Julien sent me a picture of this letter I sent to her when I was 15 and in my first week at fat camp, faded with years and possibly smudges from Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry body lotion. It’s kind of hard to read, so ALLOW ME TO HIGHLIGHT THE HORRIBLE AND IMPORTANT PARTS. (If you’d like a more thorough glimpse into the summer I spent at fat camp, please peruse my play, Fat Kids on Fire. You can purchase it Here.)
‘It’s so weird here. It’s like the twilight zone. Everything’s backwards. Let me explain. For one thing, I’ve only been here a day, and already 3 guys like me (13, 14, and 16, all ugly.) And all of the girls are like “Why are you here? You are not fat. I would kill to look like you. And I’m sitting here like What the hell?? And I’m popular, too. I’m not even bragging, I’m serious. I’m NOT skinny. I try to tell them that but they don’t listen. If I was, I wouldn’t be here!”
And I just. I just.
I want to punch myself.
Back then, the thought that a boy would like me, that girls would envy me was, was INSANE. I felt so gross and unworthy and desperate to feel the opposite, but at the same time, did not see a world in which the opposite could ever be true. So the thought that boys would like me, and girls would envy me, was MIND BLOWING. Also, while I myself felt so ugly, I had no problem calling other people the same thing. I was fixated, shallow, needy, obsessed.
What I really want to scream at my past self after I smack the WOW! Chips out of her hands: IT DOES NOT MATTER. NONE OF THIS MATTERS. ALL OF YOUR WEIRD FEELINGS ARE GOOD AND WILL BE TURNED INTO PLAYS. YOU WILL GROW INTO YOURSELF. DEAR GOD, EMBRACE YOUR OWN WEIRD WORLD. LET IT GO AND READ A BOOK.