Dear 13-year-old April:
You don’t know me quite yet, but I am a completely different version of you; wiser, confident, and certainly older. You’re probably looking at Glamour Magazine, wishing you were just as glamorous as Sarah Jessica Parker. Did you know you might end up looking like her at some point? And admiring her famous character, Carrie Bradshaw? I hate to break it to you, but you’ll never have the money to move to Manhattan. That isn’t to say you won’t visit it. Also, you may not be a sex columnist, but you will have a blog. And you will write, a lot and even study it in college.
You’re also probably “up to no good” with Cara and Ben (lovingly called Big Ben Tube Sock – remember when those were a thing?) Nonetheless, you’re having a blast in Broadway Club. You’ll be famous someday, just not for singing.
Don’t let those underclassmen get to you when you’re in eighth grade or high school. That being said, stand up for yourself and tell an adult you’re being bullied. Did I mention you’ll end up wearing a school uniform? At a Catholic school that you wound up transferring to? You thought people in middle school didn’t judge you for what you wore, but they did. They also judge your profile pictures on Facebook. And social media? It’s a questionable phenomenon. But don’t worry, you’ll learn how to deal with catty critics.
You’re also disappointed that you have to spend your fourteenth birthday in the hospital. It’s not you, it’s your dad. He has cancer and you haven’t fully processed it, yet. His cancer will be in remission soon.
In terms of your love life, you will get bored with liking your crush from fifth grade and learn what it means to be led on and even catfished. Did “R” ever cheat on you? You still don’t know, and it’s better that you don’t because it will never have even mattered, especially when you get your first love at nineteen years old.
On the bright side…
Remember when teachers didn’t believe in you? And even taunted you about your progress reports? Even when you had mono for four months? You’ll graduate 8th in your class at your new high school. Even though you will also transfer colleges, you will learn that transferring is not a signifier of failure, but a “win.” You deserve what’s better for you.
You will learn that you have way, way, way too much respect for yourself to be treated as less than you are. In fact, even on your bad days, you remember exactly who you are: resilient, strong, smart, and bold.
On that note, why be a servant when you can be a leader? You’ll be at the top of your major and remembered for your writing and advocacy for Title IX. You will have successfully completed an internship at a Rhode Island-based magazine (did I mention you moved out of Massachusetts?)
Your poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction are being published in more places than you can count. I told you, you’d be famous for something.
And finally, in your search for love, you will have found him at the end of the decade.
Long story short: it gets better.