A Letter to my 21 year old self
Background: I’m 11 year old writing to my future self. Flash forward 10 years. I’m less than a week away from 21. I find the letter stating clearly not to open till my 21st birthday…but by now you probably figured out that I did not wait. This is how it went.
Dear 21 [year] old me,
Am I pretty yet? All the girls in my class are. I even heard someone say that the only girls in the class that aren’t is me and my best friend. I really don’t like my class. The kids don’t like me because I contaminate the air. They don’t want to become like me. I don’t this I’m that bad. Lizzie doesn’t like me because I embarrass her. She says I act like a little kid. So it’s easier not to talk at school. I don’t need them to hate me more. I hope I have better friends. I talk to Olivia on the phone. I wish she was here. The only time the kids pretend to like me is in art class. Which is the only class I like. I do ok in school though. I need something to do. I swim too. I’m slow but I like my group. They are nice to me. Also I hope I am better at math. Numbers are confusing. Maybe I won’t be as weird when I’m older. I miss my friends in 1st and 2nd grade. They were nice. Hopefully I am smarter and prettier.
Your 11 year old self
P.S Hopefully I can spell ‘Febuary’ now. It’s our birthday month!
Dear Tiny Human,
When you say pretty, mostly like you are thinking about the way society portrays pretty. I hate to break it to you…but we are not that. No long hair, still dealing with acne and a bit of a wonky smile. This was the point you wanted to grow your hair out again. You swore you would never have short hair again. Plot twist, it’s even shorter. I chopped it when I started pulling it out from stress and frustration. The great part is that I love it so much and my friends like it too. Did you hear that? I said friends. You did have challenges with friends at school. I definitely remember that. Little did you know Olivia would be back and she would stay one of your best friends all the way to present day. You will have the best friends once you get to high school. True, you will go through some rough patches until you find them but it is worth it. The best of the best stayed by your side all the way till now. That is really special. There is a hard part of your life where you felt like you were engulfed in darkness. These friends stood by your side, took your hand and pulled you out. I want to mention two guys. They know you inside and out. They can read you and always know what to say. Never take them for granted. You never had friends like these before. Friends like these are hard to find. Don’t worry, you have Olivia too and another best friend that is a girl. In fact, she coming over tomorrow. You can’t wait to laugh until you both cry. You still act somewhat like a little kid but your friends are perfectly fine with it. It’s when you feel super goofy and hyper. They like that side of you. You will have many labels put on you. You will learn to look past them and the people who love you will too. School is a bit postponed but it was a decision that you knew was best. You are learning to be happy and you are happier than you ever have been. Art is still a big part of your life. You are trying not to place your worth on only your art. You are so much more than just an artist. You are a daughter, friend, and most of all a child of God. But you still suck at math. Swim is an off and on relationship. It will bring you opportunities and great friends of whom you love. You still are a bit weird, but in a good way. I mean, no one is really normal. As for the 1st and 2nd grade friends, you reconnected with a few of them. It’s awesome. They are as kind as you remembered them. Just taller. Oh, by the way you’re still short. Really short. Honestly, it was not a choice. I promise, you are smarter. You’re learning everyday. Even if it’s not in a classroom. You are learning to love yourself. You may not call yourself pretty yet, but you’re getting there. You love your sense of humor, your laugh and the light in your eyes. You know you are beautiful inside. Maybe someday we won’t judge ourselves so hard. You grew up. There were hard times but you like who you’re becoming. You love to smile, even if our smile is wonky. You love to laugh and fill the air with the sound of laughter. I am trying to be the best I can be. I hope I can make you proud.
P.S February is still hard to spell. Thanks autocorrect!!
Originally published 2/22/2020