Theme Thursday: Dear Self At Sixteen-Get A Life!

Theme ThursdayTheme Thursday is a time for people to rejoice.  It is that special time of the week where the heavens open up and angels sing because the most awesome writers in the world get together and write about a common theme.   Today’s topic is “Write a letter to your sixteen year old self.” 

Four out of five dentists recommend Theme Thursday.

Oops, wrong letter.

Oops, wrong letter.

Dear Self at Sixteen:

First of all, congratulations.  If you are reading this then you have survived to adulthood, and into your late 30s even.  I’m writing to offer you some advice.  Listen up, I’m not as nice now as I was when I was your age.  I mean I’m still pretty nice, I’m just a little wiser.  Someday you’ll have a blog with that word in the title.  Don’t get too excited, it’s not like it sounds.

So you’ve recently moved to Iowa.  You left the sunny coast of Florida, and you feel like you left your whole life behind.  Believe it or not your life is not over.  The weather (and maybe some of the people) may be much nicer down there but there are some things that are way better here.  For example, no hurricanes.  It’s all good.  You won’t realize how nice the Midwest is until you are much older, and then you’ll learn to appreciate it.

That hair.  My what big hair you have.  Big hair does not equate coolness.  Wait until the Twenty Teens, you’ll look back on that hair and wonder what the hell you were thinking.  Get some bangs cut, pull it back and get it out of your face.  Speaking of your appearance, you are not fat, and certainly not close to being fluffy (except maybe the hair).  The sad thing is that the ideal that our society idolizes is only going to get much more unrealistic.  Do what feels right-walk, do some exercise, but don’t take it to extremes.  You’re only setting yourself up-come to find out no matter how thin you get you won’t think it’s thin enough.  It’s called body dysmorphia, and guess what-you have it.

Oh my, what big hair you have.

They told me I’d have hair like Jon Bon Jovi.  Why did I listen????

While we’re on the subject of appearance, quit acting stupid.  Stop pretending to be normal.  You’re not, and that’s ok.  You can recite The Empire Strikes Back word for word, can read a whole book in one day, and have an undying love for all things geeky.  Don’t stop being yourself just because you’ve moved to corn country and feel you have to act a certain way to fit in.  The normal people are not the people you want to hang out with anyway.  You will find friends who appreciate the same kinds of things that you do, just give it time.

And speaking of being stupid, ditch the boyfriend.  Cultivate your friendships instead.  The friendships will last, the boyfriend will not.  There are far far worse things than being alone, and the friends will not go away.  Besides, the boyfriend is just a stupid guy who has a lot of growing up to do, as are all teenage guys.  Trust me on this one.  You’ll know love on down the road, this is not it.  You’ll have your heart broken more than once, and even when you find the one, it will not be perfect.

Almond kids

THIS is love.

Don’t listen to or waste time on toxic people.  They don’t know anything.  Don’t let others pee on your dreams.  Take some time to figure out what you want to do.  Don’t settle for anything less.  Do you want to write?  Then write.  Do you want to teach in early childhood?  Don’t let other people try to discourage you, especially those who tell you things like “You can’t ever teach kids, you don’t hold your pencil right.”  The last time I checked, holding your pencil one way or another does not dictate where you will go in life.  Do you want to take French AND Spanish your Senior year?  Don’t let that guidance counselor sell you short by telling you that you’ll get confused and get talked into taking Foods.  Do you want to go to the college that won’t offer huge scholarships and grants to you?  Figure out some way to get there.  Find ways to succeed.  Don’t let other people try to stop you.

Quit being afraid in general.  The world does not need more Camerons.  They need more Ferrises.  They also need more people that can tell you what the plural of Ferris actually is.  He’s right you know-Life does move pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.  When you are in your 30s and have kids, you’ll know what I’m referring to.  You’ll even write a blog post about it.

Life is not easy.  It’s also not fair.  There’s no perfect.  Even people who seem perfect or have the perfect relationship, trust me, it’s all a lie.  Things will be good and things will be bad.  Often there will not be an in between.  Life should resemble a roller coaster more than it should seem like a sidewalk.  And you know what?  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.


Your 38 and almost 11/12ths year old self

Not too shabby for approaching 40...

Not too shabby for approaching 40…

Don’t hesitate to take a look at what other people wrote to themselves.  Join us at the link up on Something Clever 2.0 for the other Theme Thursday posts. And don’t forget to brush your teeth (as recommended by those four dentists…duh).

Sisterhood of the Uncontrollable Hair: A Bad Hair Life

HA HA! I have no back hair issues, just top of head hair issues!

Some people have a bad hair day.  I lead a bad hair life.  There are better bad days than others, but it consistently hates me.  Ever been hated by your hair?  I have and let me tell you the feeling is mutual.

When I was a little girl my mother used to compare my hair to a horses tail.  I had thick, tangly, wavy strawberry blonde hair.  She would braid my hair because honestly it was the only way to control it.  And it fought back!  If you tried to make it pretty, it would literally revert back to its predone state in less than 10 minutes.  Therefore braids it was.  I was the Laura Ingalls Wilder of many different elementary schools (as a military brat I moved a lot).  Can’t you picture me running through the prairie with my flippety floppety braids?

In 5th grade I decided to stage a rebellion against the “Hair From Hell”.  I asked to chop it off.  Not all of it, but quite a bit of it.  Before we did the deed, my Mom took a picture of it-my hair was down to my butt.  Then I had it chopped.  Still braidable, but I chose to do very little.  Thus setting up the stage for the rest of my life.

In 8th grade big hair was cool, and since I had all of the texture but none of the ringlets of wickedly curly hair, I opted to get a perm.  The girl who did it kept raving that I would look just like Jon Bon Jovi.  It was curly.  BIG.  Definitely an improvement over what I had.  Thus became the routine for many years.  Perm it, grow it out, perm it, grow it out.  Permity perm perm.  I thought it was too curly, but once it relaxed I liked it.

Nice.  I’m talking about the sunflowers.  I’m surprised you can see them through my big permed hair.

As I got older, big hair was replaced with small hair, and I pretty much quit doing the perming thing.  What was left was wild frizzy hair that had no control.  I’ve had that pretty much ever since.  No matter how much work I put into, an hour later it will look like I didn’t even try anything.  It is evil hair.  I may even go as far as to say cursed.  Don’t give me advice.  Don’t tell me it will look better if I don’t wash it for a few days.  Tried that, disgusting.  Don’t tell me to go buy the Suave Professionals line that is supposed to be JUST LIKE the other stuff.  Maybe if you have normal person hair.  It made my hair the opposite of what Rumplestiltskin would do, it turned it to straw.  I’m shocked that animals didn’t mistake my hair for bedding, it was so bad.  Don’t tell me to go online and research my hair, because I’ve done it.  NO ONE ELSE HAS HAIR LIKE ME!

Not only can you not use affordable hair products on my Hair From Satan, it is very difficult to find a good haircut.  Or rather, find someone who knows HOW to cut my hair.  I went through stylists like underwear there for awhile.  Finally after years of searching, I thought I had found my hair whisperer.  I went to her for several years.  My hair could be almost passable as normal.  Then she moved.  NOOOOOOO!  How could she do this to me?  In the meantime, I tried in vain to find a new hair whisperer, but alas I wound up with one terrible haircut.  A girl who was convinced that she could give me a new look now that I was a mommy chopped all of my hair off.  I looked like Kristy McNichol had a baby with Ronald McDonald.  It was BAD.

Fortunately, when I went back I found a new gal who knew how to talk to my hair.  She was able to take her whip and chair and calm it into some sort of near normal hairstyle.  I’ve been with her ever since, I’ve followed her to a couple of different places, and considering what a mess my hair is she does a good job.

My current hair. Messy. I don’t even know what color my hair color is called.

But much like stupid, some hair is just not fixable.  When I lost my school job, I decided to go all earth mother and grow it out.  Unfortunately unlike an earth mothery type gal, I can’t just make do with homemade hair products.  Or cheap hair products.  So now we are here in the present day, a year and a half after I lost my full time job and unemployed for four months.  I need a haircut badly, but I have no money.  If I go so long without a cut, my hair loses interest in living and just exists.  So I am here.  Hair Purgatory.  I am out of the good stuff that makes it almost passable.  There is no love here.  I just wash, put stuff in it, and occasionally it cooperates for a couple of hours after drying before it poofs into Hexed Hair.

I thought she had escaped the trap of the Hell Hair, but my daughter’s hair is mutating rapidly into the same type.  Poor thing.  It doesn’t help that she avoids hair brushing like the plague.  Most of the time I’m convinced that she looks like an orphan with that wild crazy tangled mop.  She had no idea what challenges lie ahead of her.  The tears, the frustration, the urge to shave her head.  (For the record I have never shaved my head.  I think I would be one ugly bald person.)  Maybe she’ll take an interest in hats.  Maybe perms will be back in by the time she gets old enough to care.  Or maybe she’ll be better than I am and just NOT care.

My crazy kid. Her hair shall soon follow. You can’t really tell by this picture, but it’s turning on her.