Hey 12 year old Sam,
I think about you often. Not only about your ideals, your naïve outlook on life, but also how you would see me. How proud you would be of me if we ever met.
I remember back in grade 6 you had no comprehension of the big move you were about to embark on with your family. You had to leave all your friends behind and neglect everything you thought you knew about life, because life in America is VERY different. However, you were lucky to not be in that situation alone, having your twin sister by your side every step of the way. All throughout high school you struggled with fitting in and finding the right group of friends. Don’t worry, as you progressed through your formal education, you placed less importance on trying to fit in and impress people.
I understand your hopes and aspirations. You believe in creativity, being good to people and trying your best. You think thinking positively can get you through almost anything, as long as you understand your limits. You want to be a Vet and you’ve been convinced your whole life you wanted to be one. I hate to break it to you but thats not the path you are going to take. I cringe at the sight of blood and dead animals. The introverted little Sam that loved animals is still there, but your confidence and love for people grew TREMENDOUSLY and has shifted your career focus to business and the service industry (weird right?).
Your struggle with weight and body image was so hard, and unfortunately you will still face that struggle 8 years down the track. You were bullied for being fat and queer at 12 and now it continues at 21 for being too skinny. It will be tough. Your life is still controlled by insecurities and fear, but your beliefs have evolved. You want to be good to people, but are afraid sometimes you haven’t been. You’re afraid to think positively because you know that somewhere, somehow, something will shut your positivity down. You quite often want the same things as others, but need to remember that comparing your life to others will always make you come up short in the end!
I can proudly say, you will SLOWLY start to care less about you insecurities. While both of us have feared rejection for the majority of our life, I’m starting to embrace it. I’m starting to realise that I will never achieve anything without being rejected. You will have your doubts when you experience the amount of the rejection you are going to face, but I assure you it will all make sense in the end.
At 21, your life has changed A LOT. You have a degree, you’ve worked at Disney World, you have a full time job with one of the largest hotel brands in the world and you have AMAZING friends. You’ve surrounded yourself with people who lift you up. Mum, Dad and Rebecca are all thriving in their careers as well and with their support, you’re finally going after the things you want! I’m happy because I’m trying. I’m learning not to turn down opportunities because I fear I’m not right for the job, or that I will fail.
Remember that it’s okay to be different and to stand up for what you believe in. It’s okay to take things at your own pace. You have a wonderful, long, and eye-opening road in front of you.
And as for me? I have plenty of time to make both of us proud.
Your 21 year old self
P.S. Brace yourself for how sassy you will become, it will be one of your defining qualities 😉