Dear 13-year-old self,
I know that eighth grade is a torture chamber. Trust me; I was there. I remember the movie date with M.S. where a certain unmentionable event took place and he told everyone. The next day your locker was decorated with toilet paper and the words “Pepe Le Pew” written in black sharpie.
I remember the night T.W. plied you with half a purple passion wine cooler, a certain unmentionable event took place in your backyard, and he told everyone. The next day the hockey team serenaded you, in front of the entire cafeteria, with “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys.
I remember the school dance to which you wore a homemade skirt (intentional) and a see-through shirt (unintentional). When H.H. pointed out that he could see a certain unmentionable body part, you announced, “I’m not interested in sex. I’m interested in romance.” It took years for you to live down those words.
Oh, 13-year-old self, your moments of mortification were plentiful. It’s a wonder you survived. But guess what? You did. You are still here. And while life as a grown up hasn’t become any less mortifying, it has become a whole lot easier to laugh at yourself. In fact, some of the coolest, smartest, most functional adults you will meet have the most cringe-worthy stories from their youth.
So my message from the future isn’t so much “it gets better” as “it gets funnier.” Please don’t burn your Judy Blume diary.
Your older, wiser self