A Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

My friend Colin showed me this letter that Frank Ocean wrote to himself-five-years-ago:

frankThought it was pretty cool, so I decided to try it. I’m no Chris Breaux though…

Hey Cat,

You won’t believe the direction your life goes! You made it through junior high and high school, and now you’re off to college. Your friends today will not be your friends for long…you’ll abandon some, some will abandon you, and it will be painful, but it will make you the person you are five years from now.

You will feel left out and isolated so often that you’ll feel mute. You’ll write because no one listens, but the hate blog that you just started is so stupid, delete it now. Someone’s gonna find it when they do a random google search for their name and you were dumb enough to put in full names. You will spend four years trying to shed the paranoid label, and it will suddenly come back to you, all at once.

You’ll meet a boy and realize that he’s the one. Then you’ll meet another boy and realize that he’s the one. Then this will repeat itself multiple times before you realize that it will probably be years before you meet “the one” and that you might die before then, but at least have accumulated a lot of happiness and subsequent sadness that will make life worth living regardless of whether you found “the one”.

You’ll learn to eat lunch alone and make unfaltering eye contact with strangers and embrace awkwardness.

You’ll go through bouts of insecurity and strong boastfulness and in the end, you’ll wind up pretty damn satisfied with yourself.

You’ll start an awesome blog that finally gives you a voice box, and you’ll be tempted to stop writing and abandon it, but it will end up changing your life, fleshing out thoughts that have been forever tangled in your head.

You’ll abandon knitting, and you’ll never get a puppy, but at least you know how to cross-stitch and you know what you’d named a puppy if you ever got one (Sweetheart).

You’ll stop reading for four years and you’ll struggled through four difficult years of schooling, because you’ll become lazy and battle time management issues but wake up fine when you’re excited to do something, such as debate at 8 am or wake up with the sun.

Every year, you’ll see your cousins and you’ll all say, we’re getting so old, and you’ll change throughout the years, chopping your hair off and growing it out to your bum, but you should experiment more because everyone looks just fine when they’re young.

Love you,


Colin also showed me this song:


  1. Pingback: Guest Post: A Letter To My Thirteen-Year-Old Self | Catherine Zhang

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