To call this an “investigation” feels like a misnomer, especially when it’s all about me.
My last series was about something on my college campus, which had its own set of difficulties. Believe it or not, but most people don’t consider it too important to talk to a student about ghost sightings. A lot of people didn’t take me seriously.
That’s okay; I don’t take myself seriously, either.
That being said, I decided this time that I would make things a little more personal. As I’ve been cleaning and moving back into my parents’ house this past week, I rediscovered my letters to self that I wrote back in middle school and high school.
Let me back up a few years. Starting in seventh grade, Mrs. Williams, my English teacher(shout out to Mrs. Williams!), would start off the year with the same assignment: write yourself a letter that you would not see again until the day you graduated from high school.
This means that I wrote myself six letters in total, each one distinct in style, tone, and handwriting. And totally embarrassing content.
Which begs the question: why do I want to share them on the Internet?
It’s been ten years since I wrote the first of these letters, and I’m in another phase of transition. I thought it could be helpful for me, and for others, to see where I’ve come from, and look at how far I’ve gone.
That being said, here’s how it’s going to work: for the next six weeks, I’ll release a letter word-for-word, no edits or rewrites. I will include comments on how I’ve changed, or even on how I haven’t. I’ll also analyze my handwriting, because let me tell you, it’s changed a lot.
Think of it as a conversation between me and my former selves that you get to eavesdrop on. Haven’t you always wanted that?
So let’s get started.
The first letter, as I’ve said, comes from 2007. Let me tell you a little about 2007 Meredith. She doesn’t pluck her eyebrows. She reads a lot of Star Wars books. She draws on the bottom of her shoes in class. She really likes tie-dye.
Her handwriting is interesting. She dots her Is with circles; every letter is strangely round. She’s been forced to write in cursive for 3+ years, so now she only prints. People who know me well know that now, I only like to write in cursive.
Here’s how it starts:
Wow. This is really weird. Okay, here we go!
Not too cringey yet.
I’m You, Meredith, in 7th grade. I’m almost thirteen, in 8 days.
Fun fact: my birthday is September 14, so I list my soon-to-be-age in almost every letter. I really like birthdays.
Well, you’ll be reading this in, what, 2013? Yikes! (okay, I really don’t sake Yikes really often.)
Well, and in 2017. Welcome to the age of the Internet, kiddo(and yes, I still say ‘yikes’ a lot).
I hope you’re happy now. I’m sitting next to Dan D., who keeps trying to shake the table.
Apologies to Dan D.; you really weren’t annoying most of the time.
You know how I feel.
But some things never change.
I’m planning to get baptized soon. I’m a little scared. I hope I do it!
Speaking of which,
The following statement refers to baptism in no way whatsoever.
I hope if you have a boyfriend, he’s not a total retard.* Or one of the guys in class. Eew!!
No boyfriend then, no boyfriend now. Please don’t remind me, thirteen-year-old Meredith. It’ll be okay, you’ll become a feminist soon enough. It’s like a name-brand purse; you really don’t need one to be happy.
*also, I DEFINITELY do not use this sort of language to describe anyone anymore. This was the only thing I briefly considered cutting out of this letter, because as an adult, I find it EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE, and if I could time-travel, I would give preteen Meredith a stern talking-to, believe me.
Don’t lose your individuality. Keep being special.
Am I millennial, or am I a millennial?
I want to be a lawyer. I think.
Laughs eternally into the distance.
Gotta go! Love Ya! – Meredith Sweet
In conclusion: thirteen-year-old Meredith had a good head on her shoulders, but a lot to learn. Next week, we’ll take a closer look at 2008 Meredith, who is infinitely more cringeworthy.