My husband recently checked out a book that was comprised of people writing letters to their teenage selves. My first reaction was good grief, that sounds so depressing.
My daughter will turn 13 this year; and apart from my excitement over watching her mature, I’m bracing myself. It’s here—the teenage years.
Has anyone ever had a truly authentic, positive experience in relation to the ages of 13 to…well…adulthood? Whenever adulthood happens? Side note: I’m nearly 37 years old and still can’t think of myself as an adult. I’ve never once made a meal plan, am terrible with money, and have never owned a sensible coat.
So, I present to you my hopeful letter to teenage Scout. Maybe some reflection will force me to grow a little.
I see you. You may feel like people don’t see you, but I do. I see your confusion, your doubts, and am here to reassure you that those are completely normal. You, however, are not completely normal. Embrace it. Trust me, it’s a good thing.
What I wish for you above all else is that you would stop being afraid. Don’t be afraid to tell people no. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to laugh, dance, or be ridiculous. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Stop trying to fit everyone else’s mold. You will go through a short period of loving Matchbox 20, and even though you will look back on that phase of life with great disappointment in 20 years, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. It’s also okay to wear dress pants with tennis shoes, black with brown, and obnoxious floral prints because guess what, kid. The 90’s will make a decent comeback in your mid to late 30’s and you’ll be totally prepared.
You’re also not stupid, ugly or doomed in any way. Don’t listen to other people’s “prophecies”, or words from their twisted ideologies. They’ll just cripple you and lead you down the wrong path every time. Follow YOUR path.
You will find a boy. Or rather, he will find you. He will fill a lot of the void you’re feeling. Listen to him, love him, and appreciate every single moment you have with him. Remember that the little arguments, while healthy, are never important. You’re worthy of love. Let him teach you how to love.
Please, take advantage of your time before you walk down the aisle. There will be a few years in your life that will find you living on your own, in your own space. Don’t take it for granted. Some day—when your life is full of laundry, dishes, and cleaning fish tanks you’ll miss it. Oh, and a note about walking down the aisle. Trust me on this one. Just elope.
You will be a mother, so please quit worrying about whether or not that’s in your future. It’ll suck some days, and be all that you’d ever thought it’d be on others. Even the days that suck will be nothing short of the greatest gift you’ve ever been given.
Only foster and hold onto those relationships that better you as a person. The sooner you learn this, the less heartache you’ll experience as you grow into the person you’re meant to be.
Okay. Be strong. Be awesome. Kick ass. Also, Johnny Depp turns out to be a real asshole, so go ahead and take those posters down.
Love, Me. Also you.