Hey girl.

   It’s been about two years since the ‘Wear Sunscreen’ song exploded into your life, but I’m swooping in with my almost 20 years on you to dispense a more personal version of some of that medicine.

   First and foremost, it’s ok to let that crying happen. Really and truly. When those tears start welling up, set aside the thought that they are markings of weakness and let ‘em flow. Pushing them down will only make the hard times harder. Trust me when I say all of them will just build up and come out eventually, even years and years later. Write down what those tears are for. You might think your poetry is crap now, but practice your craft, and get those feelings on paper. The world needs more writers of truth.

   Do not stop practicing your instruments. You’ve got a drum kit on hand and a violin, they’re loud, and that is awesome. Seriously, the people telling you to be quiet are just grumpy and don’t really mean it, and years from now they’ll be encouraging you to speak up and speak out. Get the practice in when you’ve got nothing but school to worry about and you’ll be super happy when you’re older.

   As far as dance goes, stop worrying about having to quit when you’re 30. That’s bullshit, and I have no idea who ever told you that. It’s not going to happen, and chances are you’ll be dancing until you’re 40 and beyond. Not having a ballet body is complete nonsense, and you’ll come to find that other dance forms will be even more fulfilling to you. That said, don’t stop taking ballet. Keep your technique, work hard, and once you get over that pointe shoe obsession, you’ll have a renewed appreciation for how high your nice wide feet can help you fly.

   This brings me to my most important point. Your body is not for the eyes of others, and is perfect and beautiful. Eat more vegetables and less ice cream, and leave it at that. It’s not flawed, it’s not bulky, it’s forged from the genes passed down to you from your strong and persevering ancestors that worked their asses off to get to this country to raise their families. You’re built to work hard, your shoulders are broad in strength, and one day your arms will lift up much more weight than most of the boys you know right now.

   It’s actually ok and healthy to care about what people think, but only the select few people that deserve it. This is where you have to choose wisely. Those people that make fun of you for wearing sweaters and being super quiet? They’re doing it because they know they can, because they’re hurting too. Screw them. But keep in mind, those people don’t go away. There are all kinds of folks that look for those that are quiet and gentle to take advantage of just to make themselves feel better. If you learn to not care what they think, they’ll have no sway over you.

   One person to care about what she thinks though, is Mom. Talk to her more. She’s working really, really hard. She just graduated nursing school while working a shitty part time job, and she’s exhausted. One day you’ll feel really bad about how much you yelled at her, and even further down the line you’ll wish you had those days back even to just to hang out on the couch or eat some meals together. Time is precious, life is unpredictable, and she’ll end up knowing you better than anybody else.

   In closing, here’s the thing about credit cards. Get one, use it occasionally, pay it down slowly, and don’t get any more! They are not mini loans, things get really bad if you ring up the entire balance of the card right away, and that whole idea of moving to NY and ignoring all the bills for as long as you can? That will definitely come back to bite you in the ass.

   Just dance, sing to yourself in your room, and play music. You and your BFF will look back at your antics and this time won’t seem so bad after all. Watch how crazy the internet explodes, and imprint that first cell phone you’ll get next year as a hilarious memory to look back on. Oh, and by the way you are totally on the money about holding on to that old Adam and the Ants shirt you found in the attic. Actually, you’re on the money about saving just about anything you found in the attic.

 

With love,

Your 34 year old self

 

 

P.S.~

That song we talked about? Don’t pay much attention to that “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard” bit. Only the strong survive here. You got this.