Thursday, October 1, 2015

Nostalgia can really trigger FEELS sometimes.

2001/2015
Dear Teenaged Me,

What would you say to me if you could know what our life would be like now?

What if I could show you that things were not going to turn out how you planned?

Would you just shrug and say "Okay"? Or would you be disappointed in me?

What if I told you that you're not going to be a doctor like you've wanted since you were 6? You're not going to do anything even remotely sciencey, and you're definitely going to be doing anything "glamorous." And that even after ten years on the job, you will still have doubts every single day about whether you made the right decision. Every. Single. Day. The extent to which you will experience Imposter Syndrome wrt your job will be staggering.

And also: you had wanted to get married by 25 and to have at least one kid by 30. Well, the kid part happened. And you're not going to get married, but you're still in love with the same shy boy whom you met when you were 15. And that sounds very sweet and all, but things have been about as far from "happily ever after" and "high school sweethearts" as you can imagine.

What if I told you that while he will be your only partner, he won't be your only heartbreak?

And what if I also told you that you're still going to be heavy and thick, even in adulthood? You will not suddenly blossom into a goddess in your 20s and have men fall at your feet like you're some sort of Carrie Bradshaw. In fact, you will go through some dark times wrt your body and your self-esteem, possibly even worse than in high school, because you had always assumed that when you reached adulthood you would've had this crap all figured out, and the fact that you haven't yet will make you feel extra guilty.

And what if I told you that you will still constantly feel awkward, out of place, boring, and generally unworthy? Those feelings will never go away. You will get better at managing them, but deep down inside, you will always wonder if people actually like you or if they're just being nice. Or like, they think they like you, but if they knew just how dull and mundane you feel 90% of the time, maybe they wouldn't think you were so likeable.

What if I told you that you're still in Milpitas after all this time? I think this would piss you off the most. You always wanted to get out of here. You even went to college out of state because you wanted out of Milpitas. But you will end up spending a lengthy chunk of time in this town that you've never really liked.

But...

What if I told you that, you probably already knew that you'd be happier with literature in your life, regardless of career path? After all, you were already in love with Pride and Prejudice and vampire YAF books back then anyway. That part hasn't changed a bit.

What if I told you that your daughter will be one of the coolest people you know, thanks in part to you and to your really cool partner? And that no, things won't be perfect, and sometimes you will want to tear your hair out, but to quote Taylor Swift, you will come crashing down, but you will come back every time?

What if I told you that your best friend in high school is still your best friend now, and you have also added more amazing best friends to your posse, and that you will learn how to be less judgey of people who are different from you?

What if I told you that, as an adult, you will discover a side of you that you had never, ever considered before? You grew up the fat, nerdy kid, and you will still be a fat, nerdy adult, but you will be athletic and strong anyway. What if you could've known back then that there would be roller derby and running and powerlifting in your life, and that your body would be capable and that you would really love being an athlete? And that some of the most amazing people you have ever met will be people you met through "being a jock"? How would you look at yourself then?

What if I told you that, while you will still feel awkward and out of place and all that, that you will at least find many other people who feel the same way, so at least you won't be alone?

And what if I told you that things can still change for you, even now? That life is never set in stone, and that if you still aren't happy with how things are going, that you can still do something about it?

What would you say to me? What would you think of me?

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