Dearest darlingest Juliette,
“My whole life, I’ve been alone. I’ve never had friends. Nobody really liked me, and I never knew why. But I was very shy. I was (and still am) an introvert, I liked spending time by myself. People made fun of me because I was different. I didn’t dress like them, I didn’t do what they liked to do. And that left me with no friends. At lunch I would eat alone and then go talk to the lunch ladies. They were the only nice people to me. I loved to sing and act. But I’m still pretty alone. I have a best friend and I love her to death. A girl is trying to turn her against me. That’s rough. I’m still very introverted. I like being alone. But I think something’s wrong with me. When I wake up in the morning to go to school, I feel physically sick. The thought of school and being made fun of everyday makes me feel nauseous and gives me headaches. I get sick when I have to go to school. I feel really deflated and I just want to cry all day. I feel like there’s something wrong with me. I just don’t feel normal. I’m alone. I’m self-concious of my weight and my body and I physically hurt when I think about school and being bullied. Is there something wrong with me? I don’t enjoy things anymore. I just feel upset and sick. I just feel done, I can’t deal with it. My best friend is moving 3000 miles away and it’s just going to get worse without her. In the mornings I just cry and feel sick everyday. I act like I’m happy but I can’t deal with anything anymore. I’m just blown out. Physically and mentally. I can’t eve process. I’m alone and I probably always will be. That’s that.”
That was you a year and a half ago. What do you think of that? I know it’s kind of strange that it was almost 2 years ago. But that is how you felt. I can tell you a lot will change. Your “best friend” leaving will actually bring a lot of light into your life. Shocking, I know. You will meet new friends and reconnect with old. You will get good grades in 9th grade. You will go through heartbreak and love and more heartbreak and more love. You will be happy. You will be sad. You’ll gain confidence and lose it again. You’ll dye your hair purple. You’ll kiss some boys and some girls and to be quite frank, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. You’ll get a horse! You’ll learn to dance and sing at a baseball game and learn how to play the ukulele. You’ll finally have some bliss.
But you’ll also plummet several times. You’ll be very very sad. You’ll lose people who were once very close to you. You’ll run your mouth and get yourself into some trouble. You’ll break down. You will hurt yourself and cry yourself to sleep more times than you can count. You’ll meet a weird therapist and hate her. You’ll meet another therapist and love him but then begin to realize he was really creepy and then hate him too. You’ll wait a couple months and then meet another therapist and really begin to like her and think she’s great. You’ll have fights with your mom, your dad, your sister and your friends. You’ll lose everyone.
It’s not gonna be a joyride. It’s gonna be fucking hard. You’ll try to kill yourself. You’ll call the suicide hotline and live a bit more because a small sliver inside of you knows you have to keep trying.
Here’s a bit of advice from me to you (would it be me to me? idk). Trust yourself. Don’t be scared to venture out when you realize you’re not like everyone else. Laugh more, it’s good for you. When things go wrong, you can always find a way to fix them. Nothing’s going to get better unless you want it to. I know, but it’s the harsh truth. Reality hurts. You have to try. Nothing is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You have to work for it. If you want it, go get it.
In a year or so, you’ll still feel sad. You’ll feel lonely and horrible and depressed. But speak up. Nobody’s gonna hear you if you don’t say anything. People around you love you, even if you don’t think they do.
Maybe in the next year or so, you’ll meet more new people and become happier. Who knows? You can’t tell what the future brings. You have to make sure you have a future. You can’t quit even when it gets super hard. After you hit rock bottom, all you can do is climb back up. I know that’s super cheesy but I know we love cheesy cliche sayings. You’ll also fall in love with a character on a TV show and the actress who plays her, and don’t let anyone tell you it’ll never work out because you can do anything you set your mind to.
Oh also, gay is okay! Liking girls is great! Who cares what anyone else thinks. Be you!
I hope you’re doing okay.
All my love,
14 (and a half) year old Juliette.
P.S. If you’re reading this, some great and powerful inventors created time travel and this got to you! How cool is that?
If I could write a letter to my past self, that’s what I would say. What would you say?