|Painting - as of yet unfinished - by my dear Madre, Helen Nelson.|
Yes, one day you will grow to not mind that nickname, but that's not really what I wanted to tell you in this letter.
You're having a rough time at the moment. You're in Grade 5 and you're starting to discover that girls can be really unbelievably mean. You don't quite know what to make of it and spend a lot of the next year or so playing in the sandpit alone, or sitting underneath that big tree on the side of the oval by yourself. You'll feel a little sad, but don't worry too much. You'll make some amazing friends eventually, and although I don't expect you'd quite understand what this means yet, it really is character building.
More to the point though - the reason I am really writing this letter - your joints are starting to become a real problem. You've begun to properly realise that all the pains and aches you get aren't normal, and some of them will become absolutely unbearable. No matter how many doctors tell you you're making it up, please please don't believe them.
Eventually, (a long way down the track) all of these joint problems will earn you the name dislocato-girl. You'll find it funny at the time, and be a bit sad that it is your joints that seem to define you, but then you'll begin to claim it. You'll eventually realise the reason people make light of it is because you get on with life regardless, and you'd rather they didn't look at you with the utmost sympathy every time something fell out of place.
This year, you have been told that you have the jaw of a 50-year old and will have to stop playing your violin. I remember how painful that was - emotionally and physically - especially because you can't quite comprehend being 50-years old (don't stress about that part too much, it's hardly important :P). Try not to be too sad though, otherwise you'll be angry about it for a long time to come, and well, trust me, it isn't a nice way to feel.
Next year, Mum & Dad will be the amazing people they are and work their butts off to buy you a cello. Even though all you'll want to do is play your violin, try the cello; at least play it a little bit. It will become your most cherished possession and it will take you to some pretty fantastic places.
This year the jaw hasn't been the only problem. Something will happen to your shoulder and it will be in so much pain that you'll have to take a few days off school and Mum will even take you to the hospital. They won't tell you anything useful - the same old story (I'll bet you anything it dislocated, hold that over the doctors head in your mind... As much as I don't want to encourage my own bad habits, it will help). Don't let it worry you too much though once it's over.
Just after you've discovered an absolutely brilliant cello teacher, you'll have to stop playing for a few years. Be sad about it for a little while, but don't linger on it, because eventually you'll meet a doctor who won't write you off as another whiny little kid. He'll fix your shoulders (and your knees). And the pain and the depression that goes with it will be horrible. But while you're suffering through that - and this is the part I really need you to remember - know that on the night I wrote you this letter, 10 years in the future, you get to play your cello for the first time in your life without pain, and you'll struggle to hold back tears because you will realise that all the bad intonation (and jaw dislocations) in the world couldn't ruin the feeling of absolute joy and happiness that that moment will bring.
It's only going up from here kid.
Love, your 19-year old self.
PS. Please get over the brothers teasing you about boys. It never ends, and honestly, they're only doing it because you kick up such a fuss! :P