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Dear 2008 Me

by Barbara Spoor 4 years ago in advice
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I know this is going to sound crazy.

An actual photo of me with the Jonas Brothers in 2008

Dear 2008 me,

Hey, I know this might sound a little bit crazy, but remember that one time you swore to yourself that if this ever happened you'd believe it? I'm you in the future. The year is 2018, the Jonas Brothers aren't together anymore, and Donald Trump is the President of The United States of America. I'm sorry, I know this sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but I'm totally serious.

I can prove it by mentioning the Jesse McCartney poster you have by your bedside. You're starting to become obsessed with the Jonas Brothers now, and your best friend is Taylor. You guys stay up until three AM prank calling kids from school while you're wired on energy drinks. Okay, you're right, anyone could know these things. I suppose I could dig a little deeper and prove myself by telling you things only you would know.

For one, nobody knows the reason you don't like wearing makeup, is because anytime you do, people act like you are some kind of miraculous science experiment on display. It makes you uncomfortable, because they act like there is no beauty in you without a little eyeliner. Nobody knows days like that cause you to run to your bedroom after school and scream into your pillow. You don't wear makeup much anymore to avoid being pointed at for looking “so different”, and you hope your bland appearance will allow you to fade into the background.

You alternate between the same few pairs of jeans, and t-shirts because you're embarrassed to try something on in a dressing room and have it not fit. You don't know what clothes make you feel comfortable, and you can't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch because they don't make clothes for “fat girls.” You can't be cool unless you can prove that you have the money to have the style to be cool, so you just find peace with the notion that you will never be cool.

One day, you and Taylor decided to wear matching outfits to school. You are best friends after-all, and best friends do things like that. You will never consider doing something like that again because a boy felt compelled to yell down the crowded hallway, “You look like Jenny Craig before, and after.” Ouch.

You still haven't kissed a boy, and you're most embarrassed about that. You avoid conversations about kissing boys at all costs because the less people that know your secret, the better, even though you're pretty sure everyone knows. The boys taunt you, and it's a joke among them all for any of them to be involved with you in any way. They'll put their arm around you and say, “This is my girlfriend,” while the rest of them laugh. You don't say a word. Instead, you go home and cry into your pillow some more because you can't understand what is wrong with you. You can't grasp why even the boys who claim you as their friend use you as a punch line on a daily basis.

You don't talk to anybody about these things, and those experiences cause you to shy away from boys all together, so you start writing poems and songs about the boys you have crushes on. You aren't even sure if any of them are any good, and you certainly don't show anybody because of your uncertainty. Nobody knows you are writing lyrics in your bedroom, and nobody knows that you like to sing, and you'd love to make a career out of music one day, but you know it's hard for girls like you.

You don't look like the celebrities you see on Disney Channel, and nobody makes it out of your three-stoplight-town to make something of themselves. Everyone tells you you're just a dreamer, and you've got your head in the clouds. They tell you to start choosing which college you want to attend after you graduate, because that's the only path, and if you stray away from that you'll be a loser.

Do you believe me now? You have to believe that I'm from the future, because you have never told anyone these details of your life. I'm not writing to remind you of all of the dreadful things happening. I'm writing to tell you the things that nobody else is telling you.

In ten years, the year will be 2018. The Jonas Brothers will no longer be together, and Donald Trump will be the President of The United States of America. While that sounds scary, I'm going to let you in on some secrets I've picked up along the way that might put you at ease right now.

I want you to know that you are beautiful in every way. You don't need makeup, or the fancy clothes, and the opinions of anyone around you are completely invalid. At the end of the day the only person you need to make happy is yourself. Wear makeup, don't wear makeup...as long as you're still authentically you, it truly doesn't matter what is on the outside.

Those boys, the ones that taunt you, most of them are at their peak. Some will message you a few years after you graduate, and tell you how they always thought you were so pretty, and you won't even want to give them the time of day. You'll get your first kiss, and you'll have more after that. You're going to go on dates with men that have muscles, perfect smiles, and piercing blue eyes. You're going to experience all of that, but trust me when I say that you don't need to worry about any of that now. This life is your journey, and you are a strong, and independent young woman who needs to find her own way in this world before she finds someone to share her journey with.

Wanna know what else will happen in the next ten years? You're going to move to Los Angeles, and land a job at Disney that you'll end up deciding isn't right for you. You'll start writing for other artists, and you'll even have your own music out on iTunes! You're going to find you even enjoy being in front of the camera, and you'll take every chance you get. You'll decide to leave Los Angeles to chase some more of your dreams, and you'll travel for a while until you figure it out.

I want you to learn to love all of your imperfections, because they are what make you extraordinary. Love your curves. You don't have to love your annoyingly dry skin, but learn how to manage it. Love your smile, and your laugh, because people will find it infectious. Trust your instincts, and never stop being the amazingly kindhearted person that you are, as long as you aren't letting people walk all over you. Continue to be you, and I promise, with me as living proof, that everything is going to be just fine.

Also, no matter how many times the Jonas Brothers hint at getting back together, they never will. Sorry. Love you. Bye,

advice

About the author

Barbara Spoor

I write about real-life experiences in love, loss, travel, and dream chasing.

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