A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old-Self
Alright girl, seriously, what is with all the low-rise jeans and sparkly clothing? Does a top have to be completely covered in glitter for you to consider putting it on? And why is your makeup exactly the same as your shirts: colorful and shimmery? Don't you want to look sophisticated and grown up—kind of like your 26-year-old-self? Just a thought!
Now seriously, I wanted to write you a letter from the future to give you some advice on how to live your life. Now, I know you don’t want advice. You think you have it all together. You think that because you get good grades, you don’t need to listen to what your parents say. But when your mom tells you that guy is not the one, she’s generally right. Your mom is really the 55-year-old version of yourself, so remember, she is a vast source of knowledge. Your dad, eh, not so much.
You're in the midst of a really confusing time. You're applying to college, you're about to leave home, and you'll soon discover your hopes and dreams, and even begin to realize them. On top of that, you'll have roommates. You'll learn that some people really lose it when you leave the top of the Cheez-Its box open. Whatever you do, don’t forget to close the box, or a girl with wild hair will chase you through the dorm wearing only her underpants, cursing your ancestors. She will later pee on your dishes in the sink.
Back to those things called dreams. I know, I know, at sixteen, your biggest dream is to get behind the wheel of a sweet car and find out just who you’re finally going to lose your virginity to (FYI, wait longer for someone more worth it, someone who makes better clothing choices). I know you dream of being a writer, and while things may not turn out exactly the way you hope, I urge you to keep that dream alive in your head, far after others urge you to try a safer, more expected path. The truth of the matter is while people in your life can give you love, support, guidance and advice (all which you SHOULD consider), only you truly know what’s best for you. Listen to your body and your brain. Keeping your eye on the prize will lead you to something sweet, if unexpected.
I urge you to read as many books as you can right now. Once you start working, it's hard to justify spending an entire lazy afternoon reading—there are just too many things to do, like paying bills, going grocery shopping, and running other boring adult errands you will discover all too soon. I also urge you to kiss as many people as much as you can. While I know you often worry you will be alone forever, you will probably meet someone sooner than you realize, and you need to be ready to fall in love. The way you prepare for love is to become an amazing kisser. You also should work on practicing your wide-eyed puppy face. Works like a charm on those guys. Every. Time.
Some amazing things will happen in the future. You will make and keep a strong group of friends, the kind who will ask you to be in their weddings. You will graduate. You will find the kind of job that makes you proud of who you became. You will have better hair than you ever thought possible and you will wear inexplicably cute clothes that are not glittery. You will move in with a person whose love is so big that at times, it freaks you out.
However, not everything will be rosy. Bad things will happen too. You know this, because you realize no existence is without imperfections and trying times. People will walk in and out of your life for whatever reason. Relationships fail, people move, things change in ways that will make your heart sink and your eyes water. I can’t prepare you for anything specific, but what I can tell you is that even when you are most scared and sad, things always get better with the passage of time. And you will figure it all out!
Couple other things: manicures are worth it, but not necessary on a weekly basis. People notice how you present yourself, so when it doubt, step it up. Smart shoes make all the difference. Follow your heart. Exercise makes for a clear head, strong heart, and nice arms. Call your grandma. Say yes more than you say no.
What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
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