Letter to Myself at Age 10

window hearts

Dear Susan

Your nose is not as big as you think. While you’ll never be wild about the sight of yourself in profile, you’ll grow into your face and even learn to like it a little, hard as this may be to believe. The next 30 years are going to go quickly, and you’ll look back and be amazed that you could get this old. But don’t fear the passing of time. Life gets easier the longer you’re around, even though you don’t learn as much as you’d expect. This is because, as you grow up, things somehow become more vague; less black-and-white as you begin to grasp the contingency of life, and the fact that most things are actually beyond our control. But with this uncertainty comes a kind of humility which often makes us nicer human beings.

Your parents are raising you to have a healthy disdain for authority. While that is a good thing in principal, your rebellious nature is going to get you into trouble, and you need to learn when it’s time to shut up. Not everybody wants to hear your opinion, and as much as you pretend not to care, the harsh words directed at you will end up hurting you deeply. So, try to be less outspoken and a little more cooperative. In a few years time you’re going to start neglecting your school work and your gymnastics and your dancing in favour of chasing boys. This is a really stupid thing to do. Unfortunately, it will take you many years and a lot of wasted energy to figure this out for yourself.

When you’re 40 you’re going to make jokes about not understanding numbers, but actually having a grounding in maths is pretty important. I know you find it difficult, so work harder at it. There’s going to come a time you’re not going to know how to work out a percentage, and it’s going to be embarassing. Stop taking the easy way out. And stop being so frightened all the time. You’re clever, and you’re going to make good choices. As much as you want this right now, you’re not going to live in Hollywood and be famous or rich. But you’ll do work that you love and your talents will be rewarded and that counts for a whole lot more.

You’re going to have your heart broken, and you’re going to suffer a little. Okay, a lot. You’re also going to break some hearts along the way, though through the inherent self-centredness of human beings, you won’t be aware till much later of the impact you’ve had on some people. Be kind to the ones who love you. They deserve it. High School really is the school of hard knocks. Those cool people who won’t let you be in their crowd and make you feel ugly and unworthy? Let me tell you a secret: they didn’t amount to anything. Their lives are small places, and things didn’t turn out so well for them in the end. So, stop going home after school and crying on your bed. They aren’t worth your tears.

Things are going to go good for you, so try to relax a little. Think carefully about every decision you make because they really do count in the end. Life is long movie with a short storyline, and you don’t want to be left high and dry. And don’t, for the love of god, go to that hairdresser in Somerset West and ask for a Lady Di haircut. Someone should have pointed out to you that she didn’t wake up in the morning with all those glorious flicks, and it’s going to take you a lot of years to grow out that particular mistake. You’ve got good hair; don’t mess with it.

Yours lovingly,

14 thoughts on “Letter to Myself at Age 10

  1. Wish someone had written a letter like that for me at age 12, and then reminders every couple of years after that until the age of 30!

  2. You are awesome – and you do have gorgeous hair ;) Thank you – you’ve given me delicious food for thought xx

  3. Printed this for Cayla and stuck it on her notice board, maybe she will listen to the words of wisdom from someone other than her mother….if only we knew then what we know now!

  4. The picture of the hearts in the window was perfect- exactly what I used to do. God I miss being a kid and riding my bike or pushing my mumma&pappas pram around the block until mum called for dinner.

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