I legitimately could not find any pictures of me from when I was 13. Those were dark dark times for photographs. This one is from my freshman year of high school. It was right before the homecoming dance. Close enough right?
Dear 13 year old Kate,
Please please please learn how to style your curly hair. You have beautiful curls that others dream of. Quit attempting to have straight across bangs with those voluptuous curls. It’s not a good look. Remember-a little product and a good diffuser goes a long way.
I know you’re struggling with your body right now. I know it sucks. But you know what? Soon you will decide that it’s time to get healthy and you will lose 30 pounds! It’s an amazing physical transformation. Be proud in the accomplishment that you will soon make. You know what else? Your body size doesn’t actually say anything about you. You will still struggle with the same self-conscious and self-deprecating thoughts even after you get to a healthier weight. Gym class will still be a cruel and unique form of torture. People will still make fun of you. But you know what? That’s life and you have to learn to love even those who make life uncomfortable. Know that no matter what size you are, you are beautiful. Be confidant for crying out loud.
Your life is not a rom com. A random boy isn’t going to fall in love with you out of the blue. He’s not going to whisk you off your feet for you two to go and live happily ever after. This is actually good. Real relationships aren’t like they are in the movies (or at least I assume. 19 year old Katie still hasn’t had a boyfriend, but she’s a lot more okay with it now.). Just focus on loving life and making the most of it. Boys have cooties anyways.
Do not be afraid to talk to your classmates. They are just people. I promise nothing too terrible will happen to you if you start a conversation with someone. The worst possible outcome is that they think you are socially awkward (which you are a little bit…sorry about that.).
Some of those people you start talking to may think you’re a little weird because you like anime and love to read. Who cares? You like what you like. It’s totally fine to not want to go to the skating rink on the weekends or be interested in makeup yet. It’s perfectly okay that you still like stuffed animals and dolls more than the average 13 year old. If everyone liked the same things, the world would be a boring place. Enjoy your interests because the more you try and hide them, the more difficult it is going to be to find your passion later on in life.
Some of your friends suck. Don’t be afraid to cut them out of your life. It doesn’t make you a bad person to demand to be treated well. Just remember that you also have to treat them well. The golden rule is a real thing.
Going back to the whole, size doesn’t change much because people are still going to make fun of you occasionally-know this-some people are mean. I’m gonna use that old clique of ‘the way they behave says more about them than it does about you.’ I’m not trying to make excuses for them, but those people who are making your life a negative experience right now are probably dealing with their own struggles too-they just aren’t coping well. Know that no matter what other people say about you, it doesn’t change one thing. Live your life, do your thing, and ignore the jerks.
With a most ardent love,
19 year old Katie
I want to thank Mary for giving me this idea. It was a lot of fun. I’d really like it if Melissa would join in and do a letter to her 13 year old self. If anyone else gets inspired, leave the link to your letter in the comments, I’d love to read it.