dear middle school me.

it seems a little bit silly that i never think of sixth grade as middle school. sixth grade seems like a whole different place in time all together. in sixth grade my dad lost his job. in sixth grade i started only to be able to see him on the weekends. in sixth grade i lost my best friend. in sixth grade i first looked with loathing at my reflection in the mirror. in sixth grade we didn’t know if my future little sibling would survive. in sixth grade we sold my home. in sixth grade we moved into a rental house. in sixth grade my dad got a job states away.in sixth grade I grew up. but if i could go back i would have some advice. listen better madie grace, because in sixth grade you write your first poem. you win third place in your schools poetry contest. so listen. listen to your teacher as she explains. you learn a lot that year. don’t be sad about your brother. he still loves you. quit worrying about his problems, because you can’t fix them for him. don’t feel alone. your mom needs your help right now. work more around the house. complain less. read less. i know little madie grace that reading was our haven then, but what were we escaping? the missing sound of our dads car door every evening? the absence of our brothers laugh intertwined with ours? read less. those words you soaked in and embedded beneath your skin, could have waited. books are constant. but the problems you could have helped with, were not. oh, and sixth grade me, let out that pain. run to that favorite tree of yours (chester) and let the torment of tears that had been swimming in the blue of your eyes for weeks. dig your fingers in the moist black earth in elli’s garden and let apple juice dribble down your chin. swing more of the hammock. let all your pain and tears come out in a tidal wave of poetry. seventh grade me. stop it. stop with skipping breakfast, and counting on other people’s love to fill up the hole where you’re used to be. stop ignoring the feelings that are building up in your chest. stop letting other girls make you feel inferior. stop letting all your secrets escape in between the cracks of your crooked teeth. stop pinning away after him. he’s rude. he wouldn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. appreciate your friends more. because you will find yourself in ninth grade laughing over a text that brought back s flood of memories. you are a good judge character. don’t doubt that. don’t be ashamed of a label of mental illness that has been stuck as a subtitle underneath your name. no one else can see it. only you. and only you can manage how it affects you. don’t pin your happiness on a person. because then if that person lets you down, they drag your happiness away too. your happiness all shouldn’t depend on a person. don’t hesitate to hit that send button on Courage by Superchick. that song changed the way your moms eyes look at you. in a good way. it gave you saturday pumpkin bread and nights being rocked to the rain. oh, and dont forget the magical feeling of finding your first pair of jeans that fit perfectly.i have so much more advice and stuff to say, but i think you probably know it all already. eighth grade me. bump up your chin. they’re just toxic. don’t let their acid eat away at you. quit comparing yourself to that popular girl. stop. she has the red hair that you were born with. the clothes you wished you owned and could wear. and the guy you’ve always liked. but at what price? she buys fake hair clip ins, and is failing most of her classes. stop. stop judging and thinking of perfection. she doesn’t have it. instead she has a binder that says “cool kids never sleep” and a makeup palette in her bag to hide her dark circles. stop skipping meals and worrying mom so much that she buys vanilla protein drinks. and that she takes you the store and goes through isles saying “will you eat this?” as a shopping list. be less selfish. be more you. i know that your anxiety is tripled and every day you come home bent over with the weight. but you were born with broad shoulders for a reason my sweet. oh, and don’t take her betrayal so hard. don’t be angry at E for abandoning you for the popular. if middle school was a galaxy, she will always be a sun. i wish i could say more, but it would take weeks to go over middle school. and weeks more to tell of tears, fruit cups and boys. so middle school me, i leave you here. i leave all the heart ache and loss at the end of this post. what’s done is done.

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