Sofia over at From PDX with Love (one of my most favorite bloggers) wrote a letter to her 16 year old self today, and I loved it so much, I had to write one myself! (It's part of Barely Mommy's 30 Things Series, check it out, there are some great prompts.)
Dear 16 Year Old J,
You look pretty today, believe that. I know you think you don't, but in 11 years, you'll look back and realize just how beautiful you were. The same goes for your body. Don't sweat those extra pounds so much, you aren't that overweight. But, with that being said, lay off the Sonic, it's convenient, but it isn't any good for you.
Speaking of your health, smoking isn't cool. Stop sneaking cigarettes, they make you stink and you'll end up having to visit the dentist a whole lot more to have those tobacco stained teeth whitened. Besides, it's just plain gross.
Don't cut your hair like Julia Stiles, you'll hate it, and it'll take forever to grow out. Just don't do it.
That guy you just met? You're going to fall head over heels in love with him. You'll be together for a few years, and you'll even say yes when he asks to marry you. But it won't last. You'll eventually break off the engagemetn, and then you'll spend 4 months regretting your decision and thinking the world is ending. Listen closely,... it isn't. He was only supposed to be in your life for a little while, to teach you things about yourself and about life. There is someone better, someone who you're meant to be with. Someone who you'll be insanely happy with, and someone who you'll have a wonderful life with. But between that him and that high school sweetheart, there will be a couple of really bad guys. They'll be lessons learned also, and they'll make you cry, but it's all part of the growing up process.
That so called "best friend" is toxic. She's going to get you into trouble, she's going to talk behind your back, and she's going to sleep with more than one of your boyfriends. Cut her loose. You have plenty of true friends who are much better. They actually care about you, stick with them.
Stand up for what you believe in. You always have, and now isn't the time to stop. Don't let someone shame you into turning your back on your beliefs. People aren't always going to like you, and it isn't your job to force them to. Just be the best person you can be.
Put some damned sunscreen on and stop going to the tanning bed. You're ruining our skin. Embrace your Irish heritage and accept that you're always going to be pale. If that's too hard to do, get an airbrush tan, it's so much safer.
And lastly, I know it seems like your teen years are going to kill you. They aren't. Stop trying to grow up so fast and enjoy it. Because once you're grown, that's it, you'll be expected to pay bills and behave like an adult. Go to the river more, sleep in the hammock more, spend the summer without makeup on. Slow down and live the life you're in, because it really is a great one. Oh, and stop being so dramatic, life doesn't end over simple things. Chill out and relax.
27 Year Old J