1) That cake you’re about to slice is glorious. It is especially glorious with the vanilla ice-cream (not pictured) you are about to slather atop it. A decade later, you will still love cake, but by then you will be a neurotic mess. You will unfortunately bear the cross of understanding and taking to heart a terrifying new word. This word is called “calories”.
2) You will soon quit ballet and tell your mother it’s because you hate wearing tights. Unfortunately, circumstance is going to make a liar out of you because ten years later, you will love wearing tights. You will wear lacy floral tights that look like a slightly fancier version of fishnet tights. You will wear porcelain cream tights. You will wear tights with bows all along the back of your thighs. You will even buy a pair of atrocious zebra print ones that you happen to wear out in public. Your family’s protests will fall on deaf ears. (Also, you will wish you had stuck to ballet.)
3) You will still find auditions terrifying. You’ll wish this were untrue. You’ll also find this devastatingly ironic, seeing as you love the stage. OH DEAR GOD, YOU LOVE THE STAGE. A performance is exciting, but an audition? You’ll find yourself thinking that an eternal limbo of Brazilian waxes might even be more enjoyable…
4) You will still be flat-chested. I know that in your desired scheme of events, you hoped to be sporting a pair of supple chest mangoes by the age of sixteen. Unfortunately, this does not come to fruition. You will continue to stuff your training bra for just a little while longer. Eventually though, you will come to embrace resembling an ironing board because you do get to squeeze yourself into more revealing clothing than your more-endowed friends. And let’s face it, you’re the biggest exhibitionist you know.
5) You don’t actually have asthma like you believed, and even tearfully pleaded with your gym teacher about when you had to run 1km of track. In fact, a decade later, you get cranky when you don’t get to run a daily 5km. And those Campbell soup cans? You will ditch them for a real barbell. Words like “deadlift” and “goblet squat” will actually mean something to you. And when you swore, at age twelve, on a sedentary lifestyle, you have once again made a liar of yourself. Ten years later, you love salsa dancing, combat classes, yoga in a room that might as well be the equator, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. (Shit does get strange.)
6) It’s okay that you looked terminally awkward for most of your adolescence. In fact, it’s actually a great thing that you looked like a bit of a smashed crab. I know how much you wanted to look proportional / caucasian / blonde / pretty / or even normal like all the popular girls, but the saving grace is you knew from an early age that you could not rely on looks to get you by. Instead, you learned then to read voraciously, learned HTML, learned to crack jokes (although they still aren’t very good), and you learned to appreciate that people who aren’t necessarily aesthetically gifted have much to offer too. However, you will also eventually learn the joys of eyebrow maintenance, leg waxing and the thrill of the bitch red lipstick.
7) And those boys that never paid any attention to you? Well, there will be this invention called Facebook sooner or later, which will allow you to reconnect with all the people you left behind in suburban Ohio. To your great shock and awe, a handful of these boys who never paid any attention to you… will actually write to you. And when they write to you, sometimes they will say, “How come we never talked in high school?” (You will bite your tongue, or fingers, in writing back to say that, well, at the time, they were part of the football team and you…more closely resembled the football.)
8) You will eventually get your heart broken, but it’s not as painful or as permanent as you feared it might be (although sixteen year old you might disagree on this one). Yeah, that guy who made you cry (in secret) for weeks, while you had Damien Rice on infinite iTunes repeat, is a good friend of yours now. He will come to you for advice a lot. You should also probably get around to thanking him for being the impetus and inspiration for you writing your very first song.
9) You will, for the next few years, find your faith in men constantly depleted and magically restored. Fortunately though, you are at a current high. You are dating a musician who is about to fly to your side, across continents, in a matter of days because you are currently on a sabbatical from real life. He has mastered the appropriate level of texting, whereby you do not feel suffocated by the noose of his affections, and at the same time, you do not feel like you are dating an emotionally-vacant douchebag. He gives you good massages and puts up with your burping out loud. He has even grown his facial hair for you. And when he takes you out with his friends, he does not ask you to wear a paper bag over your head. Yes, you are currently happy.
10) You will still be a giant softie. You probably think that the years will add some jagged edges to the smooth veneer of your heart, but no. You will still cry in movies where old people die / children die / Nemo’s mother and fish-egg-siblings die. You will skype with your Mom because you feel homesick. You will still be excited to play with your Dad’s face like a block of plasticine and punch him in the gut even though you are in your 20’s and are meant to be above such displays of immaturity. You will still kiss your grandparents on their foreheads and cuddle up in bed with them. Although you will find more self-esteem and will finally be comfortable in your own skin, you will still take it to heart every time an Internet troll tells you you’re fat / ugly / talentless / annoying / asian (I can’t help being asian, you racist twats!). You will still prefer nights of solitude under the covers with a book, to nights of inebriated glory with your girlfriends. (Although let’s face it, the latter is sometimes necessary.) And despite your parents’ languid separation and everybody’s fears that you’d become a jaded cat-lady, you still do believe in the myth of chivalry and happily ever afters.
So hey, don’t sweat a thing, twelve year old Nikki. As your future self with ten more years worth of experience, I want to hand you the news on that silver platter - things do look up. In the next decade, you won’t have to wrestle with the dreaded acne your mother warned you could be hereditary. Period pain won’t be all THAT bad. Sure, you’ll have a new set of uncertainties like, holy-shit-I-am-almost-middle-aged-and-still-mediocre, but just remember that you, now, are of legal age to walk into an establishment and buy yourself the company of Johnnie and Jack (both of whom can numb your mind from such insecurities for a little while).
Now, If only my thirty-two year old self could have as much compassion as to appear, in this current time of uncertainty, to tell me that everything will be okay.