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Letter to my Childhood Self – Kissing Boys, Being Afraid, and Curing Cancer

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When I was a kid, I was obsessed with what my future would be like. 

When was I going to meet the man of my dreams and get married? Become a beautiful model billionaire? Cure cancer and save the rainforests while designing a brilliant fashion line?

I used to wish future me would figure out time travel and pop up to tell me what was going to happen. I spent a large majority of my childhood wishing for this. I just wanted things to be better. I felt ugly, stupid, a waste of space. I wanted to know that I would do something and be someone that mattered.

Unfortunately, time travel isn’t a thing. I can’t go back and tell that girl she matters just as she is. But. If I could, I would.

Dear Lil’ Alex,

Life is tough right now. I know. It’s not tough externally (and trust me, it will be eventually) but it’s awfully hard internally. You think you’re useless. You feel like you don’t fit in and you never will. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you won’t ever fit in. And that’s the best thing about you.

You will always be dancing to the music nobody else can hear. And that’s okay. Sometimes you’ll find people who can keep up. They may not be who you expect, but hold on to them dearly. They will appreciate you and keep you floating when you’re too tired to swim.

I know you think you’re ugly and disgusting and nobody will ever love you. This is so far from the truth. You will be loved. Boys will try to kiss you, I promise. You’ll grow up to be a damn good kisser too, just FYI. Don’t worry.

But romance won’t be all it’s cracked up to be. You’re gonna learn the hard way it’s not the end all, be all, proof of success and happiness barometer you think it is. You’re gonna make mistakes. You’re gonna get really hurt, many times. And to be honest, you’re single as hell at the moment. But you’re going to learn that it’s okay. You’re worth is not based on someone beside you. You’re worth so much more than those idiots anyway.

You will do great things. You prob won’t cure cancer (your hatred of math never goes away, sorry) but you’ll help those who do. You will encourage kids to go to college. You will change lives. You will travel the world. You will always be learning. You will do stupid things, but you’ll also do brave things.

Don’t be afraid. It sounds scary, but you’ll get there. And honestly? You still don’t really know what you’re doing. But you’re trying. And that makes you worth something. Hang in there, kid. It’s going to be an adventure.

Love, Future Alex

(P.S. Learn how to do your eyebrows much earlier in life. You’ll thank me later.)

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