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It's OK To Have Questions About Sex

The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Julia Walton, author of On The Subject Of Unmentionable Things, out later this week.


Dear High School Julia,

The bangs were a mistake but you’ll get through it.

You were swindled into taking all honors/AP math classes because you needed to “push yourself” but busting your ass just so you can say you did something is not the way to go in future, okay? Math is important, but not your strong suit. You don’t have to be good at everything.

It’s also okay that you can’t read a map to save your life because GOOGLE MAPS IS COMING and it will literally save you, um I mean us. No more printing directions and panicking because you can’t find your way home from a place you just got to. You can suck at that too. In the future nobody cares if you plug in directions for everything! NO ONE.

You will not get into your “dream school,” but good things are still going to happen to you. I know you’ll be crushed, but I promise, it will all make sense later.

Julia as a teen

You will have a terrible job doing something you hate and a mean boss who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you. In fact, on your very first grown up business trip for your company, you will get ditched by this boss who caught the last shuttle to the airport while you were in the bathroom. You’ll be trapped in the Sacramento airport for 4 hours waiting for the next flight. And you’ll spend those four hours feeling sorry for yourself. STAY WITH ME, JULIA. It will feel like you’re stuck in that job forever but there’s a reason for that. You have stuff to learn there and people to meet there and you aren’t ready yet to do that thing your heart is aching to do. Be patient. Your time will come and I can tell you it will be awesome.

Someday, while you’re supposed to working at your stupid boring job, you will write books. And someday a publisher is going to put them on bookshelves in an actual store.

Some people are really going to love your stuff.

But some people won’t.

And that’s okay.

One of those books is going to be made into a film! *shrieks* I know, right?

And one of them is going to be released during a global pandemic where… actually, you know what. Never mind. There’s no preparing us for that.

Then there’s a book you’re going to write about Sex Education because of how guilty we felt any time we had a question about sex. Because of all those idiots who told us that being curious about it was unnatural for a girl.

They were wrong.

There’s also a lot of bad shit coming. I wish I could tell you the future is bright and beautiful, but you need to keep your guard up.

But also keep looking for the good. It’s out there.

You’re going to get where you need to be. I promise.

With Love and Giant Hugs,



About The Author: Julia Walton is the author of the award-winning Words on Bathroom Walls, Just Our Luck, and On The Subject Of Unmentionable Things. She received an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University and BA in History from UC Irvine. Julia lives with her husband and children in Huntington Beach, California. Follow her online at @JWaltonwrites and visit her website


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