see something off. Beauty, however you define it, is going to be a major theme in your life, one that consumes you, enrages you, satisfies you, angers you, prods you, but most of all, one that challenges you, constantly. And know that you are neither the first, nor the last girl (or boy, for boys struggle with their own impossible standards) to face these issues and feel that way.
In fact, as you get older, the pressure will build and so will the expectations. It’s nothing you can’t tackle, you’re already way stronger than you know. But today let ‘cute’ be enough for you. Let the Famous Fives still be cool. Let respect still matter, be proud of the girl you are, stop worrying about the woman you’ll be. Start enjoying and appreciating the individual you are. Live life through the eyes of an unknown. Don’t let ‘crazy’, ‘weird’, ‘hot’, or ‘sexy’ be your only focus. To put it crudely but honestly, you are, just another body, but also remember that in essence, you are an entire world to be cherished, loved, respected, rejoiced and don’t let your perceived lack of beauty (however you define it) ever stall you.
Dear 13/14 year old self, you will grow up, but you can never go back.
Your prettier, decidedly sexier, 20 year old self