So, you’re about to start comprehensive school, that’s kinda big. I know how excited you are and I’m so happy for you.
I have to be honest with you, the first year is going to suck a little, but after that you’re going to really enjoy it and the friends you make will change your life, even if you don’t stay in touch with them forever. Don’t worry though, that doesn’t mean you lose touch with friends from primary, that’s never going to happen.
I do have some sad news though. Mam and dad get divorced. It’s going to break your heart for a long time, but as you get older you’re going to realise that this was the best decision they could make; this way they both get to be happy.
You’re going to grow up pretty quick and realise that to everyone else you look like a women, even if you don’t know the first thing about what being a women means. You’re going to cry about being taller than the other girls, and chubbier. You’re going to hate your braces and how straight your hair is. You’re going to kiss a lot of boys in the hopes that you’ll start to feel pretty. I’m sorry that I let you do that. I’m sorry that I bowed under peer pressure.
You will have LOTS of fun though. You will spend your weekends swimming in rivers and sneaking into community gardens to eat the best chips that the valleys have to offer with friends you’ll never forget. You learn what being in love is like and know that it made you a better person. You have family who love you and who will look after you no matter how old you get (even if you think they’re just being god damn annoying).
However, these sunny days where you sit on top of the mountain and watch the world go by will grow overcast.
You’re teenage years will be painful at times. You’re going to hurt yourself. You’re going to wish you were dead. You’re going to hide away behind a notebook filled with dark words and drown yourself in songs that glorify the death you are longing for. I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger for you. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you from that. Just remember I was young and try not to hate me too much.
You’re going to hate your family for a while. You’re going to be mad at how everything unfolds, bitter at how everyone ‘never noticed’. Just remember it’s hard for them too. It’s hard for them to watch you struggling, trying and failing to pull yourself out of the dark place you found yourself in, unable to even reach a hand out to help you. It’s going to be hard for them to understand; or even want to.
I wish I could tell you it’s not going to be painful, but I can’t. You find yourself falling down the rabbit hole; stuck for a while, exploring a dark place you never thought you would visit.
But you do get out.
You go to university and meet friends who give you courage and show you that being you is the best. You go to Japan on a year abroad and learn to say ‘Yes’ instead of a fearful ‘No’. You grow brave under the relentless southern Japanese sun.
You’re now in your twenties and living in Japan; one of your dreams. You live with a fantastic man who makes you feel everything you always thought love would be. You know that you’re worth more than what men think of your body, that speaking up against injustices are okay and you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it. You can thank a fantastic friend you met on the internet for that. It’s hard to find time to talk to her these days with both of you living your lives as successful (on her end anyway) women, but you still love her all the same.
You will make friends with people you never thought you would have the chance to meet, and grow closer to ones you’ve always had. You’re contact list will become a scratch map with a friend on every continent.
You’re going to question a lot of things about you and what it means to be you, and you’ll probably never stop working that out. I can promise, however, that by now you have a pretty good idea of who you are and who you want to be.
I’m sorry that the path I paved for you is filled with holes and hurdles, thorns and brambles that will scratch and trip you along the way. I’m sorry for all the pain it may cause but I promise that I’m doing my best to pave an easy path, an exciting one filled with awe inspiring moments and heart stopping beauty.
Thank you for not giving up on me.
Thinking of you always,
What would you say to a younger you?