I often describe myself as a twelve year old, as I’m not really into the things people my age are (drinking, partying, etc. etc.) and I have a super soft spot for Disney and other things aimed at tweens. When I was in France, I had to spend a week sharing a room with three girls from year nine. I love the girls dearly, but it taught me a lot about myself, especially about how old I am. When I was fifteen, I wrote a letter to my twelve year old self. As I’m turning eighteen in a few weeks, and have the experience of being around fifteen year olds fresh in my mind, I decided to write a letter to fifteen year old me.
Dear Fifteen Year Old Me,
Future you, here. Right now you’ve just finished writing a letter to twelve year old us, and you’re thinking that you’re really wise, aren’t you? Well, it’s two and a half years later, and honey, you still have so much to learn.
In a few months, you’re going to have to pack up and move. It’s going to be hard at the time, but in the long run, it’s going to be one of the best things that will ever happen. You have to say goodbye to your old friends, but you’ll get to meet some amazing new ones. Your school is going to have so many more opportunities for you than your old one, and even though not everyone is your biggest fan, after a bit of searching, you find the people who matter. The best news is mum and dad aren’t going to be at your school any more! Freedom!
Later next year, you’re going to go on exchange. It’s not going to be all fun and games, I’m sorry to tell you, but after meeting some of your new friends, you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without them. There’s a silver lining to every grey cloud, just remember that. Please don’t bash yourself up over all your perceived failings. You’re doing the best you can, and looking back, you’ll do so fondly, only regretting all the times you forgot to smile.
One of those new friends, Kayla, is going to introduce you to something that is going to change your life. It’s called Nerdfighteria, and it will become your oxygen. How you’ve survived all these years without John and Hank Green, and their wonderful books and videos, I have no idea. John’s books are going to be your bible, you will laugh, you will cry, and you find someone who finally understands what it’s like to be you. Being a Nerdfighter will teach you self acceptance, something I know you’ve struggled with. You’re going to learn just how awesome being a Nerd is, and how it’s something you should embrace, not hide away.
Speaking of Nerds, pretty soon you’re about to fall head over heels in love with Doctor Who. I know, I know, you made fun of Maddison for all those years for being a Whovian, but you are going to become just as obsessed as her. It’s a good change, I promise, and you will meet so many amazing people through discussions about your favourite Doctor (which is Ten.). Your obsessions with everything are going to continue, you’ll still love The Jonas Brothers and everything Disney (you’ll get to go to EuroDisneyland twice in the next two years!), you’ll have a massive pile of favourite tv shows to quote constantly, Harry Potter will be your everything, and you may or may not have a list of British men you plan on marrying (okay, you totally do).
|We’re going to hug Tom Felton!|
Don’t worry, Toong is still your best friend, and she shares all your obsessions. You’re lucky to have her (and all your other amazing friends. What you lack in quantity, you make up in quality).
In Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen, which you loved quoting so much in our last letter, she says ‘When all you wanted was to be wanted, wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now’. and I know that at the moment you are searching for acceptance. You want to fit in, and get desperately upset when you’re just not making the perceived mould. To quote 17 Again, “When you’re young, everything feels like it’s the end of the world. But it’s not. It’s just the beginning.” You are hurting right now, I know you are. You put up a brave face, but nobody should have to feel the pain you’re feeling at the moment. I want to tell you that it’s all going to be okay, and none of it is going to matter in the long run. Those girls bullying you? Just wait and see where they are in comparison to you in a few years time. You’ll laugh a lot. Maybe you won’t have the boyfriends or the fashion sense, but you have the common sense (and the fictional boyfriends). That’s all you need right now, and I can promise that it will save you a lot of regrets.
At fifteen, you think you’re so big, so grown up, but you have so much maturing to do. In the scheme of life, you actually don’t know that much, and the things you think matter so much really don’t matter at all. It’s all about perspective, and looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I can happily tell you that what you’re going through doesn’t even matter. I know it does right now, but wait until you’re me, and then you won’t even remember what had you so upset. I’m not saying the next few years are going to be easy – quite the opposite, actually. You’ll end up at the Doctors for anxiety (which you should stop resisting as treatment is the best thing you ever did) – but you are going to learn so much. Some wonderful mentors are going to come into your life, you are going to be given some brilliant opportunities, and you are going to grow into a beautiful human being. I may not be able to promise you an endless queue of boys, breathtaking beauty, and a jam-packed social life, but I can promise you that you will be proud of yourself, and you will be happy with your life.
We currently have a big year ahead of us – lots of studying and decisions, and then the massive HSC, but it’s all going to be okay. You can trust in me, I promise. I may cry a bit too often over fictional characters, but I finally know what we’re doing, and with an awesome support system, we can make it through anything. Keep your faith in God, honey, because He will be there even when it feels like everyone else has walked out (which, fyi, they never have). Later this year we’re finally going to go to America, and hopefully England, so I guess we’re not doing too badly after all.
Please keep smiling. Life is amazing, and sometimes it’s hard to see that through the tears, but you’re so young, and sometimes you forget that! At fifteen, life has just started! You have no real worries, no responsibility…Just enjoy it while you can. Promise me that.
Hey, we’re gonna be alright.
Seventeen-And-Eleven-Twelfths Year Old Us