DEAR ABBY: I'm only 12 and I feel like my life is ending. I just finished seventh grade, I don't have many friends and I feel like the ones I do have don't really care.
I do gymnastics and volleyball, but my friends there don't really care, either. My family is no help. My sisters are too busy with their friends and boys to care. My parents don't know anything about me. On top of that, there's a boy I like who acts like I don't exist. What should I do? -- FRIENDLESS IN MICHIGAN
DEAR FRIENDLESS: I find it interesting that when people write to me, it's often the last thing in their letters that's the crux of the problem. I'm sorry your love life isn't going well at the moment, but your life isn't "over." In fact, it's just beginning. Everyone has days when they feel alone in the crowd -- even kids who are popular.
Your parents have known you all your life. If they don't yet know the person you're becoming, it may be because you haven't let them. They have experienced much of what you're going through, and I'm sure they'll be glad to share their wisdom if they're given the chance.
As to the guy you like, he may be shy or not yet ready for romance. Give him some time to grow up and appreciate you, and he may start to like you, too.