Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

You’re focused on a lot of things right now, like your next Disneyland trip, Hanson, figure skating, karate, visitations with dad, and Sailor Moon. I know you’re dealing with some really messed up things at home. If I could go back in time and give you this letter, this is what I want you to know.

  • Ask your grandma tons of questions about her life and your grandpa’s life while you still have time. I know living with her with all of her health problems is hard, but she won’t be around forever. Spend as much time with her as you can.
  • While you and Mom aren’t getting along, know that she’s going through a lot that she will never tell you about. Also, appreciate her too and spoil her on her birthday. Ask Mom to be more honest with you. She will not ask for help when she needs it, and it will end up causing more issues.
  • Take more pictures. While you might feel embarrassed to ask people to take a picture with you, it’s better to feel that temporary feeling than the lifelong regret of missing a photo with someone you love.
  • Go to Disneyland more often. Take advantage of the annual pass monthly payments earlier in college. Also, don’t let people make you feel bad for your monthly Disneyland trips.
  • Don’t let people’s fat jokes get to you. I know you have many people from all facets of life telling you that you’re overweight. Yeah, maybe you can’t run as fast as the other kids. But you’re strong. You’re athletic. You eat pretty healthy. Also, you’re not fat.
  • Wear that two-piece swimsuit you’ve been dreaming of. Go ahead and enjoy life. You will keep yourself from enjoying life because you will keep them as rewards for your weight-loss. Appreciate your body and love your body. Because 33-year old Alex wishes her body can still do what it did at your age. She will wish that she weighed what you weighed right now.
  • On that note, seriously…you’re not fat. You won’t be fat in high school either. Don’t pay attention to that number on the scale because most of that weight comes from the muscle you’ve built from figure skating and cheerleading.
  • Sign up for acting classes. That itch to perform will turn into something more.
  • Speaking of creative itches, don’t let your teachers tell you that you’re a bad writer. In fact, you’re pretty damn good at writing and research. Look out for a friend named Anneke, because she will give you that creative boost and tell you that you’re a good writer.
  • Eat more vegetables. I know you hate them, and Mom went overboard in forcing you to eat them. Tell Mom and Grandma to put more spices in the veggies and add cheese. You’ll be able to eat them. Ask to get your blood sugar tested, and often. Diabetes is already living inside you.
  • You’re beautiful. Tell yourself you’re beautiful every day, because you are. Be confident in who you are and love yourself.
  • Don’t let your 5th grade teacher change your name because there’s a boy who has the same name as you. “Alexa” won’t stick after 5th grade. Your teacher was awesome, but you shouldn’t have had to sacrifice your name.
  • Stick with the piano lessons. You’re musically gifted. Yeah, the lessons sucked, but you need a different piano teacher.
  • There will be people who will fat shame you well into college. Don’t give them the time of day.
  • Take the time to learn math.
  • Did I say you’re beautiful?
  • Take naps. As you get older, you will try to bank sleep. It doesn’t work that way. Your 33-year old self is learning the value of sleep after the damage has been done.
  • If someone stresses you out so much that you’re physically ill, and they’re not changing their behavior after years of you talking to them…let them go.
  • Challenge yourself. Sometimes you will be put in situations that you’re not a fan of, like remedial math. Know that it’s for your benefit and growth. Take punches in stride, and know it’s okay to cry.
  • Keep reading those books on the bus. Read as much as you can.
  • Keep singing.
  • Keep watching anime. And no, it isn’t from the devil.
  • Take pride in your Japanese heritage.
  • Take advantage of the travel opportunities you have. Tell Mom to let you travel to France with your Dad.
  • On that note, tell Mom that you want to study the arts with your Dad’s friends.
  • Speaking of Dad, he has a secret to tell, and it’s okay. It’s nothing to freak out about regardless of what religious bigots will say.
  • You have crushes on girls, and it’s okay.
  • Be proud of yourself and who you are. Can you tell there’s a self-esteem empowerment vibe here? That’s because I know how bad you feel about yourself, and it’s not your fault.
  • Be comfortable in being uncomfortable. Once you settle into this concept, it’s extraordinarily powerful, and you’ll be unstoppable in achieving your dreams.
  • Call people more. Write letters and postcards.
  • Ask Mom to have you see a therapist in high school. Those feelings you have weren’t just hormones. You will develop anxiety and depression. Take care of it sooner than later so you can enjoy life sooner. Medication is okay.
  • It will take you years to unlearn a lot of things. But trust me, it’s worth it.
  • Don’t let people disrespect you. It’s okay if people don’t like you. Self-respect is key.
  • Learn to walk away. Understand that there will be some people who will never see beyond themselves or the hurt they caused you.
  • Wear your retainer.
  • I keep saying this, but you’re beautiful. You will spend a lot of time on trying to make your body perfect that will hurt you. Just because you’re huskier than the other girls (let’s face it, you always have), it doesn’t mean you’re worth less or you’re not beautiful.
  • There is power in words.
  • Smile and be kind. Sometimes you can be a light not only to others, but to yourself.
  • You love cats, and it’s okay.
  • I hope you start loving yourself much earlier in age than I did.
  • Be a warrior instead of a worrier. Everything will work out in the end.

Finally, I love you.

Love, Alex

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