This month, we’re putting our nostalgia goggles on and taking a walk down memory lane with #PreenPastPresent. Join us as we go through our favorite childhood shows, talk to our teen selves, and go through old photos.
To my 14-year-old self:
You wrote a letter to me once for class, so I thought I’d respond in kind.
No, you did not suddenly become a multi-millionaire nor an über famous actor. You have not single-handedly eradicated world hunger, poverty, and sexism, nor have you created world peace.
You did, however, become a writer. Not in the way you envisioned, though. I know you wanted to write fiction, but we’ve put that behind us for now.
At this point, you still thought you were a woman and were grappling with the idea that you may be asexual. Surprise, surprise, you’re neither. It’s going to take you about a decade to realize this, but your weird feelings about sex and womanhood are because you’re nonbinary. You were right about being bi, though!
You’re about to lose the closest friends you’ve ever had. It’ll suck so hard, and you’re going to spend a year being so, so lonely. Not to be too ominous, but consider that a practice lesson for the future.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but mom didn’t leave dad. I know that by now, you already know that she should. Unfortunately, people that aren’t her children are going to tell her that she should stay “for the kids.” They will break up eventually, though. Dad will throw all of you out. Sorry about that.
You should talk to your cousin Joey more. He’s going to ask you to attend his wedding. Go. It’ll be the last time you’ll see him.
What else… oh, you should also talk to your grandparents while you can. Ask papang if the stories about him are true, if he really did get shipwrecked thrice, fought gangs by himself, and was the scariest motherf*cker to come from Negros. Talk to mamí about books, steal more of her fountain pens, and ask her if she really thinks you took after her father. Oh, and you should tell Yaya Lyds that you’re grateful that she raised you. She knows, but you should tell her anyways. Also, your cat The Great White Frank is going to live a long life, but he too will leave eventually. It’s going to be really sad, but you’ll have more cats soon. All white cats are going to remind you of him.
You’re going to face some of the hardest years of your life soon. I wish I could tell you it was all worth it, that, hey, at least you got stronger. But that’s a disservice to the trauma you’ll face. You and I both know that it’s kinda shitty to tell someone that their hardship is in any way deserved, that it’s something they had to go through.
Sometimes I think of you and wish I could go back, “Time Traveler’s Wife” style, to give you a hug. You’re just a little kid, and you had to grow up so, so fast.
But hey, it’s not all bad. Fourteen was a magical year. You were all possibility and endless exuberance. The world was still brand new to you and you could do anything you wanted. When you look out the window and see the darkened sky, you can hear the thumping in your chest and you get that overwhelming feeling that Something™️ is about to happen. It’ll tell you that magic is real, that love and light can conquer all, that you hold an important space in this story. For our sake, I hope you hold on to that feeling forever.