Have you seen the blog Dear Teen Me, yet? You should go there like yesterday. It’s an authors’ blog, and all the participants write letters to their teen selves. It’s awesome. Really.
I love the inside – and very personal – look that each letter gives. Some are funny, moving, poignant, bitter, or any combination of those adjectives. But all are encouraging! Any writer (or human) who is struggling with insecurity or disappointment will realize that some of the most talented contemporary authors have had similar issues.
I wish I was published so they’d let me participate! I’ve thought about what I would have told sixteen-year-old Becky a million times. Here’s what my letter would say:
Dear Teen Me,
Hi! It’s me! You are still spastic and energetic even though you’ve gotten a little older (See! Now you know it’s me, you, writing this letter…what better way is there to describe us?) I don’t want to bog you down with advice from an old lady, but I do have some thoughts that will save you a lot of heartache.
Since you get bored so freaking fast (yes, I did just use the word “freaking) I’ll make it a list. Then you can skim…like you do most of your English homework. Not that it really matters, none of those novels will change your life. Except maybe Crime and Punishment.
Anyway, here’s your list:
- You know that wrestler you’re so into? Yeah. He sucks (more than just weight). Dump him now, or your misery will last for FOUR years.
- And while we’re on the subject of boys…stay away from athletes. Baseball players (including the two professionals you date [Don’t get excited about it. I promise it’s not that cool]) are the WORST. In fact, your life would be much better if you just dated cute, nerdy boys.
- Give up the tanning beds! HONESTLY!
- Learn to love kids and figure out how to handle them. You will love kids in the future, even if you swear you’re never going to be a stay-at-home mom.
- Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. This will make sense when you’re in college.
- Those stalkers you’ll have at 17, 19 and 20…it will be scary. It will end, you will live, and it will give you lots of fodder to write about.
- Blonds do have more fun.
- Don’t worry that you don’t like girls. They are horrible until…well…right up till you get married. Then you’ll make some friends that you would literally do anything for.
- Your body will never look this good again (see picture below). Enjoy it while it lasts.
- Quitting dance is a bad idea. So is dating your dance partners (especially the ones that are also athletes).
- Don’t plan to go to med school. All that pathophysiology, organic chemistry, gross anatomy…yeah, it’s a big fat waste of time. You’ll be much happier when you realize that you can have a real job doing something you really enjoy.
- Spend as much time with your grandparents as possible. They are the wisest people you will ever know. If you ignore everything else, just remember this: If you live to make your grandma proud, you will be happy.
See you in the mirror, plus a few crow’s feet and one age spot (I wasn’t kidding about that tanning bed!) Take care of yourself, get some sleep and have some fun!