So there's a thread going around the blogger world concerning what you would say to your 16 year old self. Figuring I would rise to the occasion, I've decided to write a letter to the 16 year old me. If nothing else, it will be an exercise in LESSONS LEARNED. And if I drag a few skeletons out of the closet and expose them for the assholes that they are, then all the better.
Dear Teenage Me,
Yes, this is weird. You probably have never received a letter from yourself before, but try and pay attention. I know you may find it shocking that you even have any brain cells left at the ancient age of *cough* forty-six *cough* but there are at least a hundred or so still functioning to impart some wisdom on your skinny ass.
Listen up, kiddo. I've managed to keep your body alive for another 30 years and even managed to beat some sense into that hormone-addled brain of yours. It wasn't easy, but the main thing I need to tell you is that you will be ok. I promise.
Now that the big news is out of the way, here's a few pointers to make your life a little easier to navigate the next few years.
I know that high school sucks, but it pretty much sucks for everybody, so you're in good commpany. The only people that believe that high school doesn't suck are those three or four people that never grow beyond it. There will be good days and bad ones, but that's pretty much the rule of the rest of your life. It ain't all cruising in cars and hot dates. But again, you will be ok.
Embrace your inner dorkiness. I know it's hard to be different in high school, but one day soon, your originality will be something you are proud of. Plus you will never have to drive yourself bat-shit crazy again trying to find the exact same kind of tennis shoes that everybody else is wearing.
Keep your copy of the Thoureau book that your English teacher made you read. Otherwise you will have to spend some serious Ramen-noodle starving college student money for another one. (Which you will love and still have today, btw)
Stop perming your hair. Seriously. If Eddie Murphy can't pull off a Jeri-Curl look, neither can a white girl from the Bible belt of the Midwest. You will not achieve a tousled, carefree, "I just came from the beach" look for many years. Stop it.
Look down. See those legs? They are fabulous. See those abs? Get a good look now and ingrain it in your memory. Look behind you. That is an ass to die for. Trust me. Take care of those, instead of taking them for granted. Good genes will only carry you so far. The rest takes hard work.
Let's talk about your family. Ease up on your mom. She's in a bad position and you're not making it any easier. And about your dad? You need to learn when to keep your mouth shut. And when not to. Alcoholism affects more of your friends than you know and hiding behind lies and denying anything is wrong is denying you of support that you might have found. It will take years, but you can make peace with all of this.
Speak up more. You have things to say and haven't yet found the courage to say them. I promise that if you let your voice be heard, good thing will happen.
Stand by your friends. Hug 'em, love up on 'em, tell them that they are the greatest. Because thirty years later, they are still there and wonderful and irreplaceable.
Now, let's talk about college. You new-found freedom is not a license to lose your damned mind. Have fun, try new things, experience life, but for God's sake stop running around acting like you only have a week to live. Do not drink Cold Duck in the shower every morning before class. Do not blow a week's worth of grocery money on lingerie. Don't sign up for classes that begin at 8:00 in the morning. You are not a morning person, and never will be. And go ahead and have that fling with the guy named Jack. He will teach you how to truly enjoy sex. And when you see him? Tell him I said thank you.
P.S. Call your Grandma, she misses you.