Dear 13 year old self,
First - the superficial stuff:
Your hair - products will come on the market that make your hair curly not frizzy; in your early 20s you will decide to grow it long and you will never have short frizzy hair again. And you will find a fantastic colourist who will change your non descript hair colour into a glorious shade and you will have beautiful, much admired hair. True story.
Other physical attributes that you don't like about yourself like your pimples and hairy face, will, like your hair, become manageable.
This one is only partly superficial - your weight. It will fluctuate - a lot. Try to keep it down for health reasons - sport and exercise will help you with that. You will run a marathon when you are 28 years old.
You will not grow any taller than 157cm. Don't wear high heels to compensate, they are bad for your feet and back. You will have two operations to stop those painful hammer toes. The second operation will work.
Don't jump your horse over that barb wire fence. It will only end up in a really really bad situation. Sorry dear beautiful horse.
Soon you will start watching Paul Van der Haar marking the ball a lot when you watch the footy replay on Saturday nights. You will decide to barrack for his team - Essendon. DON'T. It will only end up in tears.
Learn Italian from those girls at school whose parents migrated from Italy and settled in your part of rural Victoria to farm. It's a missed opportunity. You will learn Italian in your late 30s and travel to Italy a lot.
Really important stuff:
You WILL leave this small country town in a few years. You'll do well in your HSC because you are very smart. You will go to University like you want. You will be part of a generation of clever young working and lower middle class children who can go to free University and be the first in their families to do get a University degree. You will always love Gough Whitlam for that.
In the meantime, continue to endure this small country town. Keep up the study and the netball. At school you will score better than the boys at archery in Form 5. Your male PE teacher will be very admiring of your skills; consider taking it up as a sport. You will also beat the pants off Paul Robinson in tennis cos he's dumb and doesn't learn that you will always lob the ball over his head when he goes to the net. You will not beat Peter Bond in the 200m. Don't even try it.
And remember to look out for people who will support you while you're there: some of your teachers, some of your parents' friends and some of your friends' parents. And your grandparents. I didn't do that enough and I think it would have made life in that small country town more bearable.
Oh, in your middle age, bullying will become an issue in society; the media will cover it a lot and there will be campaigns in schools and other institutions to stamp it out. It wasn't you.
You will be a bit aimless career wise, always fairly successful, but won't find your passion till middle age. Then, you will retrain and you will be a fabulous teacher of English as an Additional Language to recently arrived migrants and refugees. You will love it; your friends will say 'I am so glad you've found something that you love'. And I don't think the me of my 20s or 30s would have been good at it; so try not to worry that it will take a while to find this vocation.
Don't pursue that unrequited love throughout University. Just don't! OK! When he meets the girl of his dreams (not you), he will love the song 'Walking on Sunshine' and you, unfortunately, will hate it ever after even tho' you know it's a lovely song. You can avoid all this. OK.
And on boys, you will realise much later that what happened to you on a few occasions was not sex, but rape. I am sort of glad that I was way too drunk to know it even happened at the time. But others at the time will know about it and judge you, not the boys...even their girlfriends will blame you. Try to remember this. Try to avoid it. Like with bullying, rape culture will become an issue in society in your middle age and that's what will make you remember what happened.
At the end of your time at University you will find a beautiful partner and you will have a great time together for a long time. You will travel overseas a lot; not so much in Australia except to the capital cities. You will learn about art and art history and theatre and film and music. So, in your future ...you WILL do all those things you are hoping you do and you WILL be the person you want to be.
Don't worry so much, especially about people who don't walk on the left on footpaths, who have their heads in the phones and bang into you or who ride their bikes in the park ...or who wear lycra and ride their bikes in the park.
You will find your tribe.
much love from your 53 year old self.