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An open letter to my 14 year old self

Hi, bleach-blonde baby Jess,

Where are your eyebrows, child?!

You will soon (thankfully) ditch the purple eyeshadow, learn to apply eyeliner without looking like Pete Wentz circa 2007 (leave your fucking waterline alone), and that leopard print should never, under any circumstances whatsoever, be worn in public.

Future Jess will be mad as hell that her mother let you bleach the living daylights out of your hair for three years. Also, that she allowed you to leave the house with a back-combed side fringe, pink dip dye, leather hairbow, and hoop earrings. Not to mention the various, truly atrocious, combinations of tutus, purple fishnets, pairs of denim shorts that you painstakingly shredded and bleached by hand, obnoxiously large rhinestone-encrusted rosaries… Parenting 101.

You’ll move to a new city, cut your hair, lose weight (goodbye boobs, hello cheekbones), you’ll become the girl who doesn’t leave the house without dark lipstick and a pair of towering platforms on. You’ll be buying designer lingerie, shoes, and dresses left, right, and centre, despite being scarcely able to cover your grocery bill. You’ll have four wardrobes bursting at the seams. You’ll be the girl with the most cake who could eat it too (but she wouldn’t dream of spoiling her vegan diet).

You’ll have everything you ever wanted, but you still won’t be happy. You’ll learn that sadness isn’t inherent to place, and that you will feel the same no matter where you are, what you own, or how you look.

One day you’ll walk past the boy you thought you’d never get over, and you won’t think a thing of it.

One Thursday evening, in several years time, you’ll be perched at the bar your boyfriend owns, filthy martini in hand, working on an assignment that was due two days prior, wondering what the fuck postcolonial melancholia is, and you’ll realise that you’re going to be okay. You will be fine. You’re pretty fucked for this particular assignment, but it is worth 10% of a single paper in your entire degree, it is not the be-all and end-all, the sky will not fall, you are allowed to prioritise yourself and accept one stupid low B grade. You will be fine.

P.S. You’re allergic to fake tanner, you just haven’t figured it out yet.

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