A Note to my 13 Year Old Self
It’s Wednesday and already it’s been a long week. With one thing after another piling up and nagging at me to catch up and keep up. There’s a point here, bear with me! My clever, funny, powerhouse friend Avital runs a weekly column over at SheKnows called Ask A Raging Feminist. Each week Avital asks a group of intelligent, funny, strong women a different question. I’ve had the great pleasure of contributing a few times. These are women I admire and love, so I feel very fortunate to be counted amongst their ranks.
This week (it having been a WEEK, and all), I missed my deadline. So, instead, I’m posting here what my answer would have been. You should also go read all the other wonderful, painful, sweet, and funny responses to this week’s question:
What would you tell your 13 year old self?
Dear 13 year old me,
You are smarter than you think, stop second guessing yourself. Indulge your love of literature, take the third language despite what your father says, do more years of drama and music, and fewer of physics. Don’t try to make maths more complicated, it’s not as hard as you think it is. You’ve got this.
Those girls you desperately want the approval of at school? Yeah, you’re not going to see them again once you go to university. That cute dark-haired boy with the sparkling eyes who hangs around the bus stop even though he rides his bike home? He likes you. Be kind to him, and be secure in that. See that red-haired girl crying over there? Make friends with her, help her tackle her bullies, she’s going to become one of the few people from school you renew a friendship with as adults.
You’re going to stand up for friends, for family, for what’s right and just for the rest of your life, start now.
I know the hours and hours of dance and music practice seem interminable, but do them anyway. You’re better than you think, and they’ll bring you immense satisfaction and joy through your life. Keep writing, and playing with clay. Your creative pursuits will feed your soul.
Don’t worry about your weight. You’ll do years of yo-yo dieting and it’ll lead to a dark place, but you’ll be ok. You’re tougher and more resilient than you know.
Stop stressing out about finding love. You’ll meet the right guy at university, and you’ll know within a week that he’s the one you want to spend your life with. Life isn’t a fairy tale, it’s rocky and messy and often hard, but it’s also incredibly sweet. And you’ll find a fiercer love than you ever thought was possible with your children.
I know you’re yearning for adventure. Relax. There’s plenty of adventure to come, and you’ll end up living a more full life than even you could dream up.
You’re always going to stand out and be different. Embrace it. Be confident in who you are and what you like, and don’t worry if it seems weird to others. Follow your passions, and keep daydreaming.
46 year old me