At 13, I thought I knew it all. I thought I knew more about the future than my parents. I thought I knew more about what high school would hold than my teachers. And most importantly, I thought I knew it all about love.
I thought I had it all figured out and that the walls of my middle school had taught me all there possibly was to know about love and relationships for the rest of my life. If only I could go back and tell myself what I know now...
1. There are more romantic gestures than him giving you his sweatshirt
I know that being able to proudly wear his sports sweatshirt that has his last name on the back around school seems like the peak of every relationship and the perfect way to let everyone know that you're gladly taken, but in just a few years the thought won't even cross your mind. Hold out for the guy who lets you wear his sweatshirts because he'd rather be cold as he drives you home than you... he's coming.
2. The boy who said he would love you "forever and always" never loved you at all
He was 13 and he didn't know what the word meant. He didn't mean it. And that's okay because when you said it back to him, you had no idea what it meant either. Even though you were rushing to find it, that wasn't love. You find it eventually, however, when you're hardly looking.
3. It's okay if he didn't send you candy or flowers on Valentine's Day
Your worth is so not based on the number of flowers or heart-shaped suckers you received from the $1 sale at school. And it is especially not based on the number of flowers or suckers that came from boys. While the other girls are proudly walking down the hallway flaunting their massive bouquets that were sent to them, know that in only a few years you'll have a guy standing out on your front porch surprising you with flowers in your favorite color just because he was thinking of you.
4. You won't end up marrying Justin Bieber... and I'm not sure you'd want to either
Years of writing your name as "Mrs. Bieber" on assignments truly results in nothing but embarrassment. No matter how many times you listen to "One Less Lonely Girl" you won't meet Justin Bieber and have him fall madly in love with you. In fact, you won't even get brought up on stage to be serenaded no matter how many of his concerts you go to. But in a few years when you fall in actual love, you'll grow out of your JB lust-filled stage of life and find that he treats you better than Justin Bieber ever could have.
5. Flirting on social media gets better than just pokes on Facebook
I remember the endless nerves of sitting in front of the computer screen and debating on if I should poke him or not to get his attention. As if him getting a notification from me was the best way for him to acknowledge my existence. While making things "Facebook Official" seems so crucial, hold out for the years to come where he actually works up the courage to message you first in a creative way.
6. You will never meet the love of your life on New Year's Eve at a ski resort while singing karaoke
The real life Troy and Gabriella love story just doesn't exist. You won't randomly meet a stranger, fall head over heels into a perfect relationship, and become the power couple of the school almost instantly. Although it'd be ideal, relationships require more work than just singing in front of a teen club on New Year's Eve. Things don't fall into place that easily. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't stop searching for a man who loves you like Troy loves Gabriella.
7. He didn't choose her because she's skinnier or prettier than you
I know that the boy who left you and started seeing somebody else almost immediately afterwards left you crushed and questioning what you could have done differently. What does she have that you don't? Why would he choose her over you? I know that the answers to those questions are only found in comparing yourself to her and that your mind jumps to everything that she has and you don't. Know that those are not the reasons why he left you. Know that middle school boys truly do not care, or even notice, who is skinnier, who is wearing more makeup, or who owns more name-brand clothes. Know that none of this ever mattered to him, and it shouldn't to you either.
8. The boy you want—who pays no attention to you—changes his mind
It takes years, but the boy that has you taking the long way to class in hopes of passing him changes his mind. He stops ignoring you in high school and starts to ask you out. Enjoy the fact that you finally got what you wanted, but remember how worthless and stupid he made you feel all of those years before as you desperately tried to get him to notice you.
9. Pay attention to the nice guys
It's so fun and daring to go after the guys who drink Monster at school even though it's banned and skip their sports practices so they can flirt with girls instead, I get it. But truthfully, these are the guys who burn out before they even finish their second year of high school. The nerdy guy in your science class who always tries to talk to you? He grows up to be really nice, really smart, and a lot better looking than when he was 13. Don't write anyone off because you think you know what you want already.
10. You don't need to hide your crushes from your mom.
It's hard to believe, but she was 13 once, too. She's been in the same position trying to get attention from boys in middle school and there's nothing wrong with letting her know that you have an interest in someone. It seems awkward, but eventually you're going to have to bring a guy home to meet her for the first time (spoiler alert: she'll love him).
11. If you think Taylor Swift songs are relatable now... just wait.
The amount of hours you've spent crying to "The Story Of Us" and "Last Kiss" have nothing on what's coming. These same songs that you held back tears to on the bus ride home from school only become more relatable as the heartbreaks become worse. Continue to take comfort in them.
12. Even though he broke your heart, he did you a favor
Things definitely didn't work out the way that you wanted them to and although it left you feeling hopeless and unloveable, it was for a reason. I'm here to tell you that things turned out exactly the way that you wanted them to in the long run. Even though you were the last of your friends, you had your first kiss with a guy that actually cared about you. You actually fell in love with something, not just the idea of something. The young heartbreaks that you've been through all become worth it. You finally learn exactly what you want and exactly how to get it.
Don't read the last page, but you actually fall in love.