Dear K — K,
Yes, I remember what everyone used to call you. Your complete and full first two names. I remember everything. I’m 32 years old now (do the math yourself because even with age, your hatred for math doesn’t go away). I still remember everything. So listen up.First, stand up straight. Stop hunching! Yes, you stick out like a pole, and that’s what some people call you, but you have to be proud of your height. Unfortunately you live in a country where the people’s average height is five feet. Use your height to your advantage. Please stop hunching because now I have a curve on the top of my spine and it’s never going away. The hunching has deformed me forever.
Second, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. I know you usually do but if you have something to say, do it more often. Over the years, that mouth of yours is going to help you with a lot of things. You will be known for telling it as it is, and don’t worry about that. You are just being you, being true to yourself. You will gain even more confidence (yes, even more than you already have – we rock). You will be awesome at it.
Third, I think you should rethink about being a journalist. I mean, I know you love it and all but in the future, your profession will be trusted like people trust politicians (yes, seriously). It’s not going to be a lucrative job. You can make photography and writing as a hobby but I highly suggest you look for another profession. May I suggest IT? Yes I know, you’d probably go WTF (that means What the fuck?!), but think about it. You are acing your computer class. You love figuring out codes and solving the problems. You figure out the problems first! You always get things right. Everyone looks to you for the answer. You are brilliant at this! Plus, you will be earning heaps of money in the future. I mean heaps! So much more than the measly income of a journalist. I know you would rather be a vet but believe me, that fainting reaction to blood never goes away. NEVER. You’ll never make it through med school.
Fourth, watch your health. I know you have this awesome metabolism now and that you think it’s always going to be like this. You think you’re always going to be a pole who can eat like a horse and not gain any weight. Sadly little girl, that’s going to finish in about three years. Everything that you put into your mouth will go directly to your hips and thighs – not your boobies. I know you’re not used to being physical because you hate sweating but believe me, exercise is going to be your friend. Teach yourself the basic healthy eating habits because you will have to learn it all in the future. And by then it will be so difficult to unlearn your bad habits. I know you’re poor and it’s hard to be a healthy eater, but just make small changes. It will go a long way. The need to eat a lot when there is food is a habit you will take with you, and that’s not good. I know why you do that because you’ve been through rough times when there’s not much food around. It’s understandable. But remember this, life will not always be as hard as it is now. You will not be poor forever (you won’t be a millionaire either but you will be better off). And believe Papa when he says “at least money is our only problem” because that is such a true statement.
Fifth, be careful with yourself. Shortly after you turn 16 something will happen that will change your life forever. It will change who you are. Eventually, this event is going to make you stronger and tougher but not after you cry every night for a year and a half. It will also make you more cynical about people, bitchier and harsher. You will think there is no one you can talk to and you’re probably right. At that age, most of your friends are quite immature. But if you were going to trust someone, trust Villa. That friendship you have with her is strong, so much stronger than you think. You will go through so much together. You will have fights that make your friendship tougher. Trust her so you don’t feel like you’re all alone. You have the power over your life. Don’t put yourself in that situation again, or any situation that you don’t feel comfortable in. The aftermath of that horrible event will cause a lot of destructive behaviours for the next seven years. Watch yourself.
Lastly, I know you love your family, but love them even more now. Spend as much time as you can with them. Love your parents, give them a break from your dramas. You will miss them so much when you reach my age. You will miss them so unbelievably badly it hurts your gut when you think about it. Treasure your time with them because you have, and will always have, the greatest family ever.
Your older but wiser and still hot-ish self.