As you can tell by the title of this blog post, this is a letter to my ten year old self, basically if I could meet my ten year old self, I would offer myself this advice. So here goes!
Dear Aveen, (Aoibhainne, long story okay)
Well, this is weird. You thought of this idea in work and thought it would be a cool thought. At this moment, it’s nearing the end of summer 2014. Which in all honesty was a pretty good summer for you. The Gaeltacht, a summer job, blogging and just, living. Living and breathing happily with no anxiety or worry building in your stomach is quite a good thing. I think going back to your time it’s a completely different scenario filled with the things I hate now.
Age ten, being told you have your whole life ahead of you (which is true) but feeling stuck in a never ending spiral of hate, tears and questions. The year you got your first mobile phone, the purple one with the pretty design. You were also in Fourth Class, the year you started writing in your diary about what everyone in school was doing to you. I still have that diary in my room despite not writing in it for nearly seven years. It’s painful to read whenever I muster up the courage to, but you’re stronger now for going through it all.
At the moment life is really good. I’m nervous for starting Sixth Year, a time you never thought would ever come. It always felt like you would never escape that gravelly yard with the ‘gold stones’ which you all collected in the pencil sharpener. Even then you were so determined to do well in the Entrance Exam for secondary school. To get away from all those awful girls was one of your main plans for years. Good news is that you do get away from the majority of them which makes you content for a while. A word of advice, those who you trust most mightn’t share the same trust and respect for you. The people you thought you could trust most, will try drag you down past their low level but all you can do is keep your head held high and ignore all their online taunts and be a bigger better person with the moral high ground.
Please don’t be ashamed of my actions. When the flashbacks start when you’re older, don’t ignore them. Please. Do something about it and go see someone earlier than I should have. When the darkness starts following you in the inescapable maze, fight it and fight it hard. There’s so many more happy times to follow, not just for you age ten but for me, a month off eighteen. Remember that ‘’Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, but only if one can remember to turn on the light’’ You read it in The Goblet Of Fire aged seven remember?
You’ll get glasses in another year. It seems so horrible at first, these grotesque awkward things on your face but when you have good vision wearing them you won’t complain for long. Your chubby cheeks will disappear in a few years. They might start calling you ‘’Four eyes’’ and countless other insults but trust me, you’ve something they don’t, imagination, motivation and a hell of a lot of determination. I can say this enough, It Gets Better, I promise. Just hold tight, something that seems impossible when you’re desperately hiding your tear stained cheeks and red eyes from the teachers and those awful girls every day in that horrible playground.
At the moment in 2014 you have a much better life. You feel happy, you remember what a smile is and you know how to produce one on your own face with one dimple on your right cheek. You still have glasses but they’re actually kind of cool. You have a blog that’s been nominated for awards and people actually email you for advice on blogging and all sorts. Slightly weird thing to balance with studying Leaving Cert subjects at Honours level. Yes, even maths! The reason you were so awful at maths in 4th class is because you couldn’t actually SEE the board, despite your arguments that you could. You actually love school now, you always loved learning but even more so now with teachers that have faith in you and know you are so determined to do well and become a primary school teacher. Yes, STILL you want to be a primary school teacher even though your experience of the place was so horrific.
However, maybe that’s why. To stop any other innocent child from having to cope with so many horrible bullies, self-doubt, self-loathing and general atrocities that you did. I’m not saying the next few years will be easy, they won’t be I can promise that. But, they will help you develop into a more confident girl, still striving for perfection in your school work and with that same hard work ethic and determination that the ten year old girl with tear stained cheeks attempted to strive for.
Aveen. (It’s only Aoibhainne in school now, yay!)