I hope everyone had a really good holiday, or at least at holiday that didn't make you contemplate alcoholism or fratricide or ill-advised, impromptu visits to your hometown hair salon that you haven't visited since you were thirteen for a good reason.
And speaking of thirteen (check out that segue!), there are lots of bloggers jumping on this little bandwagon lately that has you penning a letter to your thirteen-year-old self, saying the things you really wish someone had said to you. I haven't been tagged to do this, technically, because I only have three friends who blog, and they are all too kind to force me to do these sort of pointless exercises. I thought, though, that there might be some merit in this address, so I am partaking.
Shit's really fucked up right now, huh? Don't flinch, I know you hate coarse language, but in a few years you'll embrace the power of a good expletive, and you'll never look back. Right now, you feel alienated, lonely, and scared. Right now, you have chronic nausea and headaches that you won't tell anyone about. Right now, you have a very pregnant 18 year old sister with a serious disease you don't really comprehend. Right now, you are a helpless cork bobbing in a very angry ocean.
Here's the good news: Shit's gonna get better. You will be very far from the family you love so much, and you will learn to live outside of someone's shadow, and things will be okay.
And the bad news: Shit gets worse before it gets better. Evidence of your childhood will disappear, and the man who was a better father than your real father will disappear, and you will never have enough. And then things will improve, and then worsen, and then improve, and then worsen, and very probably this will be the pattern for the rest of your life, but. But. You are a strong girl and you will learn to shout FUCK YOU with the best of them.
Here are some things to cling to: 1) All those books everyone teases you about reading? Other girls are out there reading them and drawing the same conclusions.
2) The way you obsess over movies and music? Vast knowledge of popular culture makes you very interesting to talk to at parties.
3) The family that doesn't get you and sometimes marginalizes you and involves you in dramas you don't understand? You will eventually distance yourself from all the crap and learn to love them for who they are. Be warned: they will never get you, they will always marginalize you, and the drama is unstoppable.
You don't realize it right now, but someday you'll think you're actually kind of pretty. Someday you'll have a functional, mature relationship the likes of which you've never yet seen. Someday, your kids will not have a perfect Christmas, and it will still be enjoyable and they will still love you at the end of the day. Someday, you will take stock and realize that there are people who love you on both coasts, all the way to the corners, literally. So hang on. The bad stuff is fleeting, and the good stuff is pretty damn good. Plus, when you grow up, you'll like alcohol, which helps.
Eighth grade is almost over, and Darryl Piersaul noticed you, even if you don't think he did. The Indigo Girls will release Closer To Fine this summer. It will be the first tape you ever buy with your own money. There are only a few more months until you leave Kentucky forever, and only a few more years before you live close enough to the ocean again to hear it roar. Hang on; you're almost there.
By the way, the asthma gets better when you move out of the city, the headaches resolve when you're pregnant with your first child, and the nausea fades sometime in high school, until the first time you fall in love. It's a doozy. Be prepared.