Dear Sixteen-Year Old Self:
You know what’s interesting about your life? Is how little you’ve done, and how much you don’t know what you’re aware of. I know you don’t like people. You may never like people and you may think that people and friends are a waste of your time — and you know why? Because the people in that town will make you cry and beat you down and make you feel sorry for yourself but it’s THEM who are a waste of time. In your life, you will meet the world’s most wonderful people, people who you will wonder how you ever existed without, and you will realize the value of socializing and friendships and even alcohol through those people. Yes, Self; there will come a time when you enjoy drinking alcohol. You might feel like you’re backing down but you’re not. And don’t worry – I’m proud of you for being the way you are. Your attitudes may make you feel like a child right now, but someday you will be proud you held yourself back from that high school ‘party scene’ (for lack of a better term) and remained the unique person that you always have been.
I know what you think of your uniqueness. You probably are sitting at home watching The Amazing Race right now and wishing so badly for friendship, wishing that maybe you could be the way other people want you to be, only for comeradeship if not for any other reason. But you know what? Uniqueness will be what becomes you someday. It will be the key to your success. You know all those stories you come up with all the time that are part of who you are? Someday those will be really important to you too. They will shape everything. They will allow you to feel the most real friendships, a real kiss, a real feeling of accomplishment. People WILL read them. You’re scared now but someday it will be natural and wonderful to finally have an audience.
Everyone always tells you that high school isn’t real life and I know you know that, but it’s harder to TRULY believe when you’re actually there in that deadly microcosm of stupid drama and bullying and ignorance. When you move to Edmonton though, you will regret EVERYTHING good about high school eventually. It’s life before life… nothing in high school will matter anymore and you’ll wonder why it ever did. And that’s what’s wonderful about university… it becomes what matters and then everything that’s after that TRULY prepares you for life.
Stop reading fashion magazines, stop dreaming about being in the fashion industry… when you move to university, you will discover that MUSIC is what makes you feel alive. MUSIC is what will become the most important passion in your life. Headphones will mean more than keeping people away. They will take a black-and-white day and paint it with streams of exploding colour. Music will make you into a real person. Music will help you realize and appreciate life’s romances, and it will inspire all of your best art (and you will make good art). Music is more than painting was, more than fashion was, more than anything was. Music will be your life.
I care about you almost more than anyone because you really need me to. Sure, you have a wonderful family and you’re more than happy to watch reality show after reality show on an average week night. In fact, sometimes you wish you could revert back to that person because that was who you were growing up to be. It was safe.
Moving to Edmonton isn’t safe. Nothing about it is, was, or ever will be “safe” necessarily. But taking those risks will make you strong enough to do what I’m about to do now for work. It will allow you to take new steps and try new things, things you never thought you could ever do. Sure, it’s not safe. But it’s good to not be safe. Trust me. You will be “unsafe” when the time is right, and it will be worth it, for better or worse.
Anyway, I care about you so much. I wish I could tell you HOW much because right now, you think I don’t. You are self-destructing and you think nothing will ever improve, in a certain kind of way. But I hope I can reiterate how much I do love you and how powerful you actually are.
Thank you for being who you are. You made me who I am and right now, I love who I am and everything I have in my life.