"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, November 09, 2012

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Six Year Old Me

Now Playing: Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift (to you everything's funny, you've got nothing to regret, I'd give all I have honey if you could just stay like that)

Dearest Six,

It's year one and you look adorable in your cheese yellow school uniform. Not really. Cheese yellow is not your colour.

Dearest Six, this is the year when the bullying starts for real. You were a baby socialite your whole life and you don't understand why, but suddenly Mrs Johnston is showing your parents your stories about Mummy and Daddy taking you to the Royal Show and then you're sitting at the back of the class doing different work from everyone else and everyone teases you for it. And then part and parcel with that you're dragged off to ESL classes because you're Asian and you don't understand why everyone's so condescending. It's called racism, dearest Six. It's a pain in the ass.

Dearest Six, you love music and you give everything a go. You can't write numbers yet and you can't colour in or cut out or glue together anything for shit but everything about you is bright and crazy. You get dragged off to the year sevens to show off that you can spell 'pharmacy' and they can't, and then you run away from all the teasing and sit on their laps and chatter away at them. You've suddenly stopped eating, which is scary and out of character, but food just doesn't interest anymore and it won't until you're about eleven years old.

Dearest Six, you've got another best friend. He's got diabetes and even though you hate needles you stay with him whenever he pricks his finger and sometimes he lets you have lollies or lemonade. You go to his house and he teaches you to play Crash Bandicoot, which is your first and last foray into the world of video games. You make weird potions in the backyard and he's the first and only kid truly as psycho as you are. You let him into your fantasy worlds of fairies and magic and you have the time of your life running wild. He moves away at the end of the year and you're desperately sad, but you've still got your three second rebound rate. You can get through anything.

But it's the first time in your life you stop believing Mummy when she tells you how beautiful you are. You don't know that she's talking about a beauty that comes from the inside, from the heart, and you wish more than anything that you were pale and tall with a foamy golden waterfall of hair and doll eyes. You wish you didn't have scars everywhere. You hate how you look and it breaks my heart that that poison got to you so young. But in a way it shows how perceptive you are, and that for all your daydreams and your wild imagination you don't always live in la la land, and you know that in the here and now it is the beautiful blonde girls who get the first pick of everything. That's still true, sadly, even now I have to step aside for the kind of girls you grow up with, the kind of girls who torment you every day. But you'll get your chance, dearest Six. And you're more beautiful then they could ever be, if only you and all the groupies could see it.

Dearest Six, this was ten years ago now but it all feels like yesterday. You loved everyone with your big broken heart and tried to see good in everything in the way only an innocent like you can. You're losing that slowly, as you become more and more disillusioned, and you're toughening up - but don't lose that completely, dearest Six. There's good in everybody and optimism in everything, but sometimes I forget that. You never do, and that's what I love most about you.

Nearly Seventeen.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

I wish other people besides Mummy who Six trusted told Six how beautiful she was.

(Wondered how you were going to deal with the bullying in the letters).

"But in a way it shows how perceptive you are, and that for all your daydreams and your wild imagination you don't always live in la la land, and you know that in the here and now it is the beautiful blonde girls who get the first pick of everything."

And wow! The Royal Show! There's a time when it's all work, and then we notice people get "special" or "specialised" work.

Pharmacy. If you couldn't spell it, you probably recognise it by the big green cross or the blue cross. One wonders how they spell the complicated medicines they must take. Anything with a "-acy" ending would trick me, when I would put an "m" or an "n" before it.

Which reminds me of your Crash-Bandicoot playing friend. He must have really respected that you stayed with him. You had lots of fun!

And that Six tried to see good - it's a big effort!

"Everything about Six was bright and crazy".