A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self
A few weeks ago my oldest girl turned 16. As with any parent I always hope that all is well.
16 can be a tough time. Our minds are constantly moving. The world is stuck in the fast forward mode with catastrophe waiting on every corner.
Overall my girl is a smart kid. She is confident and has a lot of friends. But of course I will worry and I’m sure my grandparents did the same.
When I was that age I seriously doubt I paid much attention to my grandparents concern. If anything I was probably way too consumed in myself and embarrassed to be seen with them.
What I do remember about my younger self were the annoying pimples and the endless pop-tarts. I think I just figured out where the pimples came from.
What would I say?
So I asked myself what would I do if I could go back and talk to that kid that looked and sounded a lot like me.
First off, let’s pretend he’ll listen and if he did what valuable piece of information could I deliver?
Before all of this was possible I’d have to fire up the Zippy-Way-Back Machine. Make a note: The crank is wearing out.
If I arrived during the summer of that 16th year I would find him in Southern California. It was a huge summer. For the first time in his life he traveled out of the state of Washington all the way to San Diego.
He was visiting his dad and staying at the hotel his father managed. He was amazed at the local Safeway and how much it resembled the one in his home town.
Aside from the Safeway experience and the pop-tart consumption what would I say?
I gave this some serious thought. Below are the things that came to mind:
- Your small town is not the center of the universe. Find a way out. You can always come back.
- Talk to people about your worries. You are not alone.
- Sneaking a beer out of the refrigerator is NOT your greatest achievement.
- Your world will not come to an end if the cute girl in algebra doesn’t say hi.
- Please try to match your clothes. It’s a nice habit to get in to.
- Comb your damn hair!
- Speaking of hair – Enjoy it while it lasts.
- The high-school football star is not a world celebrity.
- The fears you have now will seem ridiculous five years from now.
- Get a part-time job. The experience will pay off.
- Hang out with the kids in the drama class instead of the people you think you should be with. Of course they’re weird but so are you. Plus, they understand you and that is what friendship is all about.
- Owning a car isn’t everything. Bumming a ride is good for you.
- Your uncle is right. Professional Wrestling is fake.
- Lose the polyester shirt and the rainbow bell bottom pants. Please!
- In the fall of your sophomore year someone will steal your favorite Washington Husky hat. You will never see it again. Keep it on your head or keep it at home.
- And finally: Please listen to others. You do not have all the answers. Make it a habit to keep your ears open and your mouth shut. Think of this as my bonus to you.
Above all else, please save the Husky hat!!!!!!!!
Happy Friday Everyone!!!