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.

Sincerely,

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).

The Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge: Friends

I’m doing the Getting To Know The Blogger 15 Day Challenge, started by A Little Unhinged.  I’ve been answering these questions a little out of order, and I apologize for that!

5) Who were your closest friends as a teenager?

Because I moved often, lasting friendships were hard to find as a child.  Since we’re talking about high school friendships, I actually attended two different high schools many states away from each other.  I started my high school years in Florida.  I hung out with a group of girls who were smart, had wonderful imaginations, and loved books and movies like I did.  When my parents had to move back to the Midwest when I was in 10th grade, I was devastated.  We all stayed in touch for awhile, but as the years progressed we lost touch.  Enter Facebook.  I have been able to reconnect with most of my good friends from that time.  That has been awesome!

As I said, we moved back to my parents hometown when I was in 10th grade.  While I never felt like I fit in like I did in Florida, I did make some good friends.  One of my very best friends was a transplant like me who was in the grade ahead of me.  What I admired most about her was the fact that she never was afraid to be herself.  I, on the other hand, as always afraid of what people would think of me when I let my true colors show.  Another friend was in the grade below me, we shared a similar crazy sense of humor.  I also had my friends from band and some of my honors classes, whom I spent a lot of time with.  Again, I haven’t been the best at keeping in touch, since I moved away from there for college and then for good when I married my husband.  I’ve found most of them on Facebook.  I never see anyone in person, just in print!

While high school wasn’t my favorite time of my life, I do smile to think about the people that I was friends with and have been able to reconnect with in the last few years.   I miss having friends like I did back in those years.  As you’ve figured out, I’ve never been very good about keeping in touch or staying in contact with people, especially in the last few years with all that has happened in my life.  Note to self:  Work on that!

Previous Blogger Challenge Posts-This Could Be Fun:  I’m Doing The 15 Day Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge, Where I Grew Up, Favorite Childhood Memories, School, Work, Life

The Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge: School

I’m doing the 15 Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge, started by A Little Unhinged.  Today I’m answering question 4 about school!

4)  What kind of student were you in school?

From braids to no braids.  First picture is from 2nd grade maybe? 4th grade and 5th grade. I believe all pictures until high school were burned.

I was an ok student in elementary school.  I was a daydreamer.  I had some issues with bringing my work back.  I understand that I hid my work under a rock or something even though it was completed.  I was an odd kid.  It might have had something to do with moving around so much?  In 3rd grade I was in Gifted and Talented but I didn’t like the extra work.  I’m not sure what happened after that.  This is when I lived in Connecticut.  Honestly the only thing I remember about this place was the following:  1)  There was a giant boulder behind our house 2) I got glasses in 4th grade 3) I started band in 4th grade and was told I had no musical talent 4) I started private lessons at a studio that smelled weird, 5)  There was a creek between home and my elementary school 6)  There was no hot lunch program, so I took PB&J every day for a year 7) We read Huck Finn in Gifted and Talented, and then visited Mark Twain’s house.

This must be 11th Grade.

Somehow I got it together and from then on I was a terrific student.  I graduated in the top of my class from high school, went on to Community College and then later a 4 year private school and STILL got good grades.  Unfortunately for me, this did not help in the long run.  I’m good at school, it’s the real world that has not been good for me!  HA HA!

Ah Senior Pictures. Big hair and big dreams.

I graduated with a BME-This is not a BM with Extra Power or something, it means Bachelor of Music Education.  I was persuaded to switch to this major.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do then and I still don’t know what I want to do now.  I know I could teach preschool and be perfectly happy, but they are making it harder and harder to do that without an Early Childhood degree. For you who are not familiar with our educational system-you cannot simply use one education degree to do something else in education.  They make you do it all over again.  Is it really worth shelling out all of that money to go back to school to do something that pays so little?  I don’t know!

Me graduating from Lord Valdemort College (The College That Cannot Be Named). Quit smiling kid, it’s all downhill from here.

Previous Blogger Challenge Posts-  This Could Be Fun:  Doing The 15 Day Blogger Challenge, Where I Grew Up, Favorite Childhood Memories