Currently there is a hashtag, #DearMe, circulating the internet. It was started by YouTube for International Women’s Day (8th March) and encourages people to compose a letter to their younger self. I really suggest you watch the video here, and search up a few other ones (my personal fave is Hannah Hart’s one).
The past is a very difficult topic for me as apart from when I was much younger, and then one year, I’ve had a lot of crap going on pretty much constantly. But I really wanted to participate in this as I think it’s an amazing idea, and so inspiring. So here goes…
Hey! How are you? Stupid question, I know how you are. Pretty shit, yeah? Yeah.
Well, I want to start by saying I wish I could change how things are gonna go. But, you’re really hella stubborn (you’ll learn later how this can be a good thing) so chances are you’d make all the same decisions anyway. So I’ll just say… that I’m sorry. You’re gonna get really hurt, and really bruised, you’ll think the world is better off without you and you’re going to think so many times that you’re broken beyond repair. And maybe you are, I don’t know, I’m still trying to work that one out. But you’re still here. Like, seven years later, you’re still here. Alive and kickin’ ass. You’re totally badass and rad and passionate, and you’re gonna really like yourself! It’s going to be so, so tough and I wish I could spare you from all that, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to take advice from me ’cause we both know how stubborn you are.
First off, let’s get this all sorted: you’re gay. Yep. (This will become abundantly clear in college, trust me.) Seriously, it’s not weird to think those girls are attractive. You know you’ve always thought that. So stop wasting time on those boys, they’re just gonna give you heartache. Stop wondering why you don’t enjoy kissing them and just focus on more important things, yeah? Oh, and when you come out as ‘bisexual’ (spoiler: you’re not) don’t bother with that girl, your friend, who says it’s wrong. She’s the only person who’s ever gonna do that to you and she really doesn’t matter. You’re awesome, girls are awesome, and you just be you.
Also, don’t freak out about the drinking thing. The whole you-actually-hate-alcohol thing? Yeah, that’s fine. Don’t pretend to drink it just ’cause those people laugh at you when you don’t, they’re all idiots anyway. Your real friends don’t give a shit. Plus, you’re going to discover there’s a reason you get an allergic-y reaction to it (hint: it’s called intolerance). Oh, and it’s going to save you so much money in university!
Yeah, that’s right. You got into uni. Go you/me/us. So please stop worrying about grades. Getting a B, even getting a C, that’s so totally fine. I know you stress about getting the best grades possible, and even know you still expect yourself to get everything right first go, top grade. But no one’s perfect. You’ll probably change your mind on what you want to be, and you’ll change your A-Levels a couple times, and you’ll have one English teacher who loves you and one who hates you, but that’s fine! When you realise what you want to do, it’s just gonna click and you’ll be so happy. So stop stressing over stupid exams that won’t matter in a couple of years; you’re going to go far and end up doing something you absolutely adore, studying at a place you truly love. You even actually like going to class now (shocker, right?) Your best is and will be good enough.
Now quickly, before we get all deep and dark, three things:
1. Detox those fake friends already. Just ’cause you see them everyday doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them.
2. Enjoy your long hair, you’re eventually gonna cut it all off and shave the side and on occasion you’ll miss the long hair (even though you totally pull of the swaggy Bieber look).
3. Your best friend is actually going to be that one girl who you currently don’t like ’cause she ‘stole’ your other best friend. (hint: no one ‘steals’ friends, they choose to go) But she’s great and you both really mature soon and it’s the best friendship ever! So chill, you’re going to have the best friend ever and she’ll always have your back, and it’s kind of a whole non-romantic soulmate thing we got going on.
Okay, so… um. Just get help already. I know it feels so goddamn awful and you hate yourself so much, and I won’t lie to you (me) – I still hate myself so much and it’s still hard so much of the time. But if you just get some help, it’ll be a bit easier. I know you’re not getting help because you think you deserve to feel this way, and I know you like the pain, but you need to help yourself. You’re so special and only you can fix stuff. You’re going to get stronger and more determined, and you’re going to be okay. Right now, everyone is really worried about you and you don’t even think they care, but they do. You can do this and get through it, and just making that one appointment will get you on a path upwards. Your sadness isn’t your only friend. Also, when you finally get into those therapy sessions, don’t lie. I know you were honest about the depression and all the attempts and hurting, but be honest about the body stuff too. I mean come on, she’s paid to not judge you, and you really do need the help. Stop thinking that you’re too fat to have an eating disorder. A lot of stuff will get a lot clearer and easier if you just admit you need help with that too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. So when you fail at ending it all those times, please don’t think “just another thing I failed at”, because honestly it’s a good thing. You get to do so much more stuff which you haven’t even dreamed of yet and you are worth something.
Finally, that girl you’re going to meet in a couple years? Well, I wish I could tell you all the ways you could avoid meeting her, but you’re going to meet her no matter what. It was always going to happen. You learn a lot from it. She’s going to be the most precious thing you’ve ever had, so just go for it. Fall hard, give everything you’ve got, that’s what you do. But promise me one thing? After those two and a half years, when it all falls apart? Just let it. You can’t fix it, however hard you try, and you’re going to try so hard and it’ll just fall apart even harder. So please, please just let it be, let it go. That way you two can stay friends, ’cause trust me losing her from your life entirely will be a lot harder than just losing her as a girlfriend.
But even if she’s still there right now, please learn you deserve better. You deserve someone who gives as much as you do and puts you first sometimes. She doesn’t treat you right, you know that now, and you deserve to be treated like you treat her, and to not feel like you’re worthless all the time. You’re worth so much and you don’t even know it yet. You haven’t even begun to learn.
Right now in 2015, we’re still sad. We’ve been sad for a long while, and it goes up and down and it probably always will. Life is really hard. Most of the time I still think the world would be better off without me. But right now, even though it’s still so so hard, and a lot of the time it all still feels pointless, I do believe it’s going to get better. So, past-me, hold onto that: I’m not going to lie and make you promises that it gets better, but remember that one day you’re going to realise that one day it will be better. Ad Futurum means ‘to the future’ and in a couple months you’re going to learn that phrase, and it’s going to help you remember that you will always have a future.
On that cheerful note, I think that’s all there is to say. I’ve probably already ’caused some sort of paradox that’ll inevitably end the world. Well, maybe not. I mean, you’re important but you’re not that important. Okay, so I’ve got lectures tomorrow so I best get to bed. You too, no more of that staying up until 5am then waking up at 7am for school. Okay? Good.
Over and out.
P.S. In a couple years you’re going to realise you’re a giant feminist and that other girls are not the enemy. So stop all that hate and slut-shaming, it’s just the internalised misogyny in you. Dw, you’ll grow out of it!