I’m pulling another idea from the crazy big blog post topic ideas list here on Kludgy Mom (the site is no longer up, but the topic is still good). This topic came from the comments section, courtesy of Tough Cookie Mommy. Seriously, if you need blog topic ideas, visit that post. Then you’ll be inclined to stick your head in the freezer, looking for a gallon of ice cream to help soothe your “OMG when am I going to write all of these posts?” initial reaction. Chill. (no pun intended. Okay, a little pun…)
So on to the topic at hand and a challenge to you to blog and do the same. (And be sure to leave me a comment when you do so I can check yours out.)
Write a letter to your teenage self.
Oh boy. This post.
I imagine, just like you, I did some pretty stupid things as a teenager. At age fifteen, I was actually on the cusp of some of the more idiotic decisions I made at 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22… sensing the theme? Yup. Me, too.
Because often times the actions we take as teenagers are the effects of another cause, another hurt, something else deeper inside that we don’t understand how to resolve. We do the best we can but we also think we’re invincible. We can’t always think out the consequences of those actions and how far reaching they can be. So here goes nothing…
Dear 15-year-old Jeannie,
Life is about to change. Your life. You’ve been through a lot of change, I know. I remember it well. I remember how confused, how hurt, how angry you were at things completely out of your control. Life moves on, though, doesn’t it? But just so you know…you’re about to make some really stupid choices. And before you get your attitude up about that and how good of a kid you are, yup, I know that, too. At age fifteen, we were pretty well behaved (though our older brother might have disagreed with this…). We didn’t rock the boat. We were in by curfew.
So believe me when I say this: Change is a’comin.
In how you view your world, how you react to it. You’re going to jump off that curb at the corner of Well Behaved and What The Hell Happened like you’re an Extreme Sports athlete running from an avalanche. You can laugh, it’s okay. I know it doesn’t seem possible right now. But events are going to unfold in your life that will set you on a new course. At times, you’ll feel like that new course takes you right into a brick wall. Or a hundred mile wide pool that you’ll never wade out of.
Everything about how you feel about yourself, about the world around you, and your own worth is going to be different. It will shift in a blink of an eye, in that one exact moment that I can still remember with blinding clarity, and yet that blink was months in the making.
No, I’m not going to tell you what that moment is. I won’t tell you when. Or how it comes about. Or how to stop it. Because who says we’re not supposed to feel that? I can tell you that right now, I’m pretty happy with our life. We’ve done good, kid. We’ve found our dreams, pursued them and are living them. We’ve gotten through the problems and struggles. There will be more, sure, but for right now, I can’t regret a single moment of my life. Everything we’ve gone through— that you have yet to face— brought us right to here. To this time in life. To this moment.
And in my opinion, it’s all worth it.
I don’t want to change where we are today. But if I can help you wade through what’s ahead, here’s the advice I’ll offer (not that you’d listen to it anyway):
You should never have to work that hard, do that much, go that far to earn someone’s attention. It doesn’t matter who it is or who they are to you, if you aren’t being true to the girl inside, then it’s too far.
No one should ever make you feel less than you are. Don’t give them that power. (And yes, it is YOUR choice.)
Real love, true love doesn’t hurt as much as you’re about to hurt in a few years in the name of “love”. That’s not what it looks like. True love is about wanting the other person’s happiness. Just remember that.
You’re not responsible for other people’s actions. Do not own those things. You don’t have to make it easy for them and put yourself in dangerous situations (physically, emotionally), but you aren’t the reason they do what they do. They are.
And with that, you aren’t a victim of someone else’s choices, either. You don’t have to wait for others to make up their minds. YOU always have a choice. You may not like the options, they may suck big time, but the choice of what kind of pain you live in and for how long is entirely in your hands. Sometimes it’s a matter of stacking the pain against itself. Which hurts more? Less? Take the less option.
Just remember, most of all, to trust your instincts. If you do that, you’ll wade through all of the above. You’ll get through it.
Oh? And that hairstyle? No one needs that much hairspray.
What’s your letter to your teenage self?