Now I don’t know if you’ve seen what Facebook has been up to lately, but I sure have. There is now a way for your cringe-worthy social media embarrassments to be delivered to your notifications each and every day. Facebook organizes your pictures, status updates, and added friends from the date in past years. And it’s the worst thing ever.
I mean, what kind of sick mind came up with this torture? You want to look, hoping to see memories, but instead are greeted with statuses promoting your love for ice cream, or worse: pictures.
All this terrible embarrassment lead me to think critically about my 12-year-old self. What would I say to myself at twelve years old? I know I was super protective of my little sister when she was twelve, but she was completely different than me, so I don’t know if my advice even helped.
Still I wonder… what would I advise myself? I came up with a little letter.
Dear 12-year-old Meagan,
Don’t be embarrassed by your name, even though it’s spelled a little differently. Your ninth grade geometry teacher will make fun of you for the whole year, but you’ll eventually come to love the little nickname of Me-A-gan.
You’ll have tons of nicknames, but just roll with it. Remember that these people aren’t trying to hurt you. Someday you’ll have friends who constantly call you names that are not your actual name, and you’ll be fine with it, because these people are your friends.
Speaking of which… YOU WILL MAKE FRIENDS. I know this is a hard time in your life. You are lonely. You feel useless. You fear that everyone hates you no matter what you do to fit in. But someday, people will love your little quirks… and they will love you. No more will you lock yourself in the bathroom during breaks because you have no friends. No more will you cry at night because you feel bad about yourself.
Don’t let the people bullying you get the best of your emotions. You do this pretty well, but you do need to remember to learn that it isn’t your fault at all that these people are hurting you. It’s something in their own sick character, not a flaw of yours. Later in life, you’ll struggle to believe compliments just because you’ve been called ugly so many times.
I know you’re starting to shut up because of them, too. You’ve been getting quieter and quieter because it seems like someone has something awful to say no matter what comes out of your mouth. STOP letting them make you feel like what you say is worthless… and that you are worthless.
Words hurt, but use yours for good. Be nice to everyone, all the time. Even that guy who makes you cry nearly every day. He’ll get what’s coming someday, trust me. And keep up that journal, because you’re going to fulfill your dream of publishing a book sooner than you’d expect.
Don’t worry about the girls who tease you because you don’t like Justin Bieber. He goes downhill anyway, and you’ll have an awesome taste in music.
That music taste will lead you to make some of your best friends. At first, the thought of making friends on the internet may scare you, but don’t be afraid. You will actually travel hundreds of miles to meet them, and it will be the greatest feeling when you meet them and the most heartbreaking one when you have to leave.
You’ll also leave home someday. Your college plan is totally off. I know you wanted to stay at home and go to the college that gives you a free laptop, but you’re going to end up in Iowa. Unbelievable, right? Trust me, you’ll still love it there because you’ll make fantastic friends.
Don’t worry about boys, ever. You may never get a boyfriend, but it’ll be okay. You’ll have a boy who follows you everywhere even after you reject him, and you’ll regret wishing a boy likes you. When you someday kinda like a boy from another country, don’t sweat it. You still won’t get a boyfriend but he will show you how a gentleman should treat you.
Do NOT change how you look for anyone, because it will only end up making you miserable. You’re not ugly, okay? Don’t listen to people who tell you differently. And don’t stress about your appearance, because you’ll find yourself eventually. After six years, those braces will come off and you’ll finally be able to smile without embarrassment. Makeup will finally make sense. Someday your hair will be just fine. You’ll be short forever, but that’ll be okay too.
You are worth more than you think.