Dear 16 Year Old Me – We Need to Talk
Content Warning: Assault
Dear Past Me,
It’s Future You, and we need to talk.
Basically, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
Let’s start with the good. You know that asshat guy in study hall? The one with the pretty green eyes who keeps trying to toss Red Hots candies down your cleavage? Yeah, the one who was holding the open Calculous book that you dumped your Coke on?
Anyway, he’s going to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to you.
No, really. Stop laughing. This is serious.
This guy is going to be the one who gets you. He’s going to be the one who does ridiculous shit to cheer you up when you’re down. He’ll piss you off immensely, but he’ll make you laugh so hard you cry. He’ll also support your dreams. He won’t always get the whole writing thing, but he’ll understand that you’re happier when you’re writing, and will even surprise you with light up pens for middle of night note taking and waterproof note pads for for ideas from the shower faery. (This is mostly so he doesn’t have to come into the bathroom all the time to take notes when you get a brilliant idea, but it’s still sweet and thoughtful as fuck.)
There will be growing pains – after all, it can’t all be daffodils and teddy bears. But he’ll also have the determination to work through the hard shit and the ability to own his feelings and apologize when he’s wrong. This may not seem like a big deal to you right now, because that’s how our family works, but trust me when I tell you, not everyone’s does, and those are the kinds of things that destroy relationships.
He’ll still piss you off on the regular. You’ll still have nearly polar opposite taste in music. There will be household projects that remain unfinished for years, but he’ll be a great father to your two amazing kids, and he can almost always be convinced to adopt a cat.
And those kids? They won’t be perfect. Who among us is? But they will be perfect for the two of you. Even when they’re driving you batshit crazy, these are the kids you’re meant to have and the kids that will bring you more laughter and wonder and happiness than you ever imagined was possible. Being a mom is pretty much going to be your favorite thing ever.
You are going to end up with some of the most amazing friends known to man. No really – these people are going to be your tribe, and they will have your back like no other. And when you need tough-love? They’ll dish it out, and you’ll do the same for them. Oh, and that little sister you don’t even have yet? (Surprise! Mom is about to get knocked up, again.) That little sister is going to grow up to be one of your best friends, too.
A word of warning, though, which brings us to the bad. You really need to lose this stupid habit of believing what people say when their actions clearly contradict it. Save yourself years of misery and gaslighting. Not everyone wants the best for you, and sadly, you’re just going to have to get used to that and remove yourself from those people who’d rather see you fail than fly.
And related to that – it’s better to figure out now that you can’t save everyone. Technically, you can’t save anyone. You can only be there to hold the hands of those who want to save themselves. When you hold the hands of those who are happy being victims, you just let yourself get dragged down, too. Let them go.
Speaking of things you should do sooner, tell someone. Tell someone way sooner than you did. And when you do, don’t allow yourself to be guilted into silence. What happened sucked, and you will move past it, but remember, it was not your fault. You were a kid.
And speaking of being a kid, you’re about to take, quite possibly, the shittiest job you’ll have in your working career. In fact, that picture up there is you in your uniform. I know the job looks awesome. That little Polish restaurant is willing to work around your play practices and still give you enough hours to earn some money, but dude, trust me on this. The owner is a misogynist asshole, and the guys he has working for him in the kitchen are skeezy, skeezy predators. And when they grab your ass and your boobs and back you into the cooler and into corners, often holding knives and saying, “Nie mówię po angielsku.” while they’re laughing – trust me – they fucking know enough English to know what, “no” and “stop it” mean. I’m guessing you won’t, but dude, I wish you’d call the cops.
And when you talk to the other servers about what the fuck is wrong with the kitchen guys and they say, “Oh, that’s just Domeczek and Piotr. Just ignore them. We can’t say anything, or they’ll get deported.”, say something! They deserve to be deported. And when when your boss looks at you like you’re a freak because you tell him that you’re quitting because Piotr has crossed your last line, don’t feel guilty. Not even a little. And whatever you do, please remember that all this shitty behavior isn’t your fault. You’re a kid – they’re grownass men and perfectly capable of keeping their hands to themselves. This is not on you, and don’t for a minute think it is.
I feel like some of these things helped set the pattern of behavior for allowing yourself to be a bit of a doormat and not standing up for yourself to certain people. You’ll be glad to know, that you eventually grew out of that. Good job, you! Err…us!
Actually, I wish I could go back in time – to at least a couple of those events and help you through those situations. I’d particularly like to take down Domeczek and Piotr. But you know what? Your entire past made you who you are today and helped shape the life you have. And while there have certainly been some shit times, your life ends up being damn spectacular.
So, Past Me, carry on and love your life. It’s an awesome one.
PS: Trust me. You’re not fat. I promise.
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