I Wrote a Letter to My 13 Year Old Self

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Hey younger me! What are you up to on this fine April morning? Anything fun? Something exciting and energetic like most of your fellow thirteen-year-old schoolmates? Ah. Playing Pokemon in bed and sulking about something your dad said. Classic 2000.

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Oh 13 year old me. I think about you quite a lot, you know. Not just because you were a bit weird (Those cargo trousers? Really?), but because of your interesting perspective on life. Look at you, busying away on your sub-Tolkien fantasy novels, utterly convinced they’re the next Harry Potter. They’re not, obviously, but I wish I could still tap into that seemingly unending well of self-confidence. I’m sad to say it’s something you’ll soon lose in exchange for a better grounding in reality, sometime around your 18th birthday.

 
 

You’re pretty happy right now, despite what your histrionic diaries might suggest (speaking of which, I may have burned them all in a chiminea eight years ago. Don’t be mad. It should all make sense to you in 2010). School work’s a breeze, you’re nowhere near as bullied as you probably should be, and you’ve finally managed to install a lava lamp in your bedroom. Amazing. Make the most of this time, 13 year old me, because sadly it’s not going to last.

 
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This is the last exam-free May you’ll know for ten years. Puberty is afoot, and something awful is about to happen to your skin, hair, nose and attention span. If you think you’re temperamental now, wait until your embarrassing bathroom meltdown post-Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in 2004 (Don’t ask). And that third B*Witched album you’re eagerly anticipating? It’s not going to happen, Ross. I’m so sorry.

 
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I can see I’ve unsettled you, 13 year old me. But fear not. Things get better eventually, some time after your fifth tortured volume of teenage diary rants. You grow up to discover a whole new world of exciting people, hobbies and things – wine, in particular – and hey, you know all those secret creative pastimes you occasionally feel guilty about now? The shit fanzines and crappy websites you work on instead of Geography essays? Good news! They've got more to do with the job you're offered in ten years time than glaciation and CBDs.

 
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So chill. Be nicer to your parents. Stop slathering your scalp with so much own brand supermarket hair gel. And guess what? In thirteen years time you’ll be off to see B*Witched play the Millennium Dome in London. It’s every bit as amazing as it sounds. And still your parents' worst nightmare.

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