I was asked to write a letter to what I would say to my 15 year old self. Since, today was a throughly unproductive day, I’d like to end off this day with something that should be a fun exercise in writing.
Dear 15 year old me,
There are so many things that I want to tell you. From not scratching your acne, to not dating stupid boys. But, I realize that the root of all these problems is something much bigger. You scratch your acne in the hopes that one day your skin will be as flawless of those that you see around you. You date stupid boys hoping for them to validate you, to call you beautiful. You try to tame your actions in the hopes that people in school won’t make fun of you, and maybe, just maybe you’ll fit in. But instead of fitting in you still stick out like a sore thumb. So, you make yourself smaller, you hide in the bathroom every morning so you can avoid the embarrassment. You hide in the library every lunch break so nobody notices you and they leave you alone. Your life turns into a little game of making yourself invisible but you don’t manage to do it. While I assure you this time does blow over, and you find friends the effects of it never quite leave you. You always try to desperately fit in whenever you’re in a new place, and your behaviour depends on the person you’re with.
Today I want to tell you something, that I should’ve told myself a long time ago. Be weird. Celebrate your little quirks, and don’t you dare put up with anyone who tell you that your quirks make you any less of a person. The way you sing when you’re happy, make your own songs up and shout them at the top of your lungs, the way you can make anything into a sexual innuendo, the way you play with your leg hair when you’re bored, the way you eat your oreos with both your hands and squish the cream out, and the way where your imagination and opinions are unlimited are all amazing even if people may look at you funny when you do them. Say what you want to say, even though other people might not agree with you. But most importantly don’t lose yourself in trying to fit in with the popular crowd. You are an absolutely wonderful person who will go on to do great things, and you don’t need people to find you agreeable for that. Do what you need to do, and never forget the importance of hard work. Even if sticking to who you are means being alone, then its better to be alone than lose yourself, you will ALWAYS have your family and best friend beside you. Even though you all may disagree on basically everything. As Cristina Yang said, “Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.”
Also I know everyone seems to be much more attractive than you right now, and even the boys have bigger boobs than you (that won’t change much, sorry) but I do promise you that when puberty finally hits, a little bit of makeup, a proper haircut, and well done eyebrows will take you a long way. However, never let anyone make you feel smaller because of this. You have the confidence to capture a rooms attention, never let that change.
I know right now with your hormones all over the place, boys seem to be like the forbidden apple. Don’t be afraid to explore your sexuality, and don’t let anyone shame you for doing so. But DO delete all your texts, it isn’t pretty when your parents find out. But more importantly don’t settle. If a boy ever makes you cry or disrespects you, dump his sorry ass however much it may hurt in the moment. Books, porn and your friends are more than likely a good enough substitute for him. Also him being “stupid” is never an excuse, because you deserve much better.
Finally, be brilliant. You have goals and ambitions, don’t be scared to strive for them even if you think you might fail. Your dreams will evolve with you, so don’t be scared to dream big. You are capable of so much more than you think. The internet will help you answer all your questions so use it liberally. Develop good work ethic and organizational skills, instead of sailing through high school, you’ll thank yourself (me) for it in college. Drink lots of water and eat your pills on time. Love your parents and grandparents, and listen to them even though I know you don’t want to, they’re wiser than you give them credit for. And, whenever in doubt about a decision or upset about something think about how much it will matter in 10 years, some perspective always helps.
I often look back and think of my choices with distaste. However, today I feel protective of my younger self (you), I think she did the best she could with what she knew. But hopefully this letter will make you think more highly of yourself. And I know this is cliche but I can assure you that it’s all going to be okay.
Sappy Older Namya
I found that writing this was much more difficult than I expected it to be. It took be about 4 hours to pull together these 500 words. It was heartbreaking to think back of 15 year old me, who had no idea who she was and where she was going. However, this helped me realize where I’d been recently going wrong. I had become too focused on fitting in and forgotten to be myself. I had forgotten the golden rule that my parents had told me, “Do what you want to do, but be excellent at it.” Today morning started off with a disappointment, I was told that I had not gotten a position that I had applied for within EWB. I got around to accepting this fairly quickly by saying, “I’m sure better opportunities are around the corner”, and while I’m fairly positive that this is true, this only went on to highlight the fact that I had settled for mediocrity. To avoid this in the future I will think about why I want to achieve a certain thing in the future, and once I am satisfied that I am doing it for myself, then I will diligently work towards achieving said goal.