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Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Dear Me" Project - Anonymous (May 1997)

Dear Me (May 1997),

Clearly, middle school is awesome. At least for now. That feeling will fade quickly, and the acceptance you're feeling right about now will wane when you fall back into your old insecurities. Before you say anything, you're not ugly, you're not anorexic and you're not weird because you couldn't cross the playground in the first grade for fear of the tilted playground macadam. This is normal kid behavior.

Pretty soon you'll realize that childhood is over. You'll jump the gun and try to be a woman right away and in about two years your desire to be accepted and feel wanted and beautiful will you lead in the very opposite direction. Nothing too serious in the scheme of things, but enough to make you disgusted with yourself for years to come.

You'll swear off dating for awhile, left to wade through celibacy and lesbian jokes that aren't really funny. You'll get a little mean, but try to hold onto your kindness because you'll need it once you realize being mean is just a defensive measure.

Things will get better. High school, for one, will generally be better for you than this place. You'll cement some lasting friendships and make a few mistakes in that department as well. The good news is you're surprisingly good at willing yourself to forget. You'll make it to college with a clear idea of what you want to be and from there it's really smooth sailing. With a few bumps you'll waste some years on men who know nothing about you, fall in and out of love and accidentally end up dating your friend. My crystal ball's a little foggy here. He's not without his issues, but he's kind and gentle and he loves you. That much you can be sure of, even when it starts to get rough.

I know I won't change what you're about to do. You're a little cocky and rebellious and I know you won't listen. But it'll be okay in the end. You'll find your place. You'll try to run from it. You'll get sucked back in when the fear that you suck and no one's noticed yet subsides. And, somehow, chanting "I'm ok" will get you through the tears and the altogether bad days. Don't ask me how this works, I just know when you believe it, it tends to happen.

Oh, and sometime (I'm not sure when) you'll realize that kindness is the best way to get along with people and squash your enemies. You'll use that to your advantage everywhere and suddenly it will feel like you're almost popular without having to compromise your dignity. That's what you want now, right? You'll get it. You'll see.

For now, be tough. Keep telling them you'll emasculate them if they're not careful. And hang in there baby.

It's good to be you,
Me (2007)

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