Letter to My 8 Year Old Self
By Caroline Lee
Ohhhh glorious little 8 year old me,
The things you know.
The things you don’t know.
Those golden locks. That attitude. The unmatched ability to tell it like you see it.. Never, EVER lose that. I’m bein’ real with you. It’s the best part about you.
Now, while I have you.. You will spend years and tears looking to others to confirm that you matter -- but I’m here to cuddle you and let you know; YOU ARE ENOUGH. That’s it. Just you. Not someday or eventually. But in this moment. You. As you. You’re IT. I look at you and feel awe.
You’ll have crooked teeth. You’ll shave your eyebrows. You’ll try to find acknowledgment.. I’m giving you that acknowledgment. You AMAZE me. You’re ¼ of my age, and I look up to you. You’re fearless in a way that the world truly needs to see and know. If I were to look you in the eyes right now, I would be a goner. Done. I’d be in tears for a week. I’d ask you to tell me everything. To tell me how you see the world.
I’d ask you if you would accept me.
And I’m sure you’d say, “What do you even mean? All I’m dying for is for you to think *I* am cool!” And we’d laugh and we’d look at each other and make “Tshhhh” sounds over and over again in amazement that we could just be. Together.
You know what you’re so good at? Looking out for others. Looking out for the underdog. You’re the big sister -- always. And people will feel that, and it will be life or death for some. Right now, people see you and they see a little girl, but I see your heart. I get it. I know what really matters to you, and it is beautiful. Perfect, even.
And you know what else? Some will call you masculine. Bossy. Not feminine. Not wife material. But I? I have insider info. You being authentically, unapologetically you will attract your soul twin. So who cares if 99.999% of the rest of humanity isn’t your type? The knowing you’ll know will feel like home. A home you ache for. And the ache isn’t for nothing. Truly. It is an ache that will make the bliss that much more glorious.
OK. I’m about to say an unpopular word. ANGER. Yes, anger. You have it. You know you do. It confuses you and makes you feel ashamed sometimes. You’ll see therapists and tell them, “I’m here because of anger that I don’t know what to do with.” But here’s the thing.. It’s a righteous anger, and it’s an anger that will allow you to know yourself. For you to gauge when and where you need to check in and notice an injustice. An imbalance. Anger isn’t a look that people will celebrate -- especially on a ‘lady’ -- but it is a GIFT. A tool. Lady Justice is a celebrated deity because she got it. Gets it, even. Let that anger be the fire in your belly that awakens you to what is without equality, and bring the Balance.
The thing you need to know and be reminded of is that you’re not alone. Every single time you are experiencing something, if and when you verbalize it, you’ll give voice to others to do the same. They’re going through it, too. And when they hear from you, you’ll all breathe deeper; together. Undo the shame of aloneness. Speak up and have confidence that others will follow when you use the courage to go first.
You may be a strong girl in a time when strong girls are misunderstood and shamed, even--but times, they are a’changing--and keep using all that you are to bring balance for the force. xx
Caroline Lee is a content creator based in Los Angeles. From photography to social media to production and most recently, a podcast, Caroline's focus is on trying new things and bringing ideas and conversation to the topics of education and equality. Caroline lives with her Aussie-born husband, Jayden, who is her ride or die. Together, they've worked on all 7 continents.