|This image is from Tumblr, and is originally from here.|
Saturday afternoon, overheard in a table full of twelve-year-olds:
Girl 1 to Girl 2: Ano, may crush ka sa girls?
Here's where I say: It doesn't matter, don't let anyone tell you otherwise -- yes, you can like that girl/that boy/whoever you want.
Yep, I'm probably that girl your parents warned you about, but before they seek me out with restraining orders, here's a list of things I also think you're too young for: (uh, girls. you're twelve.)
- Sex. (It's not a contest, nobody's counting, and no one gets a prize; getting into it earlier than when you're actually ready for it is going to fuck you up in more ways than one.)
- Drugs.(No explanation necessary.)
- Cigarettes. (You can try when you're spending your own money. And then you'll quit because a pack a day is going to burn a hole through your wallet before you know it. And trust me, one day you're going to want to move out of your parents' houses and apartment living is expensive even without vices. Just sayin'. Also -- it sucks having to quit. It's fucking hard.)
I am writing this for you, that kid who responded with an enthusiastic, "I like you!" after I said you can like girls. Of course you can, darling. Everybody else is going to tell you otherwise, and you probably need someone who'd tell you that it's okay. And just in case nobody has said that to you yet, I'll go ahead and say it for you: It's okay. So, you're a girl who likes girls. It's not the end of the world.
For one thing, you're twelve. Your world's just about to start. From what I heard from friends, high school is going to be very different and interesting, and you're going to have to figure it out as you go along - while juggling Chemistry, Bio, Physics, Trig, Algeb, your readings and papers for English, and now, you have your online social networks to also think about, etc. (You live in such severely interesting times, I sometimes envy you lot.)
I vaguely remember how it's like to be a twelve-year-old who's bursting at the seams with feelings -- just, you know, generic and strong. You want to belong, you want people to like you, you want to get recognized for something, you want your parents to be proud of you, etc etc.
Here's what you need to know at this point:
- You're beautiful. Oh my god, don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Don't let them tell you you're not tall enough/slim enough/fairskinned enough/whatever-enough. One day x number of years later you're going to want to see their faces when they see how far you've gone from that time they last saw you, and it will be the most delicious thing.
- You're crazy talented. Everybody's got something to bring to the table, but remember -- talent is nothing without focus (or so I've read somewhere). So you're good at something -- you have to hone it. Cliche and actually true.
So -- that part about liking girls. When I was your age, I didn't know I could like girls that way. I'll have to say my lack of exposure to that reality played a part in that: My school was co-ed, and I was busy with a number of things that I actually didn't know if anybody in my midst was in that sort of relationship. I was blissfully unaware.
And perhaps, very much unlike you. You must be constantly bombarded by these realities all at once (I heard somewhere that all you have to do to find all the lesbians in the world these days is to go on Tumblr). It's easy to be confused and to mistake one thing for another, and I've had my share of mistaking some things for other things, and, well, that's what being young's all about so. Go ahead and give your older self a lot of things to write about. Heh.
Seriously -- I was around your age when I first discovered writing. You know, in a journal I had to hide from my mother. (My mother has since passed, and now there's virtually nothing I can hide from her, hehe. Though I sometimes wish she were still around to actually tell things to. Like, in a conversation.)
I know, these days it's so easy to tell everyone how you're feeling -- you tweet, you blog, you reblog something on Tumblr -- but let me just say this outright: I'm glad I kept some things to myself. Or at least, until I was ready to tell someone about them. You know, like in a conversation.
The point is -- if there's a girl you should really like, it should be, firstly, yourself. Not even kidding. Something I've learned after all this time is that a relationship with someone else is really better when you're already in a good relationship with yourself. (I've had a gazillion people telling me this when I was in one of them proverbially bad relationships that made me feel bad about myself, and I only realized how true this was when I actually managed to shake myself out of a bad thing and eventually get into a good one -- four years and counting.)
That said -- you're twelve, and all this talk is probably me getting ahead of myself, and speaking of getting ahead -- at this point you're probably old enough for:
- That first kiss. (Ducks for cover! Guys, calm down, it's just a kiss!)
- A bit of beer. (Hopefully in the midst of adults -- seek 'em cool and responsible ones, 1) they'll probably pay for it, 2) they'd stop you when you look like you're headed into a hangover after one bottle of Red Horse and 3) they'll clean up after you.)