Dear Teenage Me,
1 Along the way there will be people who hurt or disappoint you. Don’t take their decisions personally. You, also, will hurt others (it’s not intentional; it just happens). Ask for forgiveness. And forgive yourself.
2 The empathy that you have for others that sometimes feels crippling? Turns out, THAT is your superpower.
3 Don’t be a road rager. NOT doing this seemingly simple thing will make your daily life better. And might just save your life.
4 Two of the best gifts you can give your friends: An understanding ear, and the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be stingy with either. *
5 Keep standing up for other people. It’s the trait you should be most proud of.
6 You know those mornings after an argument when you think of the perfect insult you didn’t deliver the night before? Be thankful. It is always better to leave a conversation wishing you had said something you didn’t say than wishing you hadn’t said something you did.
7 Learn to set a boundary without apology. If someone steps (or jumps) over it, then ask yourself this one simple question: Why are they trying to control me?
8 This isn’t from older you, but, by God, it needs to be said to each and every teenager, so, Teenage Me, listen up:
And, while you're at it, watch Hannah Gadsby's show. Now.
Since we’re quoting other people, get to know Ron F***king Swanson earlier than later.
“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were In your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
Until then, stay veracious, young me. Stay veracious.