A Letter To Past Elyssa

Dear Past Elyssa,

Hey girl what's up? Present Elyssa here.
You're probably thinking about crumpling up this piece of paper and throwing it away because you don't really care, you have that whole 'I don't give a fuck about anything' attitude, but don't, I've got some important stuff to tell you, stuff that your probably not going to take any notice of, but I would love to have known back in the day. I'm coming to you from the year 2017- Donald Trump (the new President of the United States!!!) has just banned abortions and kicked people out of their homes, Queensland just lost their marbles over a weather chart with a penis shaped system, gay marriage still isn't legal in Australia, working mothers are still being attacked as 'selfish' and Australian senators are calling for a Burqa ban. It's not all bad news though- I mean the AFL now have a recognised women's league, Shane Warne is still Australia's number one advocate for Botox, Offspring started filming again and plus size models are starting to go mainstream. So yep, that's where I'm at.

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here is a prime example of past Elyssa: band tshirt, dark eye makeup, nose ring and a plastic black choker.
Firstly, I would just like to address your current attire- which is probably a band tshirt, black, ripped skinny jeans, dark eye makeup and one of those hideous, plastic choker things. I can deal with all of those, except the choker, get it off, seriously now. I'm happy to tell you, you're going to grow out of this clothing slump. You'll start dressing like a girl and the bands on your tshirt, soon enough you won't even like them anymore (except All Time Low who you're still going to have an emo crush on years from now). You'll still wear black skinny jeans, even in summer, but only because they make your arse look good, remember girl, sizing is important, get the perfect fit of the perfect pair of jeans and you'll be set for life. As for your very dark brown hair contrasting against your snowflake white skin, you'll go blonde and discover the world of fake tan eventually. When going blonde PLEASE leave it to the professionals, packet dyes are the devil, use they to go darker only, never lighter. You'll leave the look of 'emo' behind, and you'll be very thankful you do. Stop worrying about your weight, I say that but I know you won't stop. Something I want you to know is that people don't notice your weight as much as you think they do, they don't notice the slight double chin you have when you look down, they don't see the dips in your hips, they might see the slight cellulite on your thighs but guess what! everyone has it. If you're that concerned about it invest in Jergens toning and tightening moisturiser, it's a God send.

Let's talk boys. Holy shit you need to be prepared to have to deal with a lot of dickheads, when I say a lot I mean like more than your average. At current moment you probably still think boys are dumb and want nothing to do with them, and people are probably still assuming you're a lesbian, don't worry about that. Alas this is also something you're going to grow out of. Let me give you some advice about the idiots you're going to meet in your travels. If they seem too good to be true, they are, don't be too trusting when it comes to boys, they lie, everyone lies.  When you meet his friends and they refer to you as "his thing" take that as an indication of what he's like, his friends are a pretty good representation of him, don't like his friends? You probably don't actually like him. If your friends and family don't like him, get out immediately, they spot a dickhead before you do, listen to them. If he's an arse about your friends think about what he says about you, and don't ever let someone disrespect your friends just because you think you like him.
Would you believe me if I told you that one day you're going to move in with and build a life with an actual real life boy and he'll turn out to be the boy who was your first  'boyfriend' in year eight. The boy who you spent a year or two disliking for no apparent reason and the one that always encouraged you to drink more and think less at parties, the one that's a terrible beer pong partner, yes the one that put export in your cups and almost made you throw it all back up. You know exactly who I'm talking about and I know you don't believe me but after you finish school things don't stay the same, people change and circumstances change. Let this change happen because it leads to something good.

You're not going to be depressed and lonely forever. You'll have good times and bad times but you have to let that all ride out. You have to learn to let people in, to let them help you. You'll learn things on your own and you'll have help to learn things. You won't be scared and frightened forever. You're always going to overthink things and you're always going to stress over the tiniest of things that don't even matter but that will become a part of who you are as a person and the people around you will accept that. You will be happy, I promise that the bad times don't last. I know it doesn't seem like it but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I beg of you to stop shutting yourself down, stop letting mental illness get the better of you and keep fighting, because in the end you will be so proud of the fight that you have in you.

That one girl that you think is your friend so you continue to confide in. Stop. She is ridiculously toxic not just to you, but to herself. She brings you down lower than you were to begin with, she puts you down in order to bring herself up, she's a liar and the friendship isn't worth the amount of time and effort that you put into it. Leave her, she'll play many cards to get you to stay because she doesn't have anyone else, but leave her. It's best for you and it will turn out to be best for her. Your lives are better if they are kept separate, leaving each other to live them separately is for the best for everyone.

Don't give up on school, you'll want too, a million times the thought will cross your mind during a mental break down, but don't give up on it. Your subjects are hard and you have so many other things going on in your head that you just don't have room to fit everything in. Drop the subjects that are dragging you down, you're allowed to do that! But when it comes down to your last exams forever, if you think that it's jeopardising your mental health, if you can see that it's sending you backward, fuck it. You're still going to graduate with or without an ATAR score and it's not even a necessary thing, there are ways around not having an ATAR but still wanting to have a future. Don't stress yourself over something that you don't need, please for the sake of your mental health.

Save your money, but spend it as well. Spend it on things that make you happy, spend it on seeing things you haven't seen before, spend it on experiencing new things. Money can only mean so much to someone, so spend it on things that are either going to bring you happiness or are vital to your existence. Don't worry about money while you're living at home with your parents, save that for when you live out of home and your boyfriend doesn't worry about money so you have to worry for the both of you. Invest your money in four things: a set of good quality bed sheets, a beautiful but warm coat for the winter, some pieces of jewellery that when you put on instantly make you feel slightly more glamorous, and a simple recipe book. Master all the recipes in said recipe book and buy another, keep going, expand your culinary knowledge.

I leave you with few parting points- if you truly believe in something: stand up for it, fight for it and don't let anyone, anyone tell you that you can't believe in it. Back yourself, always be your biggest fan, always believe in yourself, even if it feels like no one else does, back yourself. Look after yourself, wash your hair regularly (no one can rock the greasy hair look), moisturise every part of your body, get your nails done, get your hair done, ask for a treatment while you're there. Make yourself feel a million dollars, do it for yourself. Have lazy days, stay in bed all day, binge watch Gossip Girl, eat ice cream, eat popcorn, stay in your pyjamas. You need lazy days, you need them to relax yourself.

So girl, this is where I leave you, you're own your own from here, be good, don't make too many bad choices whole drunk and remember that your body really doesn't like too many J├Ąger bombs.

Present Elyssa xo