Friday, April 18, 2014

A Letter to Me: Age 13

Have you heard that Brad Paisley song "Letter to Me?" If not, go listen. I'll wait. While I'm waiting, I'll listen to it again. Not definitely tearing up. 

I left my job at the middle school today, and it may be the last time I ever see these kids. For all of my complaining, they were all good kids. Some of them were great kids. It broke my heart to see them sad that I was leaving. I felt so much pressure to tell them something useful, to make my final words mean something to them. I told them they were going to do great things, good luck in high school, good luck in the rest of middle school. I gave them my email, and I really do hope to hear from them. 

It got me thinking - what would you tell your 13 year-old-self, your 16 year-old-self, your 18 year-old-about-to-enter-college self? All the things, or none of the things? As part of a three-post series, I plan to share with you my answers to these questions. Although these ages are relatively close together, my answers differ so vastly. I'm planning to start with age 13 and work my way up, and I invite you to join me! Write your own answers, or just follow along. Either way, I hope you reflect on your time as a young, almost person. On your struggles, on your joys, on the things that you wish someone would have told you or not told you. Without further adieu…

Dear 13 Year-Old-Self,

Hey girl! Welcome to your teens. I’m just going to lay it out for you. 7th grade is going to be a rough year BUT you’re going to make it through. You’re preoccupied with the fact that you’re going to have spinal surgery in October. Isn’t scoliosis a bitch? (Don’t even start with me – I know you just started cursing.) Get the flu all you want – it’ll happen eventually. It will be painful. The OR nurses and the recovery nurses will lie to you about painful things not hurting, but your parents will never leave your side, and they will hold your hand through it all. Your best friend in the whole world will visit you in the hospital. You’ll miss 4 weeks of school. You’ll wind up with a scar that you never think about, but that surprises other people when they see it. Generally, they think it's pretty rad. You will be okay.

Last year you started having the biggest crush on your best guy friend [HI JASON], and it’s not going away, and he’s as uninterested as ever. Believe me or not, it will pass. You’ll fall out of touch in high school but reconnect in college. He’ll become a friend who you know isn’t going anywhere, no matter the distance, and it wouldn’t have been worth ruining for a lame middle school romance.

I know you’re struggling because you have braces and Mom won’t let you straighten your hair or wear makeup but you feel rebellious because you just watched your first rated-R movie. You feel like you don’t fit in, and you’re not sure why. 6th grade was full of friends, but now why is everyone hanging out without me? It will get better.

Keep reading, keep sewing, keep knitting, and keep baking with Mom. Listen to new, weird music with Dad. These will continue to be the things that make you the happiest, even when it feels like the whole world is against you. You are beautiful. You are smart. You will grow into your teeth. You are snarky, and while Mom and Dad definitely don’t appreciate it, I’m sure at least one of your teachers does. This will be one of the hardest years of your life, but you will make it through. You will come out a stronger, more independent person for it. Good luck with it all. Love you always.

Hugs from the future,

Start saying things like “Hashtag” and “YOLO.” You’ll be so cool, way ahead of your time. 

Here's a picture of your favorite CD because Fall Out Boy is your favorite. 

P.P.P.S. (Is that even a thing?)
The sooner you start listening to All Time Low, the better. #angst 


  1. hahaha I love this! So sweet, since I've known you for years.

  2. this is fabulous! i love that song, and i always think of younger me when i hear it. honestly, though my letter would be 'ignore all the b*tches, life goes on and it will be so much better you won't even remember them' or something equally as short and simple. haha! thanks for sharing :)

  3. This is such a good idea. Isn't it funny how we think certain things are the end of the world and that usually everything just ends up working itself out?