Dear Me,

Sorry to interrupt your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle playtime. I know you’re quite busy nowadays. But it’s been thirteen years and I haven’t thought about you in a while, although you’ve been in the back of my mind constantly. I know you always want to grow up and can’t wait to be an adult, but I want you to know a few things that I didn’t know at your age.

You’re not going to grow up to look like Polly Pocket or Barbie. Yes, the media lied to you. You won’t be blonde anymore (it’ll turn to brown), you won’t have the thinnest waist ever mass-produced, and you won’t drive your friends to high school in your pink convertible.

In fact, you won’t have the friends that you’re expecting, not until senior year of high school. Some things will just come to you in time. I know you’re shy and nervous around people, but you’ll find the right niche to pull you out of it. I won’t tell you who your best friend is going to be, but you’ll meet her in three years, and I think you’ll like the outcome.

I’m sorry, but a lot of your dreams aren’t going to come true. You’re not going to be an astronaut, nor a mechanical engineer. But still, always follow these dreams. Follow them until they morph into something else. The second you drop these dreams, you’ll be lost. And never think that you can’t follow any dream that you want, but just the ones that will make you the happiest.

Finally, and most importantly: I know, at your age, it’ll seem weird to call yourself beautiful. But you are. This is something that will take far too long to realize. Yes, even when you don’t brush your hair in the fifth grade, or you try to wear jeans to seem popular in the seventh grade. You will do things that won’t make you especially happy to try to fit in, and I wish that you won’t.

You’re the most beautiful, creative, and funny child I’ve ever met, even if it was thirteen years ago. Don’t lose those attributes because you’re afraid of what society will think.

I know you will never read this letter, but just in case, somehow, you do, remember: you will make mistakes. Everyone will. Some I’m still bitter about. Yes, when you become an adult, you’re still going to act like a child, you’re still going to hold grudges, and you’re still going to be confused.

But for the first time ever, I’m not wishing that I was three years older. I’m not wishing to be what I’m not: I am who I want to be. When you get here, you’re going to love it.

So relish your childhood while you can, and I hope it’s not too full of negative thoughts. Remember: you’re my whole future, and I’m your whole future. So learn to love both of us.

Lots of love,

Your Future Self

P.S. In high school, you’re going to say that you’ll be the only person to never swear ever... Let’s just say that you’ll learn how to change your opinions very quickly.