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Dear 14-year-old Mel...

currently: reminiscing with a letter to my former self.

Dear 14 year old Mel,
Today is your birthday. When you turn 24 you'll wake up at 5am for some reason. Not because you're extra excited or anything, but maybe you're just wanting time to reflect on what you've done in the past 10 years of your life. You'll be surprised how fast it will be when you look back on it from my age.

I'm not going to lie to you. You thought being 13 was pretty good. But sorry, 14 will be an awful year in comparison. Just because you have become an annoying teenager who thinks she knows it all. For example, you thought 'Beautiful Soul' by Jesse McCartney was a good song. It's not. Really not.

Also you'll be really disappointed to know that Maroon 5 will be super popular by the time you're 24, but they will never be able to top the quality of their 'Songs About Jane' album. In fact none of their songs could top 'Sunday Morning'. But don't worry, by the end of the year you'll discover Switchfoot and find musical salvation with them.

Speaking of music, the next year will become a bit rough as everyone starts going through that emo punk music phase. It will only be made worse when all your peers, fueled by hormones, will become more emotional. They'll start thinking that getting more piercings, growing out weird shaped fringes, and wearing thick eyeliner is the right thing to do. Just hold on for about a couple of years for the phase to grow out.

You'll be astonished to know that 10 years from now, everyone in year 9 will be bringing their own laptops to school. You won't even get a laptop for another 3 years. Of course, it still won't match the coolness of your Nokia 3205 with its changeable backgrounds. Nothing will look that awesome. Not even your Bebo profile (you'll find out what that is in 2006).

On a more serious note, the things you think are important and stressful in your life right now definitely won't feel as difficult once you're older. Again, I know at 14 you clearly think you know what you're doing, but you'll look back and realise you're just as much of an adolescent as all of the people around you were.

For example, the relationship you think is so fun and exciting won't last, and it's going to take you a while to be glad it ended when it did. What you think love is at 14 is definitely not love at 24.

Also, you may think the odds of finding a nice, good looking guy who is interested in you despite your Asian appearance and western upbringing may be rare to find - but it actually is a thing today. Thank migration and the increase of Asian culture in Auckland for its slow but growing acceptability in European males. When you're older you'll find a guy who is a way smarter, sweeter and better boyfriend than you could have ever imagined. This future boyfriend will also remember your birthday unlike the boyfriend you have at 14...

You'll make plenty of mistakes this year. But the thing is you'll eventually stop regretting those mistakes because things like that helped to shape who you are in the future. The boy problems you'll have this year will put you off boys for most of high school. You'll learn what it means to be your own person; an 'independent woman', and start to find the things you really do enjoy in life. I'd like to say that being so focused would mean you'd ace the science and math subjects you dislike so much - but nope. You'll go through another year long struggle with that. Thankfully your friends in the smart class will help you get the answers you can't work out.

By the way, you should know you're going to need glasses by the end of the year too. Sitting in the back may be cool and all but it's not practical for whiteboard reading.

But most importantly, if you're going to learn anything at 14, learn to love the people who surround and support you. It's so easy to think that no one understands you at 14 - but those people know you better than you know yourself sometimes. Especially your parents. You may think otherwise right now but they definitely know what's best. Plus, you don't know everything like you think you do, so the punishments you get will be deserving and set you straight. You won't enjoy it of course, but you'll need it and you'll thank them for it (after you mature in a couple of years.)

Being 14-years-old is going to be a rough year for you. But don't worry, 10 years will pass like a blink of an eye - and you are going to love where it will take you.

See you in ten years,


P.S. this music video is probably the most accurate description of being 24 that I've found so far.

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