I expect that part way through this letter you would’ve crumpled this up, declaring it utter rubbish and hurling it in the nearest (recycling) bin. That part hasn’t changed- being “green”- but so many other things have. And, I’m sorry to tell you, but you were right, that side fringe idea WAS terrible, but hair-wise things get much better! Trivial matters aside, there are so many other things to tell you! I am writing this from only four years down the track, but there have been a lot of changes.
But, apart from things to tell, I also have a question for you- how can you see so much beauty in the world around you, and never in yourself? How can you be your own worst enemy? You can see beauty in so much, but you also need to see it in you. Everyone has something to offer the world, and try to see that you do too- even though this remains a struggle for you, try and know it in your heart of hearts to be true.
Now, some don’ts-
Don’t leave anything to the last minute! You are getting much better at this!! But in your future career, you literally can’t.
Don’t believe that just because some boy harassed you, offended you and creeped the heck out of you, doesn’t mean that someone else far better won’t come along, and believe me he has already come along (hint, hint- you know him already!!).
Don’t believe those who insult you, and poke at your appearance.
Don’t take notice of someone photoshopping your nose away when you help them out at a photo shoot, you are not your outward appearance.
And if they have a problem with you, be sad for them that they cannot see the beauty in those around you as you do.
And try not to believe that you are undeserving of every praise that is given to you- someone said something wonderful to you out of the kindness of their heart- it would just be rude to throw it back in their face.
Perhaps, try to view yourself as you view others, and stop being your own harshest critic.
You will find your niche, it may just be harder than you expected, and only after many, many changes you will find it to be in the simplest and most natural of places- the very start. Film effects and animation have always been a huge centre of your life, being from the earliest viewings of Star Wars and Disney films in pre-school, to trawling through dad’s 1980’s Industrial Light and Magic books, it has always been at the back of your mind.
You deemed yourself too ugly to be in front of the camera- how cruel. But in doing so you found something you love just as much as acting. Explore every avenue, and no matter how brutalising your high-school drama teacher’s summation of your year’s worth of work may be, find it in your heart again to explore that passion. Opinions do not matter, but dreams do. Why not follow all of them? Illustration, effects, acting, humanitarianism, travel, art, literature- so many avenues to explore!
Peas, stray cats, babies, art, polaroids, ugly sweaters, films, people, places, craftsmen, lovers, turtles, friends and family are all so beautiful in your eyes- believe yourself to be too. Critics are often people trying to build themselves up off the back of the failure of others, and why should anyone listen to the opinion of someone like that? Be kind to everyone, and try to be kind to yourself foremost.
May the force be with you, mini Laura, and know that everything will be ok. I don’t know that for sure, as I haven’t gotten to the end yet, but starting to believe it is the first step to making it come true.
Picture is 16 Year Old Me, in a fancy chair: