Dear 12 year old Rachel,
Well, you’re almost 13, and that kind of means a lot for you. It was the first year you realised that not everyone is kind, no matter how kind you will be to them.
I’m writing because everyone is doing this ’10 year challenge’, but I always have to do things a bit different. I’m writing to let you know what you will achieve in the next 10 years, the people who will come into your life and leave, and how 10 years can change a hell of a lot of things.
First, your body will change a lot. And that’s okay. Puberty will be a bit of a bitch to you, and you will feel ashamed of the body you are given. You will feel fat, you won’t feel good enough, and you will worry that your body will never be perfect. However, in 10 years, you will look at your body with love. There are scars from years of battles, bruises everywhere, but you will still look at it with love. You will see your body for the years it has suffered of pain, surgery, and heart break, but you will thank it for keeping you going every step of the way. And, sometimes in the morning, you will wake up and think that you are looking fiiiiiiine.
You will finally discover a lot about your body, and sometimes your body will hurt so much that you struggle to get up in the morning. You may think that things won’t get better, and that you will never be ‘normal’. At the age of 16, you will want to wear heels like the other girls, but you will be worried your knees will dislocate. At the age of 18, it will ruin some of your freshers, and you will be so pissed off, but those stories will be told with humour years later, and the surgery you go through will help to ease that stress and worry.
You don’t know what you want to do with your life right now, and that’s fine. You will change your mind a lot of times. You will take random A levels, you will finish a degree that you enjoyed but won’t use it, you will complete a GDL and be halfway through your LPC. That first idea of law that you had at 16 will finally appear again around 5 years later. And, you really are not stupid or unable to achieve such things. You just have to put your mind to it and stop listening to those around you. That unhelpful person tutor, or that unhelpful careers advisor who told you that you couldn’t do it… you could? 10 years will completely change everything you think of yourself, and life will take you to opportunities you never imagined.
You will pull away from friends, but then you will find your way back to them. In 10 years you will have so many supportive people around you, that you never imagined will be here. You will have so much love and it won’t feel so lonely anymore. Life will be full of many different people, and all the lessons you have learned over the last 10 years will help you to decide what a true friend is. Over 10 years, some people will say mean things or make you feel small. Someone will even catfish you, and you will feel stupid and ruined by the whole situation. It will take you a while to tell people what actually happened to you, but when you do, you are surrounded by love and support. You are loved.
Love will be the weirdest and hardest thing you will deal with. And 10 years later, you still have no idea how to deal with love or why it makes you feel certain things. You will not find anything close to love until you are 17, and it will make for happy times. Someone will finally be there. Things are not meant to last forever and you will finally discover the single life. You may do some things you regret and treat some people how you shouldn’t, but you just feel confused about what you should do at this time of your life. After all, you’ve never been single. Even though it feels lonely, it will be fun, and it will provide for some entertaining stories. You will see 2019 in with someone who makes you smile and laugh, and it will be great.
Finally, 10 years will change your life. 10 years will make you a different person, and it will bring some surprises, some upset and some worry. However, everything will be fine in the end. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and a new sunrise. No matter the battles you may still be fighting in 10 years time, or maybe even 20, someone will always be there to pick you up- and that person will be yourself. You will grow in confidence, love, and acceptance. You will meet people from all over the world, and it will only fuel your drive to do something with your life.
We’re only here once.