Dear Teenage Me,
It’s me! You! You know, time-traveling from the future! (Yes, just like in our favorite movie, The Terminator. Only without the attempted murder and gratuitous nudity.). I'm here with some things that I wish I had known at your age. Some personal, some general, but, trust me, hon, all of them apply to you.
So, a coupla things first. The future is nothing like Back to the Future Part 2. For instance: no flying cars. The word “pimp” is a compliment. # is no longer a number sign or a pound sign. Teenagers are eating laundry detergent. Along with something called “swiping right,” all of this could seem like signs of the apocalypse. Nope! That honor falls to the family of one of OJ Simpson’s lawyers. Yeah, the football guy. Oh, hon, just you wait.
But, truly, know this, young me: holy crap, you have so much good stuff ahead of you…a life that is surprising and fun and full of adventure. True, there is sadness and loss (special things are fleeting, after all; that’s what makes them special)…the whole human experience. But, you will see the world and laugh a lot and find true love. (Oh, and at one point you end up on a national TV show ((twice)) but it is kind of a gross show. It’s something called “reality TV” which, as long as we’re time traveling, let’s figure out a way to stop that from ever becoming a thing, okay? Either that, or invest in it.) Anyhoo! Here are a few of them, toots. Good luck.
1. Your brother will be a best friend to you. Never take that for granted.
2. Always remember the importance of wearing lip gloss, in case you run in to an old crush. And, oh, you will.
3. Don't let shyness prevent you from putting yourself out there. Take risks. It's okay if you look like a jackass. But while you're at it, don't BE a jackass.
4. Learn to accept 2 things with grace & an understanding heart: a compliment and other people's "no." Might just be the most grown-up thing you ever do.
5. Never shrink yourself down to make others feel bigger. It doesn't work. Surround yourself with people who want you to be better, get stronger, shine brighter. Be the same person for others.
6. Never lose your "y'all." Or put up with people who make fun of it.
7. No, you're still not cool. But you're best friends with people who ARE, which is so much better.
8. Your lifelong obsession with skincare will be challenged when you get cystic acne in college (sexy, right? No, not really. Not at all.) But, there is a solution: tea tree oil and hydrocortisone cream. Skin- (and life) changing.
9. Love your friends and hold them close. They're the family you choose.
10. Worrying feels unavoidable, doesn't it? It feels like you're doing something, giving yourself some control. But, sweetie, if you're not careful, those hours and days and weeks will turn in to years, put lines on your face, and won't have changed one outcome. A fabulous outcome is just as likely as the horrible one you're sitting there imagining. So, get up, laugh and smile and be present in your own life today. It is so much more fun.
11. People will try and make you feel the way the world makes them feel about themselves. You don't have to let them.
That's only the beginning of the list, my dear. Much more to come.
Please jump into the DeLorean and let me know what you think!