A letter to my high school self on the first day of school

Good Morning Gorgeous,

I know it’s early because you’re probably the one high schooler who does not enjoy sleeping in (ever) so don’t rush. It will not kill us to arrive on time instead of 20 minutes before the bell. It might even help us down the line.

So we’re trying bangs again this year? I trust you but also think we know deep down inside that we have very wavy, thick hair and really, our forehead isn’t as big as everyone said it was in fifth grade. Maybe we’ll take the winter to grow these out and then we can dedicate the hours spent trying to look like Kelly Kapowski to something else, something a little more fun?

I see we’ve invested in some extra support sports bras for showchoir practice. You know I’ve always loved your positive attitude but we know this won’t grow us a chest. “Yeah but this could be the year!”, we’ll say but a big part of the reason I’m writing you today is to tell you that we’ve fought the good fight and it’s time to move on. We need to start loving the startlingly boob-less hand we’ve been dealt. Because we really don’t have it so bad.

And related, let’s  get on this making our own lunch thing. And if we’re not going to do that then let’s not complain about what Mom and Dad make for us. It is insane that they even have the time and energy to look at us every day. They are some of the hardest working people we know. Don’t you roll your eyes at me…you…me?!? 

Oh, and it looks like Rayna is picking you up today. Keep up these car rides (they will host some of our most memorable talks) but please make sure she always puts the car in park before getting out. On second thought, no one really got hurt and it’s a great story…

There’s so much ahead that we’re going to enjoy but there’s also a lot that’s so special about the time you’re in right now. This is the time before you really know or care what your size is, before you give away part of your day to exercise that isn’t dancing or running around doing stupid things with your friends. Right now you only know what a calorie is in the context of Mrs. Young’s science class and you sleep without the weight of more serious responsibilities so you don’t have these nice puffy pillows under your eyes every morning. And when people ask what you will do when you’re older you still respond with something about being torn between veterinarian, photographer, and Broadway star. All of these things will shift and take a different shape someday. I know you’re aware of this as it directs our life a little  too much right now.

But really, you need to let go, stop being the pumpkin, and encourage these adventures to be your guide. When the invitation to go skinny dipping comes in the form of your friends all taking off their clothes and running outside, at least go watch. These are good people, clothed or unclothed. When someone asks if you want to nanny their child for the summer in Europe, pack your bags. And when you walk into school today, do what your gut is telling you to do and smile. At the jocks and the stoners and the anime fanatics and teachers.

Do this because what people will come to call our naïvety or our superficiality is really a good and necessary thing, for us and those around us. Soon we are going to start finding all sorts of other things that are “wrong” with us but we will eventually laugh about and love these things because again, this is our thing.

So go get em’ (with kindness and bad jokes) tiger.


One response to “A letter to my high school self on the first day of school

  1. Why do they let us like these only ONE time? If only I had figured out how to write this letter for my daughter when she was in high school and tell her it was from her future travel-back-in-time self! Maybe you can try?

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