July 29, 2016

A Letter to 16 Year-Old Me

High school is a really confusing time for everyone. It housed some of the best and worst moments of my life. It’s a fun, crazy, yet cruel and twisted bubble that we live in for four years, and usually stays with us early into our college years. It’s where we find who we are, we give people labels, separate into social groups and cliques. It’s where you find your firsts. First loves, first forever friends, first heartbreaks. If I could have had a letter like what I’m about to share in high school, I sometimes wonder if things would have gone differently.


A Letter to my 16 Year-Old Self

Hey girl,
This has been a tough year for us. You’re just starting to figure out who we are and the fact that we have trust issues to start really doesn’t help. So, I decided to fill you in on some things you should know before senior year starts.

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Your friends – This past year has really changed. You started hanging out with some new, and awesome friends. Best friends. Friends you feel like you’ve been missing for a while. You’ve all been inseparable. Unfortunately, that could change as you guys grow up and hit new stages in the future. Don’t be hurt by this. That’s just life. But what you should do is try to be more understanding and sensitive. Make a better effort to spend time with them. Don’t let your boyfriends get in the way of what’s really important. Because otherwise there is going to come a time when they won’t be around for you anymore. And for a while you will blame them for it and say they were terrible friends, but deep down you’re going to miss it. The girls nights, the car rides, the parties in the woods. Even the goofing off in public and not caring what anyone things. You feel free and happy right now. Hang on to that. Be good to your friends and value them.

You’re a good person and a good friend. You’re just young and confused.
With that being said, you will come across some of your friends that you thought would be in your life forever that are honestly just plain selfish. You’ll cut the fat out of your life. And it will be really hard and sad. It still is some days. It’s hard to think of how such long and strong friendships can just end like that. But remember, the people who love you will always be there no matter what.

The boys – Oh boy, oh boy. You are one seriously boy-crazy 16 year old. Slow down! And get real about things. The 21 year-old pizza delivery boy probably doesn’t have the best intentions and doesn’t like you for you. Which will be extremely apparent by the fact that you only hang out when no one else is around. Listen to Mom (who won’t let you hang out with him) and let it go.

I know you were really hurt by Mason (and Mase, if you’re reading this…sorry, we were young). He was your first love and you gave him everything. Whatever you do, please try not to take it personally. Just try to remember that he is young, too. Eventually you will both grow up and you’ll stay good friends. Just know in the end, you’re extremely happy for each other, you’ll always want the best for one another and he’s a good person…even if he seems like a total d-bag now.

Stay away from the guys your friends like. That’s not fair. Even if you ask if it’s OK, it’s never okay. And you really hurt their feelings. And guess what…it doesn’t last! So don’t even bother. You’ll end up destroying your entire group of friend’s dynamic and losing a couple great friends in the process. This was a tough one for me, so I really don’t want you to go through it too.

Don’t skip your senior prom. I almost did. And I’m so happy I didn’t now. Also, go stag. The person we took to senior prom you ended up dating and ruining the friendship you both had. Not worth it. Don’t date him and stay friends. You’ll thank me later.

Continue making fun of Tim and do exactly what you think it right in regards to your friendship with him. Don’t change a thing or you might risk the future for us.

Your family – Things are rough. They have been. Mom and Dad are fighting a lot and there are a lot of rumors circulating. Ignore the rumors for now, because they will bring you too much pain. There is a reason Mom is acting like what you think to be crazy right now. Just remember that. It’s not all what it appears to be. Go see a counselor. You need to talk about it. Don’t let it bottle up and pretend there is no issue. It gets better, sort of.

You’re going to come to a point in your life where you need to confront Dad. Do it. We are tired of the secrets and lies. And it may help salvage your relationship with him.

Be nice to Ariana. She is your saving grace now. You two will end up best friends, so remember she is still young when you get frustrated with her. She is an amazing aunt and sister-wife (hehe)
Attend all of those family parties you keep missing. Your extended family has been so supportive over the years. Give them back the support they deserve.

The future – You have a lot of great opportunities coming to you. Take them all! Even the ones I said no to. Every opportunity is a chance for you to grow and learn more about life and love. Take more risks and go on adventures. We played it too safe. Don’t transfer colleges after a year, don’t give up on your dreams. You have a ton of potential I never got to tap into.

And girl, you need to travel! Don’t purchase that handbag you don’t need, purchase a plane ticket. You need to get out. Because there will come a time when it’s not as easy to pack up and go.

Most importantly, trust your gut. You are smarter than you give yourself credit for. And please, whatever you do in life, remember that you ARE worth it. You deserve love. You are a true and loyal friend, you just need to always put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Be a role model to your sisters, respect your body and mind. Don’t get that tattoo…any of them that you got. When your mom says “what about when you have a wedding”…you’ll understand later when the time comes. They are beautiful and fun, but that tattoo just isn’t you. And it’s a bitch to cover up at work.

If you are even feeling down and feeling like things won’t go your way…if you feel like you can never catch a break, remember you are strong. You work hard, you are respectable, and you WILL come out on top. You are a fighter. You are going to get everything you wanted. Except winning the lottery. You can’t win because of your job. Boo.

Love always and see you soon,

Yourself

circa 2016

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