Hey-

 

 

Dear Deadname, (age 3)

 

Hey- you can read I’m pretty sure, these big words may not make sense to you just yet but oh just you wait until they turn into both your strongest power and greatest weakness. There are so many things I could say to you: I could tell you that you still can't find that time capsule and kinda still wonder what was in it, I could tell you that you still have a mild fear of flowery scents and are allergic to Lavender, I could tell you that the person who in-theory kidnapped you at that Feminist rally safely returns you to your family, I could tell you that you are way too young to be hearing IT as a bed-time story,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re still you and that's enough. 

 

Dear Wedding-Singer Knick-Name, (age 5)

 

Hey- you picked up Harry Potter for the first time in class and your teacher took it from you and said you wouldn't like its big words and big adventures, so in return you stole it from the school library the next day. There are so many things I could say to you: I could tell you that you still have that same stolen copy of Harry Potter (Though five-year-old you DID steal the third book instead of the first…), I could tell you that Christmas Eve continues to suck but it doesn't always, I could tell you you still can’t tell time all too well, I could tell you that you still sign “I love You” to your mom whenever you can and now have a permanent ink reminder on your wrist of it, 

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re still you and that's enough.

 

Dear Nash? Is it okay to go by Nash? (age 7)

 

Hey- Yes. Yes it is, and never let anyone tell you otherwise because if you want to go by Nash then the world is going to address you as Nash, my dear. There are so many things that I could say to you: I could tell you that you fall in love with this little camp an hour and a half from your home and it becomes your first definition of home, I could tell you that you only play the violin for four more years after this one and have since forgotten everything, I could tell you that when you convince your mom to nail up the ‘Advonder’ sign in the woods you cement a life-long friendship that starts and ends with Potato Trees, I could tell you that it is not your fault you are so confused in class and cant stay on task,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that’s enough.

 

Dear Juice, (age 9)

 

Hey- this is the year that the girls in your cabin give you a crown of burdock root and thus your counselors must save your head by cutting it out of your hair, giving you what your mother screamed to be a ‘BOYS HAIRCUT,” and your mom spends the first three weeks of school reminding people you’re a girl. There are so many things I could say to you: I could tell you that when people ask what your gender is you’re recently tempted to say ‘chaos’ and nine-year-old you would agree, I could tell you that this is the year you fall in love with frogs and no you do not get one for your birthday, I could tell you that this is the year you start feeling so terrified and that you should tell someone about this but since I am you I know you don't - but you should, I could tell you that that weird webcomic about four kids playing a video game you don’t really understand means so much more than words could ever explain,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that’s enough.

 

Dear Nana, (age 11)

 

Hey- whatever you do please seal your fucking grey facepaint, trust me, you’ll thank me for this one. There is so much I could say to you: I could tell you that I find it adorable that you, and I quote, ‘really want to just be best friends with her and hold her hand and walk in the creek and catch tadpoles and salamanders and crawfish and maybe write letters’ with your cabin mate, I could tell you that you never stop hating your outside chest but what is inside only grows stronger, I could tell you that you get your period for eleven months straight and that's bullshit but you get better, I could tell you that you still sleep with that Sun blanket you got from Niagara Falls,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that’s enough.

 

Dear Number Five, Nash that's you!, (age 13)

 

Hey- You really said with your whole chest “Yes! Yes I will overwhelm myself at every turn, thank you for asking!” this year and then just never took that back did you. There is so much I could say to you: I could tell you that you still talk to Nancy and Nolan, Caleb and Clear, Miles and Molly, Dawn and Amija (oh wait that's the same person…)  and hold them very close in your heart, I could tell you that Rosabella and you are the coolest siblings to ever exist and you can't bring Dunkin’ to Cons without breaking out in a fit of giggles with her over it, I could tell you that you discover that Life Is Strange and that you welcome it, I could tell you that what you uncovered is not your fault but you never really believe that, I could tell you that the next three years are going to hurt so much more than you could ever prepare for,

 

Or! I could tell you that You’re you and that’s enough.

 

Dear I go by Nash not deadname but I don't want to contradict you, (age 15),

 

Hey-  I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You I love You. There is so much I could say to you: I could tell you that Ripley and you still send each other just blue and yellow color swatches sometimes just to remind the other you’re still there, I could tell you that yes bitch you love everyone regardless of gender and yes that's obvious to everyone around you and yes that is okay to be afraid of, I could tell you that you start writing Emii this year and never stop and you feel so happy each time you finish a letter to this day, I could tell you that you are about to spend way too much time in way too many graveyards,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that's enough.

 

Dear please stop suppressing yourself it's bad, at the minimum tell people your name, (age 17)

 

Hey- you are so tired and that never goes away but I am so proud of everything you have become because you didn’t expect to make it this far with such good results. There is so much I could say to you: I could tell you that there's a Spring Awakening and the feelings it bring you live RENT free in your brain, I could tell you that you grow up too much and too fast and too odd over the course of this year that you don't remember most of it, I could tell you that you can remind someone that something really matters to you and they still don't understand and that's okay because you find a new home and a better home from it but that doesnt mean how you got there wasn't bad, I could tell you that Nicole, Faith, Maddy, Hannah, and Julianna are your own Christmas in July miracles, I could tell you that you miss jourmlism class and shouldn’t have burned your copies in the fire but holy fuck did it feel good. 

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that's enough.

 

Dear, National Treasure, Nash Potatoes, Nash-onal Anthem, Nishil, Onesie jr, Crocs jr, Nash Bash, Nash Nash, (age 19)

 

Hey- they love you. Brinz, Hailey, Rose, Sasha, Alanna, Saoirse, Feleesha, Gray, Ian and Alex are some of the best people you have ever met and they love you.  There is so much I could say to you. I could tell you that you look forward to knocking on Kaylen and Hannah's door every day and seeing them-and Kaya- being goofy and grand, I could tell you that Kenzie, Lilia and Rylan are always there to love you more and more, I could tell you that the view of the city becomes close to okay when Gianna and you get ice cream and stare down at it, I could tell you that you are certain of nothing in the world of COVID, I could tell you that you are so cold and have been for years now, I could tell you that you still don’t know how to be proud of yourself but for once you are trying, I could tell you that you want nothing more then to hug your friends and have that hug remind you that it’s alright,

 

Or! I could tell you that you’re you and that’s enough.

 

Dear…..?

 

Hey- Jude?

 

That has a ring to it. Makes the ‘ju’ in all your user-names make sense. Your mother likes it since it has part of your deadname in it. It’s original yet heard of. There isn’t a gender associated with it. You like it. You like Nash and would definitely prefer to go by it, but Jude does deal with the whole deadname issue.

 

Also- you like it.

 

Dear Jude Nash. Or just Nash :0) (age to be determined)

 

Hey- Take a breath, as well as you can, and prepare for the careful climb down. You have a long life still to live, and many more mountains to climb. 

 

Love your younger self.

 

And let them go.