Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cara: A letter to my 16 year old self

I have on my list of blog post topics (yes I have a list) "write a letter to my 10 yr old self". But I never did it because I think my ten year old self was just fine. I recently read another blog where the author wrote a letter to her 16 year old self. And since friends and I have just recently discussed being able to just go back for one week to our teen years knowing what we know now, and how great that would be, I thought today would be a good day to write that letter.

Dear Cara,

Stop putting straight peroxide in your hair. Not only do you look like an albino you are frying your hair.

Stay in chorus. Don't let the situation with your really nasty teacher be your excuse to quit. You know you love it. You know you can sing. Don't let the fact that it's "not cool" make you quit. And go try out for the school play. You may not get a great part but it's better than sitting in audience with the "cool" kids wishing you were up there. Don't blow off school because you would rather go home and sleep. These are some of the best years of your life. Get more involved in what's going on at school. It will all go by too fast and growing up isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Don't be afraid to be smart. Smart is cool. The dumb kids want you to think smart is not cool so you will be like them. Don't let them fool you. You know you want to do your homework so DO IT. Appreciate the teachers that have come into your path. Some of them you will remember for the rest of your life.

You will have the rest of your life to be married and have kids. Find out what it is that you really want to "be" when you grow up and go for it first. Then when your kids are grown you still won't be wondering what you want to be when you grow up.

Pay attention to the guy that may not be the coolest one in the crowd. The one that is the leader that everyone flocks to will break your heart. He may not even mean to because he is only a kid too, but he is not worth your time. Try to follow your head with the one that comes next...not your heart. He says he will wait for you to get older so you can be together. But he won't. And after he breaks your heart into a million pieces don't think you can pick them all up and hand them to him to put back together again because he won't. Realize that the one that thinks your great the way you are, that makes you laugh, that was your friend first is truly your knight in shining armour. He will make all of your dreams come true. He is the real deal. Don't let him get away.

You are not fat. Wait until you have had three c-sections and medicine ball-sized babies and then you will see what fat is. Don't starve yourself (you and your best friend) because you think you are fat. You look fine. Really good even. And wear a little less makeup. There's a pretty face under that blush.

Living in a small town is a good thing. Growing up comfortable, safe and happy is a good thing. The rest of the world can be a scary place. And though you think all you want to do is get out of this one horse town, when you do grow up, you will move down the road apiece to another one horse town to raise your children. Just like your parents did. Who are doing a pretty good job by the way...they really do know what they are doing. Someday you will realize that.

Appreciate the close circle of girlfriends you have. Don't let petty fights or boys come between you. You will miss out on good years with some of them because of it. Some you will never see again and that piece of you will always be missing. Always. Don't tear up those pictures. You will wish you still had them one day.

Smile more and lose the teenage attitude. Don't fight with your brother so much because you are all each other have. Be in the moment because these are the "remember when" times. The times you will look back on and laugh. And someday you will have a 16 year old daughter who will be your shining star and all the things you were afraid to be. She will remind you of all the good and bad in yourself. She will bring out the best and the worst you can be. Let her know she is doing a better job at being 16 than you did. But, know that you are a pretty dam good 16 year old. All these "issues" in your life now that won't kill you (although you think they might) will help you become the woman you are meant to be. And most days that will be pretty OK.

Jenn's two cents: I often wish I could go back and tell myself what I know now. I guess that is part of growing up - learning as we go. The good news is we have sons and daughters who we can tell the hard things to and try to help them make better choices than we did at 16.


sweetjeanette said...

That is so totally awesome! Now I need to think...what age to I want to write too.... You've got me thinking! Thank you - this is a great post!

Sweet Jeanette

Anonymous said...

I really loved your letter to your 16 year old self! Bravo, and beautifully written!

SharonKendrew said...

Excellent post - I may have to write a letter to my 16 year old self too... it would start with "please don't. not with him. not now, not ever."

Simply Stacie said...

Following you from the Friday Follow.

Dimes2Vines said...

Stopping by from Fri Follows - I'm a new follower. Love to have you stop by:

yonca said...

Well written.Following from Friday Follow.Have a great weekend!

Mom et al said...

Hi, Friday following you.

Come visit me at



lovemylevi said...

Following from the FF linkup. Hope to see you at soon!

Cakeblast said...

I'm following you from the Friday Follow! Great post, I'm not sure I would want to go back to when I was 16. Still it is cool to think about what we would write if we could send a letter to our former selves.

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