Dear 12 Year Old Me

Dear April,

You’re going to hate this letter.  You’re going to hate this because it’s not necessarily going to help you in the situation you’re in now.  But it is meant to give you hope for the future, and I sincerely hope it does that.

Because it does get better, I promise you that.  It doesn’t get *perfect* but it does get better.  Right now you feel like you have no friends, like your home life is a mess and that maybe there’s no point to anything.  But there is.  There really is.

In high school you’ll make more friends.  People will stop bullying you altogether like someone flipped a switch at the beginning of grade 9 and they all suddenly became human.  It helps that you don’t go to the same high school as most people you grew up with. You’ll meet Amanda, Kate and Darla, and while those friendships will have their ups and downs, they will become the foundation of some of your best teenage memories. You’ll join the arts council in grade 12 and that will bring you out of your shell somewhat. By the time you get to university you’re almost unrecognizable from the shy, insecure girl you are right now.

And, oh university! Those will be some of the momentous years of your life.  If you hang on for anything, hang on for university. You’ll move to Ottawa (but don’t get too attached to the idea of Peter being there – he isn’t for very long) and on the first day of Frosh week you’ll meet some of the best friends you’ll have during those four years, especially Laura and Cristina.  Over time you’ll meet Matt and Olga and Natalie and Loranne and so many others on your floor of residence and on the 12th  floor as well.

Living in residence first year is the best decision you’ll ever make.  It allows you to meet the people I just listed. You go on to live with Laura and Cristina for second and third year, and while that’s a mixed bag, it will still be more good than bad. You’ll fall in love for the first time in first year. With that will come a lot of questions and a lot of angst.  Try not to freak out, and follow your heart.  You will get hurt, but you will heal and the self-discovery will be so very worth it.

You will spend most of your 20s in a relationship with someone and it will also have its ups and downs. Ultimately it won’t work out in the end, but it will teach you what it’s like to have a real, adult relationship that is between equals.  That lesson will be worth more than I can describe.  You will know what it can be like and even though it ends, it will ultimately give you a blueprint for what you want out of a long term relationship.

Speaking of which, J in Newfoundland is NOT IT. RUN AWAY AND RUN AWAY FAST.  All this relationship will bring you is 9 months of lies and emotional manipulation. Sure, you get to visit St. John’s three times, but dear gods it’s not worth it.  You get out of this will some dignity still left, but it wrecks you for quite some time, so if you don’t want to go through that stay away.  Don’t text, don’t comment on livejournal.  Just don’t have anything to do with them. Trust me.

As I write this you are in your late 30s.  You’ll be 39 in a few short months, can you believe it? Things are ok. There are some tough years in your late 30s. I won’t lie to you about that. You’ll do therapy, you’ll need some meds, but that’s ok.  Everyone needs some help sometimes.  And it will help.

I’ll leave you here, to think about what I’ve said. You’re twelve years old and the world is horrible to you right now, I get it, I really do. But keep going, because who you become and the life you lead will be worth it.

Oh, and hang out with Mom more. Just sayin’.

Love, 38 year old you.

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