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Conversations with my fourteen-year-old self. February 12, 2008

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I.
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There’s been lots of talk around the fatosphere in the past couple of days about what you would tell your fourteen-year-old self if you had the chance.  Though I left a brief comment at Shapely Prose about it, I couldn’t resist expanding it into a post of it’s own.

Dear Fourteen-year-old Jae,

–Right now you’re pretty miserable, and I’m sorry to say you’re going to be miserable for another few years.  It has nothing to do with you; you just weren’t cut out for high school nonsense.  The important thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t going to last forever.  In college the clouds will start to break and by the time you’re in your twenties you will be a much more together woman.  Just know that you’re not crazy; you’re just different in an awesome sort of way.

–You won’t speak to D again after this year, thank God, but it’s only then that you will start to deal with what she did to you.  You know that it isn’t your fault.  She’s a sick person and though she will get away with torturing you for a big chunk of your life, she does not win.

–There’s going to be a day in a few years when your sister will disappear for a few hours and no one will be able to find her.  She’s okay, but she is up to no good.  Don’t let the subject drop.

–Speaking of letting things drop, don’t let your best friend  talk you out of telling her mother about her anorexia.  She’s never going to have a healthy relationship with food or her body, and she’s going to develop bulimia later on.  You can’t save her, you really can’t, but this is the best chance she has.

–Stop dabbling in your own eating disorders.  It won’t make you thin; it will just make you sick and depressed.  Instead go and buy a book on intuitive eating, and don’t be afraid to exercise; you’ll like it and I promise, you won’t hurt yourself.

–Guys are not the yardstick by which you should measure your self worth; it really doesn’t matter how many boys you kiss or how old you are when you first have sex.  A boyfriend is not the magical pill which cures all insecurities, so you’re really not going to be “broken” until you find one because you aren’t broken to begin with.

–Let’s repeat that: You are not broken.

–While we’re talking about boys…you’ll meet a special one at twenty, but he isn’t ready for you yet and he may never be, but you will be awesome friends.  Don’t believe the lies in your head that tell you he doesn’t love you because you aren’t good enough.  You’ll meet another one later that year…don’t run away because you’re scared.  You’ll always regret it if you do and you’ll always wish you had another chance.

–Do an internship in college.  I know it’s going to mean you’ll have to quit your job and/or work your ass off, but it will be worth it.

–Dad has bigger problems than you know.  I won’t tell you what they are, you’ll only be tempted to try and fix them and you can’t, but know that he doesn’t hate you; he just doesn’t really know how to love you.  Show him you love him and try and get mom to talk him into getting help.

–Grandma is going to die in just three years.  You’ll know it’s coming, but it won’t make you miss her any less.  Take pictures with her.  Spend all the time you can with her.  Do the same for grandpa.  You’ll have him for another six years, but it will go by in a flash.

–You and L will stop being friends in about a year and a half, but you’ll find your way back together.  It’s probably necessarry for you to do this, but she isn’t healthy for you.  You’ll love her inspite of the fucked up things she does, but until she works out her issues the friendship isn’t going to work well, and it will fall apart again. 

–The most important thing to remember: you are a worthwhile human being.  When others try to treat you as less than, don’t let them get away with it, but even more importantly don’t let yourself get away with it either.