After celebrating my birthday last Sunday I took time to reflect, not just about previous birthdays, but experiences in my life. I realized that there was something I wish I had been given when I was younger. Going through my teen angst years, I wish that I was given guidance. As a teenager you want to rebel against your parents and separate yourself from them in any way possible. The act of asking them for help or guidance would never cross your mind. I want to think that if I had been given guidance from myself I would have listened. So enclosed is my letter to my teen angst self.
Dearest Teen Angst Self,
It’s okay that you don’t fit in, no one really does. The idea of “fitting in” is an illusion that people create to feel better about themselves. Don’t feel that you have to “try” an be something you’re not, you won’t feel any different about it after. Don’t worry so much about your braces, your glasses or your zits on your forehead. The braces will eventually come off, you’ll be able to get contacts and your zits will go away. It’s okay that you don’t know what you want to be. Adults don’t really know what they want to be or what they want either. You don’t need to figure your whole life out right now. Life changes in an instant and all the plans you made will have to change too. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, you are enough. There is no one more capable than you at changing your destiny.
Teen self be your own advocate. You can handle yourself, believe in yourself and don’t back down on what you believe in. I know you think right now is a struggle, but believe me later on teen self life gets harder. Life as an adult is a lot more difficult than deciding what dress to wear to semi formal or what your term paper will be about. At times, I wish I could go back to you. I wish my only plans were to put on my Lip Smacker lip gloss, put on my Fiona Apple CD and lay on my bed. The adult me now has a huge list of chores, bills, and responsibilities that consume life on a daily basis.
Teen self don’t be afraid to be alone, you will cherish that time later. I know you think you have felt heart break, but believe me when I tell you as an adult it’s much worse. I know he promised he would call you back but believe me he didn’t deserve you anyway. As an adult, love has so many outside variables that make it hard to know if someone truly cares. If only it was as simple as a boy liking you and calling you back. I know it doesn’t make sense right now but your heart will heal and it will be broken again. Always remember that no one should be able to put your eternal flame out. Give parts of yourself only to those that matter and never look back if they don’t.
You are different from others and it’s okay, you don’t need to be the same. I know right now you hate your frizzy hair and freckles but soon enough you’ll have a straightening iron and wrinkle cream to content with. Be thankful for your freckles they make you look youthful anyway! Don’t be frustrated with hating cliquy people. Later on you will still hate them and unfortunately they are everywhere so get used to their presence. Be careful of fair-weather and toxic friends. It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone unfortunately there are people out there that will always want more from you. You do not deserve to have friends that pretend to be your friend and use you.Teen self you don’t need scores of friends, just a couple true ones. I know it’s a difficult choice to make but it is the right choice in the end. Always remember to love yourself first, everyone else second. On this last comment I will leave you with this, remember life is about quality not quantity.
Thirty – Something self