Dear five-year-old Lauren,
I’m sure the very first thing you want to ask is “Will I ever grow out of this dinosaur phase? Because dinosaurs are awesome and I know I will love them forever.” Well, the answer is, no, you will never grow out of it! But you will have to be a bit more subtle about your dinosaur love in the future. For example, I recently bought some super cool dinosaur socks and I wear them all the time.
Sometimes, as a 23-year-old, I still miss that dinosaur/dragon costume and the feeling of Mom’s leather gloves on my feet. But don’t worry, you now live in the era of adult onesies. So I could totally buy something that looks almost exactly like that if I really want to.
Five-year-old Lauren, you’ll love books forever. Right now, you’re reading Bambi…or maybe just looking at the pictures. But you’ll grow up with books in your hands. In grade 7, when you don’t have any friends at school, you’ll bring the biggest novel you own and read it on the playground. I know, I know, it sounds sad. Right now, you have so many friends. You’ll still have some, don’t worry, but they won’t go to the same school as you anymore.
And when you’re at this new middle school, people will make fun of you and they’ll be mean to you and sometimes when you’re at home, you’ll look at pictures of yourself wearing that dinosaur costume and cry because you miss being five years old.
The silliest part of it all, is that they’ll make fun of you because you’re too skinny. Because three years from now, when you’re eight years old, you’ll develop a phobia of vomiting that stops you from eating for the next five years of your life. But let’s not talk too much about that now. Right now, you’re five and you’re still okay.
Anyway, when you’re at school, you don’t cry. You just read. Actually, you read a book about dragons. It’s called “Eragon”, and then you’ll read “Eldest.” It’s the longest book you’ll read, and some weird guy in your class will make fun of you for reading it. Because you’re a girl. And girls, apparently, don’t read long books.
But you just brush it off. You don’t care. You prove that boy wrong by finishing off that book before the end of the month. You keep on reading your dragon books. Oh and by the way, eventually, they’ll make a movie based on Eragon – you’re going to watch it, but you’ll regret it.
I know I just told you a lot of scary things. You’re going to have some pretty bad anxiety in the future. You’re going to move from your childhood home, you’re going to lose a lot of your friends, and you’re going to get bullied.
But I’m telling you this because you’ll get through it all. I still have anxiety, and sometimes it’s pretty bad. But you’ll learn to cope. You’ll learn to live with it. You’ll learn to eat again.
Kids made fun of you for being too skinny – well guess what, now I’m trying to lose a few pounds! You’ll get over it. And you’ll be pretty obsessed with cheesecake in the future. (I know, right now you think, cheese + cake?! How could that be good?! But trust me, it is. You’ll try it for the first time when you’re 12 and you’ll never go back).
You’ll get bullied. Grade 7 will be a hard time for you. But you’re really tough. Dad always calls you a chicken hawk, and you’ll live up to that name. You’ll be okay.
So don’t be afraid of the future. I’ve been there, and I made it through okay.
P.S. Bambi will end up being your least favourite Disney movie. Oh, and when you’re 23, you’ll write an essay on the Pocahontas movie. Weird, right?