This post can originally be found on my original blog.

 I decided to check out the daily prompts and the one that caught my eye was carefree. This made me think of the times when I was younger. I was happy living in my own world where nothing would bother me for too long. So much has changed since those days, but I thought that maybe I could write a letter to a younger me. I have no clue what age I want to write a letter to, but I guess we can assume I was younger? How about 8 years old? That sounds like a good age...


Dear 8 year old me,

To be perfectly honest with you, I have no clue what I want to tell you. I guess I will talk about what happens and what I wish I did instead.

I'm trying to think back to what was going on in your (our?) life right now. I'm pretty sure mom and dad have been divorced for about a year now, and dad is starting to get ready to move into Michelle's house out in the county. But none of this is really bothering you, am I right? Right now you have a great relationship with both your mommy and daddy, and that is all you want. I don't want to scare you but for the next few years you will begin to struggle with those relationships. Especially with dad. The first few week's of living at his girlfriend's house were going pretty good, it sucks that we're stuck in the basement room, but otherwise life is pretty good. However, don't be fooled, you will quickly begin to feel out of place. It won't take long for you to start to feel inferior to Mason and Heather, and you will probably want to do things like riding ATVs and dirt bikes, paint balling and air soft and all the things Mason does. I remember I was hesitant at first, because I didn't enjoy those things (but in eight years time, you would love to be able to do those things) but eventually I convinced myself that I liked doing them because I wanted be like Mason so dad would still love me. Do yourself a favour, and don't make yourself do things you don't enjoy, it's not worth it. I should've told him that I didn't want to do those things, and that I wanted to do something else. That's what I wish I did, because in the end it didn't make any difference about how much he loved us. It probably would've been better if I didn't force myself to do those things, I would've been happier.

Within a couple of years, you'll decide that you want live with mom full time and see dad every other weekend. That eventually becomes every third weekend and then you will go months with even talking to him. Ever since he moved into her house, the relationship we had with our father will deteriorate. For the better part of 7-ish years now, I have struggled with deciding what to do about that. Part of me longs to have that father daughter relationship from back when we were five, so you keep trying time after painful time to obtain this. But the other part of me was starting to get fed up with the endless cycle of the relationship going great but then after a month it would come crashing down, destroying you in the process. I don't exactly regret trying to make i twork, but I wish I had given up years ago. Currently  I do not have a relationship with him right now (shocker right?), and I don't think I will want one ever again. This is a decision that I took far too long to make. I wish I had realized that it was hopeless to keep trying to get the father I had from when I was 5 after the first dozen times that the attempts failed. But you know what little me? I'm doing just fine without him in my life. Now that I stopped fighting for that relationship I realized that I don't need to have a father figure in my life, and that is okay. It brought me to the place where I need and deserve to be. Moving on...

Over the course of the next few years you will go to three more schools,  you will make a new set of "friends" each time. At the first two schools, you will think that you have true friends, but they aren't your friends at all. As soon as you leave them they will begin to talk shit about you behind your back, and it hurts. To think that the people you loved and cared about don't care about you in the slightest. Each time, you realize that they didn't actually care about you like you did them, you will get discourage. By the time I was about to start high school, I was terrified. Because what if the people you get close to are all the same? I remember crying almost every night because I was scared of that happening again.. Well that and other things. On the first day you are pretty much scared and intimidated of everyone. I had built these walls as a wayto protect myself from getting hurt again. But high school is different, I didn't need them this time around. Eventually I began to open up.. slowly, but with a select few, I began to form friendships. At the time I had no intention of getting close to them, because I thought that nobody care about me. I have never been more wrong. in my life They were the real thing. The friends that we have now are probably one of the best things that could ever happen to me. If I had the chance to change things, I wouldn't. I like to think that despite all the pain that we went through from the ages 9 to 14 was worth it. It brought me to my friend group. So my advice to you right now is to just accept everything for what its worth and not give it too much thought, because in the end, you will get to where you have to be.

This letter is starting to get quite depressing, sorry 'bout that. But  you have to know that not everything is this bad. A lot of good will happen. You will make a lot of good memories, but there will also be some hard times as well. I don't exactly know when it all stated, it seems like it has always been there, you probably know what I'm talking about. It's hard to say if if was there, bothering me when I was eight, but if it isn't bothering you now, it will start to soon.  You are eight right now so I don't expect you to understand all of this, but I feel like I should tell you about this, as you get old you will begin to struggle with your mental health. You know how you have always felt abnormally uncomfortable in the in social situations and that you don't feel like you belong? Well that is social anxiety. All of those nights you would lie there thinking and worrying about everything and imagine the worst possible outcome to __event__? That is the anxiety acting up. The depression isn't any better. All of those feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness aren't actually normal. You my friend that is the beginning of depression. So yeah 😕 Of course there are many times that you will enjoy, you will feel normal but I guess I want to warn you of the challenges that you will face as begin to become a young adult. Up until grade 10 we were able to push all of those issues to the corner of out mind ignore them. But grade 11 comes around and suddenly everything comes crashing down. I'm not going to lie to you, this past year has been really hard. But with the help of family, friends and counsellors you will be able to get through it. You will learn how to deal with all of the things that life throws at you. I think what I'm trying to get at is that you shouldn't make the mistake of trying to run from all of your problems. You should confront them while they are still small and manageable. If I could change only one thing about my life, I think it would be just that. Instead of letting everything build up and accumulate over time, I would face them as they come so it doesn't come crashing down.

I've been warning you about all the bad that has happened to me based upon the decisions that I made. I'm not trying to scare you, but I want to be more prepared than I was. All of the challenges don't come without reward. I want to keep all of the happy moments a surprise to you. This way, you can cherish them even more. You will be able to enjoy them and they will come as pleasant surprises. Life isn't really all that bad. There is so much good in it. And even though there are things that you can do to prevent all the pain that I went through, I don't think I would change a single thing. I am in a good place right now, and that's all that matters. I have a great family, some damn awesome friends and a bright future. So when you read this letter, you can take or leave my advice. Either way, I think you will end up having a good time, but in different ways... If that makes any sense. You are the only one who can shape your future, so go with what feels right. That is probably the biggest piece of advice that I can give you.

I have faith in you. I know you will do what is right for you,

16 year old me


Okay... So that didn't go exactly how I imagined, but it feels good to get that out. I really don't know if I knew what would happen to me in the future would change my choices or not, because I think that I am in the place where I need to be right now. This was a lot of fun to write. It allowed me to think about what I have been through (in a brief summery) over the past 8 years and reflect on it. I don't even know if this makes any sense to you readers or not, but this just feels right in some strange way. It gave me the chance to see how I grew up and matured.

I hope you guys are inspired to think about what happened to you throughout your life and how it has shaped you into the person that you are right now, at this moment.

Emily

Published by Emily Dirks