Here’s to You, Thirteen-Year-Old Me

People do a lot of things to get over a bad day.

They drink. They eat copious and disturbing amounts of fast, fried food. They take their frustrations out on their sweet, wholly-undeserving families.

Me, I just compare myself to someone who is worse off than I am at the moment. No matter how bad my day is, I can always just compare myself to a certain someone to make myself feel better about my current plight. That certain someone is me at 13.

Thirteen-year-old me was a complete and total shitshow. I was a mess. At the end of any bad day, I can always thank my lucky stars that I’m no longer thirteen. Being thirteen is just the straight-up, total worst. It sucks.

At thirteen, I was just a big ole useless blob of back acne; hormones; and unrequited and inadvisable boy band love. It was not a good time for me. It blew.

And I didn’t even have a bad adolescence, comparatively. I wasn’t bullied or anything after-school-specialy-like that. My parents were loving, supportive and incredibly, unbelievably understanding about all of my increasingly strange and annoying behavior. They weren’t overly-protective or unnecessarily strict or really annoying at all. At 13 I kind of had the market on annoying covered in our household. No one else need apply.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a tad bit dramatic and well, to put it kindly, emotional. When I feel things, I FEEL them in all capital letters. My emotions mean business. They won’t be ignored like good little WASPy emotions. They will be heard damn it and they will likely be accompanied by a side order of enthusiastic weeping or hysterical laughter (or most likely, both) depending on the situation.

So, yeah, as you can no doubt imagine, at thirteen, when everyone’s emotions are right under the zit-pocked surface, I was a real dreamboat.

Just kidding, I was a gosh darn nightmare. Everything was deadly serious. Everything, EVERYTHING was the END OF THE WORLD.

But as it so often turns out — it wasn’t.

My thirteen-year-old trials and tribulations didn’t really send our thousands-year-old civilization crumbling to its knees. The world simply, continued turning, oblivious to my petty pseudo-problems.

The world just did not care about whatever the heck I was freaking out about, because I was the only one freaking out about it.

But at the time, I couldn’t see that because, at the time, like most thirteen-year-olds, I was a complete and total idiot.

So now that I’m older and very, very slightly wiser, thirteen-year-old me helps adult me keep things in perspective. Even on crappy days I can take solace in the fact that at least I’m not that crazy yahoo any more.

(I’m aware that referring to a younger version of myself as a separate entity does seem a bit crazy, but hey, baby steps here, I’m making slow but steady progress toward sanity.)

If I could go back in time and tell my thirteen-year-old self one thing, it would be “Calm down, you weirdo.”

Oh, and I’d also probably tell thirteen-year-old me to stop adamantly arguing with all of her classmates that Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys is infinitely more talented than that Justin guy with the weird hair from N’Sync. That really didn’t pan out as I’d hoped.

But what the heck did I know, I was thirteen.