Sunday, November 20, 2011
woman of letters: to my twelve year old self
In homage to the brilliant movement that is Women of Letters and because I am thoroughly enjoying the newly released book, I decided that I too, would pen some letters of my own...
Hiya Little Bird,
If I know you, you're probably flipping out about this whole 'letter from the future' thing - but I'm going to need you to calm down, ok? You are not going make the world fold onto itself and disappear into a black hole by reading on. Trust me. Trust yourself - always, but especially now.
So, you're 12. I know right now things are ticking along better than ever. You're head girl (YAY us!) at school, you scored the most awesome year seven teacher in Mr Jones - he's preparing you well for high school, so take it all in, and things are just generally pretty cool. Anyone who's anyone is wearing a bra now, so there's no need to be all self conscious anymore. Actually, you should know - that right now you are at your confidence prime. You-me - we will never feel so good about ourselves again - so hang onto that feeling, and preserve it for as long as you can - when you lose it, it really hurts.
I'm not going to tell you everything - but I do want to give you some tips that I think might help us both out... and perhaps save us from two years of counselling with our lovely, well meaning Psychologist Judy.
I know you are starting to freak out about high school. I need to tell you, that it's actually going to be ok. You shouldn't worry - that's a bad habit of ours Little Bird, and you need to cut it out - it gets us nowhere. Anyway, high school - in all the ways you think matter - will be fine. You will have friends around you, you will not be given a 'royal flush' like cousin Jason says you will; as for the work - you handle it just fine. We're book smart, remember.
There is one little teeny thing that happens, that makes life hell for, well, I'm not going to lie - a long while. So, if you can try to avoid this little something - it would be most advantageous (look it up in the dictionary) for us both.
Next year, one of the bullshit classes we have to endure is 'Outdoor Ed' - the 'teacher' is one of those horrid P.E. teachers (you know how we feel about them). Anyway, during the course of one of the classes, you will be out walking with the group, down by the dam near home - and you will be told to cross the dam by balancing on a pole that runs across the edge. DON'T DO IT Little Bird; fake an asthma attack - run off, whatever you have to do - just don't do it! When I did it, I fell in - and then we spent the next year or so, dodging vicious taunting from that ADD asshole kid Lucas, and his followers. I suspect this one incident changes the course of our high school experience, and it gives us a real battering; so if you can avoid it - I think we'll turn out less damaged. Of course, every P.E. teacher is an asshole - so you'll always have to watch out for them.
Also - try not to attend school on Valentines Day in year eight. Matty D gets an anonymous card that one shithead, mediocre handwriting analyst decides is written by you, and everyone gets stuck into you about it.
Hmm... when Danny one-nut (you'll hear the story when the time is right) approaches you on behalf of Blake to ask you out - don't have such a violent reaction, and maybe say yes... just a thought.
Oh, and maybe don't wear our new eight-hole cherry Dr Martens to Founders Day - they get totally scratched up.. it's heartbreaking really. On second thoughts, it's possibly the cred from the Dr Martens that leads to Blake's (via Danny one-nut) proposition. Your choice. If you do decide to wear them - Jesus Christ, wear two pairs of socks - those blisters hurt like you wouldn't believe.
Last of all - I just want to tell you not to worry so much about everything - it absolutely doesn't help. I promise you that the stress and the tears are not worth it. Secondly, you don't always have to be perfect - remember that most of all. When you get to year 12, you let the looming TEE score rule you way too much - it is not the be-all and end-all that you think it's going to be. On a side note, we get 89.85 - that's a pretty fucking good score. Which, we evidently don't make use of anyway (but that's a whole other letter... and a whole lot more counselling). Remember, remember, Mum and Dad just want to see you happy. Be happy and the rest will follow.
Oh yeah, don't stop learning flute after year eight - we are actually pretty good at it. Oh, better still, maybe when you pick your instrument - try to swing percussion instead - you know how much we want to play drums!
And... I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but when you and April end up at the train station after a Saturday morning shopping spree - maybe it wouldn't hurt to try a puff of her joint?
Be happy Little Bird, and be yourself. Not much can go wrong that way.