Monday, November 8, 2010

To my sixteen-year-old self:

Photo of me in HS:
teenaged me
To my sixteen year old self:

(I’ve seen this across the interwebs lately, and I love the theme, and am totally stealing the topic.)

  1. You are not fat. You really, really aren’t. I know you won’t believe me, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one. You are cute and you look nice in leggings.  When you are in your late thirties, leggings will make a comeback and you will be too old to partake in the madness.  So wear them now. You totally rock the look.  I’m serious.
  2. If you’d stop perming and trashing your hair with sun-in, it would grow out nicely, and not look so scraggly. Oh, and by the way… brown looks much, much better on you than blonde. Stick with what God gave you on this one. Trust me.
  3. Your smile may not be perfect, but it’s not as bad as you think it is.  In fact, one day you will meet a man who thinks that the gap formed by your sideways tooth is charming.  So smile more, and don’t stress out over the fact that you don’t have perfect, chicklet teeth.
  4. Even though you suck at all things athletic, you should exercise more.  It will make you feel better.  Those headaches you get?  They’ll almost completely go away if you exercise regularly.
  5. You know that best friend of yours?  The one who went to the Bon Jovi concert with you and lets you watch MTV at her house?  Give her a hug. Because she’ll be there for you twenty years from now. (queue Bon Jovi earworm "I'll Be There For You") And even though some things about your relationship will be complicated, she will still be your best friend. I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you details about the future, but I can tell you this: she’s an amazing grown-up.
  6. Your mother is the smartest person you’ll ever know.  At 16, 37, and probably at 90.  Pay special attention to what she says, because she’ll be more reserved with her advice as you become an adult.  At 16, she offers it freely.  So listen to her, and take it. Also, tell her you love her. Right now.
  7. Even though your friends have boyfriends while you only have a track record of one really bad experience, don’t lose faith.  You are not a hideous troll, and boys don’t think you’re invisible, even though that’s what you might feel right now.  When you go to college, you will be asked out on more dates than you have time for, and this will surprise the hell out of you.  There’s some confidence inside of you somewhere. Find it and let it shine.
  8. Those annoying little brothers of yours? Yeah. Give them a hug.  They’ve got a few tough years ahead of them, and will need you. Your brothers are the best gift your parents ever gave you.  You'll be glad for that gift over and over again in your life.
  9. You aren’t the smartest, the most beautiful, or the funniest. But you are smart, beautiful, and funny.  And although you doubt yourself right now, you won’t when you’re 37.  You’ll appreciate the gifts you’ve been given. You might bemoan the extra padding your love for food has bestowed upon you, but you’ll feel pretty good about yourself overall.  The sooner you can see this, the happier you will be.
  10. You will make mistakes in life.  Many of them. Some of them will seem huge.  In the end, because you learned from them, and they shaped your life, those mistakes will turn into the best things that ever happened to you.  You will continue to make more of them until you die.
  11. It is important to have a good job, so you should definitely work hard in high school and college. Your career should be fulfilling, and you should enjoy doing whatever you do. But your job will not define you.  What you do outside of the 8-5 window will be your world.
  12. You are strong in your faith right now. Hang on to that conviction, your hope, and those beliefs. 
  13. Seriously, you’re not fat.Go buy a bikini.


Travis Erwin said...

I'm gonna amen this despite the fact I didn't know you at 16 and only know you via the internet now.

Monnik said...

Travis! Your Huskers broke my heart on Saturday. :(

D. Marie said...

Love, love, LOVE this. I don't even have a favorite one. I love them all.

Barb said...

I love this post! Don't you wish you could really tell your younger self these things?

Dan said...

The older we get, the more we wish we could go back and impart the wisdom of growing older (and wiser?).

I'd have to tell myself to chill - it isn't going to make a bit of difference in 40 years, no matter how important it seems now.

Great list.

krobzoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
krobzoo said...

Hey - I am forever catching up on your blog. So, just read this and it made me smile. 16 was not that long ago - but it was. Crazy. And though there are great memories, I agree we came down hard on ourselves and looking back it is hard to understand why. Nice post Nik.