A Love Letter to PJ by Jakeia Banks

When I was a tween, I used to write letters of desperation to my future self. I’d hastily scribbled the magical words, “Dear Future Jakeia (FJ)…” and put pen to paper. Whatever problem the world was putting on my shoulders at that time came out in messy run-on sentences and crude language.
At 12, I was a flurry of contempt for my existence. Existentialism was my best friend and I was a massive overthinker. Every other day it was another crisis but now—five years later— I can confidently say that absolutely nothing has changed. I think it would be a joy for younger me to read these—even if it is literally impossible for a 12-year-old me to be proud of how much I’ve grown. So, without any adieu at all, here is my love letter to the very frightened, very amazing 12-year-old Jakeia Banks.

Dear PJ,
Right now, you’re probably still stuck in middle school wondering who the hell you are. You’re surrounded by a lot of people who you compare yourself to and you frequently cry over not amounting to the #1 spot in the class. Everyday you think the world is going to implode, explode, do a pirouette and fade out of existence if you don’t overwork and overbear yourself. You’re listless, thinking that the world is going to end if you get a single C. Your entire life is tied with school and you have a heavy heart putting on your blazer and tie every weekday. You think so many bad things about yourself and the psychological growing pains are simply kicking your ass.
It seems like nothing will ever change and that you’ll be stuck in the black hole of middle school forever. Same school, same people, same jokes that you laugh at while eating the same lunch.
But I am here to tell you, my dearest Jakeia, that the pain in your chest you think will never stop, will lessen. Great things will happen from sacrifices you never knew were possible and you’ll be happy for the process that leads to the eventual success you have always dreamt of.
You are so goddamn smart and beautiful. At this moment, you’re insecure. That’s normal. It’s fine. OK, cool, you’re a nerd and can’t maintain eye contact. Every 12 year old is like that. You read Eragon in one night and cried too many times over books, but that is what makes you the amazing pearl that you are.
And even when you lie awake at night, forgetting your worth and how indescribably talented you are, there will always be people who remind you of who you are. Things get better with time and work. You are a star. Don’t forget it, even if it gets really hard not to.
Love, with all the best wishes,
Future Jakeia <3

11 thoughts on “A Love Letter to PJ by Jakeia Banks

  1. I love this so much. I always thought about writing letters to my future self but never got around to it when I was younger, & reading this blog makes me want to try it out.

  2. I mentally write letters to my past selves all the time. There’s something so cathartic about soothing your inner child.

  3. Crazy how you were a great writer even as a tween! I couldn’t write more than like a paragraph back then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *