Sunday, December 12, 2010

Letter to Me

So I'm reading my November issue of Glamour (I know, I just started a new subscription so it's backdated or something) and I see this mood nailpolish that changes colors with the temperature of your nails. How cool right?

Then I remembered that when I was a kid, I had mood color lipstick that changed from orange to bright red. I remembered I wore it in the 7th grade and it changed colors, just like it said. The boys in the 7th grade made fun of me for wearing red lipstick. For one, my lips are pretty big so when they are red, they just stand out that much more. That was the last time I wore it. That got me thinking about all the other things that I had and wore once, never to be worn again because I got made fun of and cared about what other people thought.

From there I thought, man that is too bad I wasted so much. And hearing about kids committing suicide because of bullying, I thought, if I could tell that 12 year old me what I know now, what would I tell her?

1. I would tell her it's perfectly fine to be different.
So cliche, I know but it's true. It was hard growing up as the shortest girl in your school. A small private school at that. A small Christian private school, when you were actually Catholic. I was always pretty sensitive about that because all of my classmates were tall (well taller than me), even if they weren't long and lean aka chubbers, at least they were tall. I was pretty defensive about my height and always felt the need to prove myself.

Exhibit A: Getting my kickball stolen by the tallest kid in my class. I pinched his arm, because I knew he would kick my ass. And he did, he choked me and lifted my off the ground with his arm because you know, he's tall. Well because my pinch mark left a little teeny mark, the principal gave my two swats on the butt with a ping pong paddle (Christian Protocol, you know). This kid, on the other hand, got to write sentences. My parents were pissed because they totally manipulated the situation and made it seem like we both were getting the same punishment. Not cool.

Exhibit B: I was kind of sassy (probably still am), and got in trouble for gossiping about another girl because she was way more developed than me. I looked like a boy until I was about 16, I was what you call a "late bloomer". She said I harassed her. Did not! But brushed that off. Moving on.

I was always trying to fit in, which was equally hard being from different cultures from most of your friends. Asian families have their priorities a little different. I know now, that it was all for my benefit but back then, when I wanted to go to birthday parties until 8:00pm and my parents wouldn't let me, I hated it.

Luckily, my parents are more liberal than they used to be and I guess it came with time and the adaptation. Or the fact that both of their children are far from traditional. All good in the hood.

2. I would tell her to stop trying so hard.
I'm sure most kids go through this but being like everyone else is just so boring! What fun would life be if we were all the same. I hated uniform growing up because it was so hard to work with and yet the hot girls still looked better in their uniform than I did. Can't fight that. Models wear trash all the time and they still look better than me. It's ok little one, you'll find your way.

You know what I would also recommend, watching that one South Park episode about the lists, where Abe Lincoln shows Kyle that being hot is not everything because it leads people to be uninteresting. Totally good point.

3. I would tell her life isn't about chasing boys.
When all the girls and boys starting "going out" and "talking", nothing happened for me. First thing I would tell her about boys. They are dumb. They waste your time. And you will never be good at boys because you will have other things on your plate that will have priority over them. Plus the good ones will come to you and understand your quirky, goofy ways. You don't need to find them and stare at them, and write love doodles in your Bible during Bible class (which surprise, was not my best subject. In fact, got my only two detentions from Bible class.).

Sure, she was totally in love with the idea of love. But I would tell her that it is a journey and it doesn't come easy, but when you're ready. It will work out. Patience young jedi.

4. I would tell her that her parents are not out to make her life miserable and that they love her, even if they're strict and won't let you go out.
If only my parents were as cool then as they are now (Hi Mom!), life would have probably been easier for all of us. Curfew was one of the things we fought about the most. I'm pretty honest with my parents. I tell them everything and I think they know now to trust me. I'm not stupid and I don't do stupid things (that often, haha).

Not gonna lie, going out is a huge thing for teenagers, but I see kids now and I wonder how my parents dealt with me and how I might have to deal with my own annoying brat of a child. Scares the crap out of me.

5. I would tell her be confident.
Sure uniforms suck and are not flattering on you. And being short is hard, but it won't be an issue when you're older. Being smart in math was a given (only lasted until freshman year of highschool). But little Me, hold your head up high because when junior high and high school is over, you will be free (assuming you go to college or move out). Plus Mom always said, "Chin up". You will learn to love yourself and think you are the shit and totally awesome. You don't have to worry about what other people think (even if they want to beat you up in hell hall, pshh they got nothing on you) because that doesn't matter. You don't have to worry about how boys see you (even if you have speed bumps under your shirt and they call you mean things) because there will be a boy out there that thinks very highly of you. So you don't have to accommodate anyone. The world will mold to you, not the other way around. And if it doesn't, make it.

And all of this, from a bottle of mood nailpolish.

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