Why didn’t anyone tell me MySpace was coding?
Every so often in my instagram stories, I’ll ask people to send in questions. I do this every so often. Maybe because It makes me feel like people want to get to know me or because my brain will draw a blank and I need something to prompt me or because people might have questions.
One of my friends from high school asked what I would tell myself at 15. We can all agree this question is one we’ve all heard before and even answered. I know I have. I’ve always felt a bit of detachment from this question. I’d answer this with my version of whatever generic advice seemed most fitting. But I could never imagine what I’d actually say, if I’m being honest.
But this time, hearing it, felt like the first time I’ve heard that answer. In thinking about what I could possibly say to a 15 year old me, I cried. The kind of cry that aches. That has been in your bones since you learned how to stand.
I’d tell her that she was special. Undeniably so. That whatever “It” is, you have it. You cannot hide it if you tried, love. The sadness doesn’t hide it either. And you’ll be sad a lot. I’d say I’m sad a lot too but solidarity doesn’t always offer solace.
It makes you sad to know other people could be this sad too.
It makes you sad to know you’ll still be sad at 32.
But wow, how real was the pain you’re feeling.
You spend so much time hoping, and I am sorry for the lessons you will learn because of that. Apologies are not something you will hear often. But know that there is no lesson that will get you to stop hoping. To dream of less. It might be the number one thing I admire about you. I’ve tried to hold onto you as much as possible. My brave, sweet, sad girl.
It’s probably better etiquette to have refrained from all of the sadness. But if you are me at 15, then I know what you are carrying, and the things you’ll pick up along the way. I am working on putting some of that down for us. After all, we have a ways to go. We’re still young.
Hmm. Maybe I’ll write to her again.
Drink some water, wear a mask.