My first writing assignment on Judy Blume’s MasterClass is a Letter From My Childhood Self. The rules read as follows: Write a letter as your childhood self. It’s up to you who you want to write to—your adult self or someone else in your life. Let them know what you care about, what scares you, and what you yearn for.
Soooo… here I go.
Dear My Adult Self,
Oh my god. I have to tell you about something that has changed my life. Maybe in the future, this will be trivial because I don’t know when you will read this and what will have happened over the course of your life. I am sure that this moment will have an impact that will shape your entire life. I know it will.
It was Sunday and I’m watching that variety show on television with all the Mexican performers. I’m sitting with my fingers on the VHS’s record button waiting for the old man in glasses to yell out the words MENUDO. Again, he doesn’t say that. He said something else that I don’t know because I don’t speak Spanish. And that was when our life changed. I know it did because I felt it in the pit of my stomach when those four girls showed up on stage.
The first one sang, she had brown curly hair and sounded sweet. The next girl sang. She had a deeper voice; not as cute and sorta of ordinary. After those two verses, all four girls sang and danced the chorus. I pressed the record button. I need to save this on my VHS tape to watch over and over.
The music slowed down and the third girl sang. She had long blond hair with her tinted pink bangs hanging down. And then the fourth girl stepped forward. That was the moment my life changed. I can still remember everything about her. Her shoulder length dirty blond hair had strong highlights in it. She wore black leggings and a baggy black and white blouse that hung just over her hips. Her voice was angelical. I am in love. I think…no, I know I will love this girl forever.
After the commercial, the four girls on stage were joined by three teenage boys. I no longer care anything about Menudo because I have found myself. There he was. He was front and center with the biggest and widest smile I have every seen. He has curly hair and is everything I am not. I want to be him. I want to be everything he is but I can’t. He has a flat chest and while mine doesn’t have mountains, it has hills that might grow into mountains. His voice his deep. Mine is high. I am a soprano in choir.
The more I watch, the more I am in love with these seven teenagers but it is her I know is the perfect girl and it is him I want to inspire to be. I bet if I asked my mother to perm my straight hair, she will let me. That will make me feel closer to who I am meant to be. I’ll stop wearing dresses and ask to buy clothes like his. I’ll smile like he does too. Maybe I can change my name to something not so girlish. Maybe if I tell the world I am like him, they will believe me. Doesn’t it work like that?
How hard could it be to be a boy when the outside of my body tells everyone I’m a girl?
Parents always say you can be anything you want if you just try hard enough. I’m gonna try my hardest to be the guy I want to be and maybe one day, I will; and when I am that guy, I am going to find that girl and make her my girlfriend. I hope by the time you read this letter, you are a man with a wonderful and beautiful woman as your wife. Maybe she will look just like the love of your life. By the way, her name is Sasha and his name is Diego.
Love, Your 15-year-old self