Middle school was kind of like getting stuck by barbed needles in every social decision that you make. I speak for myself, but I have never once talked to anyone who actually liked their middle school years. Puberty, braces, acne, cell-phones that you don't have any use for, noticing the opposite sex, and actually learning about sex itself. It was an embarrassing three years of my life.
I look back with a sense of dread on the middle school years, but I also look back on my middle school self and I want to cry for her. I was such a lost little person. So, I want to write the letter to my middle school self to tell thirteen year old me all of the things I wish that eighteen year old me could have said back then.
Dear Middle School Kaitlyn,
I see you, giving those awkward, one-armed hugs by your locker to the guy you've been dating for three weeks. I really hate to tell you this... But he's not the one. None of these guys that you date for a few weeks are. But we'll get to them later.
I know the depths of your heart. I know that you have no confidence, and you feel like you have to take attention from anywhere you can get it, by any means necessary. But if you want to know the truth... every single girl around you feels the same. You are one of many lost little girls walking the halls.
The braces don't make you ugly, and your forehead isn't too big; they make fun of you because they feel just as bad about themselves as you do. You aren't too tall either... when the adults tell you that the boys will outgrow you, they actually do! Even the ones that look like they never will. And it doesn't even matter anyway. I promise.
The friends you have now will one day become acquaintances, so don't worry so much when someone else calls your "BFF" their "BFF." It doesn't matter, at all. And you know how you're super jealous of Jenni for being the object of your eighth grade boyfriend's affections for like, two weeks? Well, she'll become your very best friend, just a few months later in high school. As a matter of fact, all of the people that you are best friends with in high school are people that you never even talked to in middle school. It's crazy, I know, but trust me, they're great people, and they'll make you laugh a lot.
But back to the boys... don't sell yourself short. The man that you will marry is so far above any of these guys, not because they are bad people, but because he is so wonderful. I wish you would focus less on guys, and more on math. If you pay attention more in Algebra, it would make it way easier on high school me in advance math classes.
It's unfair of you to expect these boys to love you like you want them to. They are mentally not capable of it, and neither are you. As a matter of fact, your own future husband can't even do that, although he does a great job. Only Christ can satisfy that longing for acceptance and love. You'll fight this for awhile, and you'll lose.
Eat pancakes for lunch with Mamaw. Help her clean the house. Teach her how to type properly, and look up that shoe website she always wanted you to. Sit on the porch with her and talk about as much as you can. Hug her, and kiss her, and let your brain capture how that feels, and lock it away, because one day you'll need that memory.
I just want you to know that I've seen those nights that you've laid sobbing in bed because you truly believed you weren't good enough. I tear up now thinking about you. I wish I could protect you from all of the hurt that you'll feel, even though a lot of it is unintentionally self-inflicted with the conflict that you don't realize you start.
You are so smart, and kind. You're just... grasping. For identity and for acceptance. You aren't alone. You're surrounded by so many people that want you to succeed. And you will! You'll graduate high school with honors, and you'll go to college, and meet the man of your dreams when you're 16... and he's a ginger!
I guess what I'm trying to say, is be the best you that you can, for my sake. I'm counting on you, just like the 25 year old me is counting on the 18 year old me to do well in life.
You. (in roughly 5 years)