To a younger Jess…
To the Jess who thought she was not beautiful. To the Jess who was absolutely convinced she would never find love. To the Jess who dreamed endlessly and dangerously.
This is to you.
You’re not ugly. I know middle school is filled with insecurities and negative opinions of your physical appearance. I know that you are beyond convinced that you are nowhere near beautiful. You tell your friends all the time. You hate your hair. (I promise you learn to tame those curls a little better!) You hate your acne, which eventually clears up some.
But come high school, I promise you. You will find yourself to be so, so beautiful. Good riddance to insecurities because they die with your 8th grade self. You end up loving yourself so much that you forgot what it was like to ever feel sadness over something as uncontrollable and unimportant as the structure of your face. In fact, on days where even now you don’t feel physically beautiful. You don’t even care. You fell in love with your humanity and your imperfections, and in doing so, found all the confidence you would ever need. So, I know at the moment you are unhappy with how you look. That unhappiness doesn’t last forever. That’s just your awkward, insecure middle school phase that will pass. And when it does, I promise you end up finding so much peace when it comes to your appearance to the world that it’s absolutely beautiful. And so are you.
You are so morally sound and so strong in who you are and what you believe in. Nothing can change your mind. To this day, I admire that about you. At such a young age, you are so wise. The same cannot be said for many. I think it’s your big fear of losing yourself that keeps you together. Don’t change for anyone, don’t forget what really matters, don’t lose sight of what’s important. Even when you feel alone. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, and for that I am forever proud of you.
I know the idea of growing up mortifies you right now. I know you feel like you forgot to savor childhood, so you are trying to make up for it now. Life goes on, and you can’t be stuck in the past. Eventually, you do come to terms with it, and I promise it’s not so bad.
You’ve been made fun of. A lot. Whether it was the kids who lived down the street nicknaming you “gorilla”, or the entire class making fun of your obsession with Justin Bieber, don’t let anything stop you from being happy. I don’t think you need me to tell you that. You were unaffected even then, and I love you for that.
I know it bothers you that people don’t take you seriously. Especially because of your age because you are so mature and intelligent. It’s not fair. Just laugh it off, and don’t waste your time on it or take it personally. Not worth the frustration.
The friends you make at age eleven are for life. You don’t realize this now, but you are so lucky in the friendship department. You found your place, your group of girls, and they don’t end up going anywhere. On top of that, your collection of friends will just continue to grow from there. You lost a couple friends, you grew apart. Life feels foreign for a while, but I promise overall you are so beyond blessed.
Stop getting caught up in drama. Pick your battles. I know you’re headstrong. I know you call people out when they do you wrong because you damn well know what you deserve. You don’t take crap from anyone, and that’s a good thing, but honestly… some things are not worth fighting over. Not worth making a scene over. You don’t need to start a fight every. single. time. Especially over the little things. Doesn’t it get exhausting? I’m assuming it does because things have changed since then. You end up being a lot more chill.
Which brings me to this next thing: stop stressing. Big mistake. Especially in middle school, but even high school. It’s not worth risking your sanity, it’s not worth missing opportunities to just live. Sometimes put down that homework assignment, and go get coffee with your girls. You won’t regret it.
You’re not going to die alone. Stop saying that. Don’t spend years pining over some guy from a distance and being sad that he’ll never feel the same. You’re wasting so much time for no reason. I know why, and I respect and understand that, but it’s still a big mistake. Be happy in your independence. It’s a great, free feeling. I know you feel like you’re never going to find love. I know you’re jealous of all your friends who have boy drama when no one even looks in your direction. I know you feel like a lost cause in that department. I know you’re tired of being in the background and hearing, “Your time will come.” But trust me. Your time does come. And when it does, let me tell you… it’s absolutely perfect. It’s so worth the wait—more than everything you ever could have dreamed of or hoped for. He is everything you need and want forever. God has a plan for you. Don’t give up. Just keep living your life and don’t stress over finding love. Eventually, love finds you the way it is supposed to. And it’s the most incredible, beautiful thing ever. It will all make sense.
You’ve got big dreams, kiddo. Don’t ever let them die. They are the best and biggest part of you. They keep you hopeful, and eventually things get kinda rocky and that hopefulness is going to be important. Keep dreaming big because for you the possibilities are endless. Devote more time to your songwriting. I don’t care how much you think you suck. Guitar lessons are valuable to you. Practice more. I know you’re upset and crying over the fact that you had to change instructors, but I promise the new guy ends up being extremely valuable in new ways and grows on you. I know music is your first and acting is your second, but eventually the two will end up tied. You improve and learn so much about yourself as an artist. Keep those passions alive and well. They are your lifeline. Fuel them.
Overall, what needed to change did, and what needed to remain the same did. I still see the most important parts of you in me, and somehow so much time has passed before we could even notice. It doesn’t make sense. I am still you, but I also am not. Keep moving forward. So, so many great things lie ahead.
The future you that I hope you are not disappointed with.