Hey You! Sixteen and stupid

Have you seen or heard the commercial or youtube video or whatever that outlines a letter to your sixteen year old self? Yeah, me too. And it got me to thinking, what would I say to my sixteen year old self? What advice or wisdom would I impart on her? Not that she’d listen…my 16 year old self was an idiot. Anyway, here goes…

Dear You,

I am you but you sixteen years from now. Yeah ok, feel better now that your eyes have rolled all over your face? Good. Don’t do that again. You look like an idiot.

Let me level with you here kid. Things are ugly right now and unless you change some things, it’s only going to get uglier. So, you can do things the right way or you can continue to do things your way. Me, as you 16 years in the future, would really like you to do things the right way. I know you’re not going to but still. Let’s break this down bit by bit, ok?

First, school. Stay in it. I get that Skull Baby is hot. Like H.O.T. I get it, I remember him well. Your relationship? Yeah, it’s going to end in about…oh…3 weeks. School? That shit is not going away. Just suck it up, get ‘er done. Oh yeah, and participate while you’re IN school. One day, you’ll look back and really, really wish you had. You’re not unpopular, you’re not bullied so live it up. High school. It’s hell and awesome. There will never be anything like it so embrace it. Once you’re done school, go to University. Think you’re too cool huh? Well, right now, you’re trying to raise kids, pay a mortgage, work your ass off AND figure out how to afford and fit school into that kind of schedule. So, um, suck it up. Get it done. Get a bachelor’s degree. That’s a good plan.

Remember that relationship I mentioned earlier? It’s actually a pivotal time in your life. SURPRISE!

You’re going to cheat on Skull Baby with his best Bud. Don’t. It doesn’t turn out well and it sort-of sets the stage for later years. Not going to listen? Ok, fine. Then when it all goes to shit, and you are set up with Hippy Boy as a distraction, practice safe sex with him. What if you don’t? Well, then we’ll end up here…and you’ll be a mom in 2 years. Promise. Ok, so you’re not going to pay heed to my warning, that’s cool. I like the kids, yeah I said k.i.d.S., he gives you. Hippy Boy is going to change your life. You think he’s “the One”. WAKE UP! He lives in a fucking CAR! He is NOT the One. He will be the one who takes your security, tramples on your self esteem, makes you feel smaller than a speck of dust.

Speaking of self esteem and security. Learn how to build your self esteem. You aren’t fat. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t stupid. Actually, quite the contrary. You are smart. You are beautiful and you have an eating disorder. Get help. The reasons you have those issues run deep. They will stay with you for a long time. Get help. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and you WILL live a better life because of it.

Don’t fight with your Mom. Talk to her. You two can’t get along? You’re not the first. Figure out another living arrangement. Go to a group home or go to a teen’s shelter. Otherise, you will be sleeping in parks. Yes, I mean outside. Yes, I mean alone. You will be terrified. Believe me. I’ve been there. Also, go to Alanon. You need it.

Get your driver’s license. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! You will regret this later in life. I don’t care if you don’t use. Shred it for all I care but get it. Have it. Keep it.

Oh yeah, stop smoking. Leave the dope alone. Practice safe sex. Be responsible.

Basically it boils down to this, you are making risky decisions. I totally get you can’t see the consequences and I totally get how a lot of your home-life situations were tough and you just want to escape, I’m not denying that. I’m just saying that your escape can be so much easier than it will be if you continue down this path. A little teeth grtting will save you so much energy later in life.

I know you aren’t going to listen. I am you afterall. I know that your stubborness and refusal to give in will get you through but it will tire you out.

Some other words of advice: your Mom is going to borrow money for a downpayment. Get those terms in writing, in a contract that’s been reviewed by a lawyer. Otherwise, you will lose out. There will be an opportunity for you to buy a house. Take it. Put your kids in private school. It’ll be worth it. Don’t give in to drinking and eating excessively. You will struggle with weight gain in later years. Stay in touch with friends. You will miss them in years to come.

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