Thursday, 16 February 2012

A conversation with my thirty-years-younger self?

I recently read a blog I follow that mentioned the writing exercise of laying out a scene where you are speaking to yourself, thirty years ago. Unfortunately I'd be negatively aged at about 10, so I'm afraid that isn't going to fly..

However I thought I'd speak to myself 7 years ago. At thirteen I was just starting year nine (I was put up a year, god only knows why, I wasn't that bright!) and lonely, picked on and feeling awfully sad and sorry for myself. I would like to have known that it got better - lots better. So this is it! Get ready to meet 13 year old JulzPerri! (Sorry it's all dialogue but there really isn't much of a scene to set or describe!)

I approach the girl sitting alone on the bench by the lockers. As she looks up to see who it is, her face lights up with recognition, then a second later, confusion.

"But you're..."

"Yep." I reply. Her face is still pockmarked with the last remnants of late chickenpox.


"Beats me."

"Hm." she goes silent for a moment, "What are you doing now? Do you have friends?"

"Yeah a few, good ones, mostly those that you'll meet here."

"You're kidding me right? Everyone here is mean to me. Except the people that don't want to get involved, and other kids like me."

"Everyone? Don't worry, it'll change. This sounds awful, but at the moment you're your own worst enemy, it's not long though and you'll start making friends."

"Yeah I know I'm a bit of a loser. I don't know what to do about it though, I was born like this."

"Nah, it gets better."

"When do I move out of home?"

"Geez you're thinking about that already? When you're 17. It's sudden, you don't really plan it just is kind of offered to you, and you take them up on it."

"Cool. What do you do?"

"I work for Dad still, I did a couple of years of accounting, but now I do reception in his new office."

"He has a new office?"

"Yeah, it's pretty cool, I'm there by myself most of the time."

"Cool. So how do I stop being me then?"

I laugh at her question. "Don't stop being you, you just change, like everyone does."

"Oh!" She jumps suddenly, "Do you have a boyfriend?"

"Yes..." I start, trying to be careful with this question.

"Who is it?"

"His name is Nic"

"I only know Nic Parker* - he's in the 'cool' group though. Do you remember him? He's going out with Kylie*."

"Sure I remember him, I live with him." I say cheekily as I smile at her.

"No way! I end up with Nic Parker!?"

"Yeah, and he gets hotter too," I say tongue in cheek.

"He already is hot." she seems confused.

"Hun, you have no idea," I say as I wink at her. "It takes a while though, you won't even talk to him at school I don't think."

"Oh." she grows quiet. "Well, do you, or me I guess, do you save yourself til marriage?"

"Haha, like I'm going to tell you all about that!"

"But I'm you!"

"Nice try." I keep smiling, she returns the smile. "It gets better love, soon too."

"Good." We smile at each other for a few minutes before the scene begins to fade.

*Names have been changed to protect identities (sounds stupid I know but it is what it is).


  1. haha 'do you have a boyfriend?'

    it's an interesting exercise. interesting how the 13 year old you doesn't care about the global warming or the magnetic field reversing the poles or how you will live out 2012 before it all ends. *sigh* typical teenagers ;)

    1. Nope I really didn't give a crap back then! As I got to finishing high school, I actually enrolled and was accepted into climate science - but at 13 I just cared that life was shit!

      Haha :)

  2. What an awkward age! Nice job.

    "Do you save yourself til marriage?"

    Glad you didn't answer that question! lol

    1. Haha it wasn't so much that I mind cyberspace knowing (strangely enough) but more that I didn't want to colour my younger me's opinion of herself. Back then she cared about saving herself til marriage (safe to say I haven't) but I didn't want to discourage her or explain how things worked out - she needed to figure that out. Haha it's a bit messed up :) Cheers!

  3. Nice.

    Very funny too. You've got a nice light touch with the humor.

    It's pretty amazing how much you can do with just dialogue. Some writers (Elmore Leonard comes to mind) tell nearly their whole stories with not much more than dialogue.

    Good job.

    1. I'll have to look into Elmore Leonard, I've not read much that's mostly dialogue.

      Thanks :)