With my daughters teenage years upon us I look at her and can’t help but wish I could spare her the hurt that comes from being a teenage girl. But I can’t, she has to be 13 and 14 and so on, she has to get through this awkward and difficult time just like everyone else. I can however do my best to help her along the path.
In light of that I began to think of what I would have liked to have told my teenage self if I somehow got the opportunity to send a letter back in time to my 13 year old self at the beginning of high school. This is the results.
Dear younger me,
So you are now 13 almost 14 years old having just begun your first year of high school. I remember that girl and so the first thing I’m going to say to you is take that cigarette out of your mouth and wipe that smart-ass tough-chick look off your face, this is the older and wiser you talking here. I KNOW that this is just an act I am after all the one who perfected it.
I know that you are going through a very hard time in your life right now and that it feels like everything is changing at once and that’s because it is. You feel lost and lonely, scared, unsure of yourself and your abilities and desperately unhappy at times.
All I really want to tell you is that it does get better; I promise you that no other period in your life will ever be quite as hard in quite this way again. As it turns out these years really are the hardest to survive. Even becoming a parent was not as scary as what you are living through right now.
And yes you have children, a little earlier then intended perhaps but it is the greatest joy in your life and you do have someone to share it with, you are not alone. Actually it’s not too long from now that you will first meet your husband. When you do you won’t even give him a second thought and you will forget about him entirely as your lives head in different directions. That’s OK he’ll be back.
I think now of all the crazy things you will wear and try out over the next few years and all I have to say about that is have fun. Eventually you will find what works and what doesn’t but getting there is an absolute blast. It also teaches us a lot about ourselves and having to defend your decision to dye your hair green or blue ends up giving us a lot of self-confidence.
I know I’m not offering you a lot of advice here or even telling you how to avoid the mistakes you eventually make but there is a reason for that. I know now standing on the other side that you somehow get through these years relatively unscathed (although there was that one very close call that ended up being seated across from a very unhappy RCMP officer)and what I’ve come to realize is that each mistake you will make also ends up teaching you a valuable lesson.
So all that I really want to tell you is that while you won’t always make the best decisions, you will get in trouble, and you will live to regret some of those things everything turns out OK. You will get through to the other side. All the years of bullying and the pain and hurt and feelings you are dealing with in these difficult years will not last forever.
I leave you with this last thought; be happy!
See you later,
You in about 20 years