With a niece going into the tenth grade next year, I recently took some time to reflect on that part of my life. People say they would love to be young again, but I wouldn't. Those years were full of insecurity, pain, and loneliness for me. That being said, if I could talk to that girl now, this is what I would tell her...
Stop worrying so much about what you wear, those kids that make fun of you will do it anyway. Trying on 5 outfits in the morning isn't helping anyone. You are beautiful just the way you are. Yes you have acne, yes you have bad hair. I know you cut your own bangs and that they are way too short, but it's all okay. You are a beautiful PERSON. As you get older, good people will notice. Forget the rest.
That guy you are in love with...well I know it's hard to hear this but he's not "the one". I am not gonna tell you who he is because you wouldn't believe it. Just trust me in saying that this guy isn't him and that there is going to be some heartache along the way. Your heart will heal. I know it feels like you are broken and you will never be the same. I remember the pain. But hearts heal, you will love again. Choose boys who love you the way you are and encourage you to shine. Guard your heart closely, but not too closely. Let yourself love and be loved. But no matter what he says stick to your guns on the sex thing-you will be glad you did later.
Stop being so hard on yourself. No one is perfect. The popular girls you wish you were, they aren't happy either. they are just better at pretending than you. I am glad you aren't. You are real. Real is much rarer than popular. Why do you assume that because you don't fit in with them that they are better than you? What you don't realize is that they don't fit in with you because YOU are better.
Choose your friends wisely. Pick ones that don't talk about other people. The ones that talk about others, might talk about you behind your back too.
Brush your teeth more, and FLOSS. This will save you lots of pain and money later.
You know how you think it's too late to be athletic? Join track. There is something for everyone and you won't have to sit the bench. You would enjoy running if you got started. Give yourself a chance.
Stop feeling like everyone is watching you. This is high school. Everyone is self absorbed. They are watching their own reflections a lot more often than they are watching you.
Stop talking bad about yourself. You are important. People love you. You are enough. You are the one and only Amy Jo. It is not okay to say you are stupid, ugly, or fat-out loud or in your head.
Speak boldly. You have great ideas. Raise your hand in class when you know the answer. Smile more. If you want to try something new, don't ignore the urge, DO IT. Hold your head up high and make them wonder why you are so confident.
Be the friend you'd like to have. Give of your time. Volunteer your help. Listen to people's problems.
Stop trying to fit, you never will, but in a few years you will learn that you don't want to.
Someday, this will all seem silly. All the worries, all the tears, all the insecurity. I know you are rolling your eyes at me but it's true. I have been there. I have been you. But, someday you will sit in your living room, rocking your second child, married to a wonderful man who loves you for who you are and you will know that those "plastics" aren't the lucky ones. YOU are.
Love-32 year old Amy Jo