a few days ago, there was a new feature floating around the book blogosphere: an open letter to my ya self. it was created by ginger of greads! you can view her original post here. since i’m still a young adult, sending an open letter to myself yesterday would be boring and pointless. instead, this’ll be an open letter to my pre-teen self, the eleven/twelve-year-old era.
dear fetus xandra (circa 2010),
this must be strange, reading a letter from me/you/us in the future. bear with me/yourself for a moment and just keep reading.
here’s a word of advice: stop trying to fit in. you’ll learn eventually but i just want to save you the trouble. you’re not going to live a “normal life,” so forcing yourself to be outgoing and influenced by others is a waste. learn to embrace your true self, not some illusion everyone has warped for you. if they don’t like it, that’s fine! not everyone will like you, but there will be those who do. when you enter high school, you’ll start studying from home and leave all your friends behind. you’ll be sad at first, but will learn to appreciate it. also, you’ll (truly) enter the internet realm and fall in love with reading again.
the internet is going to be your best friend. embrace it and don’t be afraid. you’ll meet many other people who are just like you, and some will even become your closest friends. don’t let the negative aspects bother you too much; there will be haters everywhere. social media will help you get interested in graphic design and open your eyes to the simplistic beauty of things. the lack of ‘actual’ social interaction will leave you confused and the phase of being in an existential crisis will last over a year. don’t worry; rookie mag, ted talks, ya novels, and social media will guide you to your path.
in terms of ballet, take a step back. you’ll want to attack everything head on, but there will be times it’s better to play it safe. as of right now, you haven’t begun going to dance competitions and you’re still lazy (even though you think you’re not). stop distracting yourself and start trying. NOW. you’ll be filled with so much regret once you flop that first competition. at first you’ll feel worthless compared to everyone else, but don’t be so hard on yourself! things will get better, and remember everything happens for a reason.
when you’re feeling extremely down, books will be there to lead you back. you’ll read about a girl who could control people’s minds; you’ll read about a boy who could slay demons; you’ll read about how one day could change everything; but most importantly, you’ll read many stories about someone who is just trying to figure themselves out – just like you! you’ll no longer feel alone, and realize you’re never truly alone. books will remind you that.
you think you know everything, but there’s still so much to learn. even now, five years later, there is so much to learn. even in twenty, fifty, a hundred years, there will be so much to learn. try to grow up, not grow old. keep your eyes and mind open to new ideas, new people, and new adventures. your journey is not nearly over; no, it’s just barely begun.
your future self