Well, um, hi. I know I’m sitting here alone but it’s like I can see you here, a little kid with long dark brown hair and scared eyes. You’d cry at the drop of a hat and you’re already feeling insecure about your body. Not even twelve and you’re starting to hate parts of yourself. I wish I could tell you what someone else should have told you from the start: that it doesn’t matter if your legs are bigger than that other girl’s, or if you have a bit of a tummy, or if your body isn’t “perfect” or “beautiful” because you’re beautiful and perfect even if you don’t believe it. You’ve just left primary school and you’re more scared than you let on, but it’s gonna be OK. You’re gonna struggle, of course you are, but you’ll make it. You’ll fly through year 7, year 8, year 9 and you’ll be OK – admittedly you’ll spend some days (and nights) in the midst of a panic attack, shaking and crying and just wanting to throw up, or curl up in a corner and let the world swallow you up and it’ll feel like the end of the world, like nothing else matters but what you’re panicking about, but you’ll get through it. You’ll always come out the other side alive and safe and that’s what matters.
Some old “friends” will make you feel awful for a time, but you’ll realise that they were never really your friend and that time she came up to you and told you to shout at her if she was being mean? Sometimes you have to just shout “you’re not sorry” and leave. Because she isn’t worth your second, third, fourth, fifth chances. You’ll make new friends, and you’ll drift away from them, but in the end you’ll find somewhere you think you belong, somewhere you feel happy enough, and it’s with these people that you’ll spend all of your year 9. Going into GCSE years, things get more complicated. Friendships break down, and you’re not sure why. There are people you’ll want to scream at; anything to make them get out of your life, and there’ll be people you’ll be closer to than you ever thought you would be when you met them; people who you couldn’t imagine life without; people you just want to wrap in bubble wrap and keep safely locked away from the cruel world, but you’ll realise that that isn’t how it works, that you just have to hold people up sometimes, and that’s OK. And it’s OK to let people hold you up sometimes, and that’s one of the hardest life lessons to learn for someone who goes from crying at anything to refusing to let anyone help them.
Music, books, and the night sky will sometimes be your best friends. You can always rely on them, after all. People, even those you trust the most, cannot be depended on to be available at all times, but sometimes all you need is a song, or a chapter or the brightest star in the sky. But, in the end, it’s always best to pour out your emotions to someone, whether it’s your best friend, or an internet friend living on the other side of the world.
I won’t tell you much more, but I hope I made you proud. And I hope, I really hope that I can continue to make you proud, because, in the end, you’re the only person who really knows me, and you’re the only person I can always rely on.
See you in a few years.