This post was inspired by Tracy. I can’t imagine how awesome it would have been to really have received this when I was, say, 15 or 16!
Dear Teen Teresa,
There are a few things you need to know so that you can just relax! Pay close attention (and for God’s sake, don’t get all cynical on me!):
- You are pretty. Maybe not in that conventional-never-takes-a-bad-yearbook-photo way necessarily, but you have the skin tone and bone structure that will look better and better over the years. Trust me.
- You are not fat. As a matter of fact, you may be a little on the skinny side, which is just fine. Don’t let the self-conscious (and pretty shallow) friends you hang out with make you feel pudgy. They’re the ones with the issues. Plus, pretty much no matter what you eat, you will be fit and thin as an adult. Actually you’ll weigh a few pounds less at age 30 than you will during senior year of high school.
- High school doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t! All the drama and insecurities and gossiping…it just plain doesn’t matter. Starting in as little as a couple of years, you’ll move away from your hometown and not see anyone from school pretty much ever again (except the one that matters. Yes, you’ll marry your sweetheart and it will be AWESOME!).
- The anxiety will go away. You don’t need anxiety medication and you won’t always succumb to the stress and have to deal with ulcers and whatnot. You’ll discover yoga and rock climbing and it will change your life. Then you’ll discover almond milk and it will rock your world. That weird, anxiety-induced stomach stuff will just kind of heal itself. Rad (speaking in your terms here), huh?
- You will never really feel “at home,” and that’s okay. You’ll backpack all over the world and even end up buying a house, but that “settled” feeling you’re missing now won’t magically appear within the next decade. But it’s okay. Because of your wayfaring spirit, you’ll get to see and experience so many things that so many people only dream of. And it will (strangely) leave you feeling content.
- You won’t want kids. Don’t be all weirded out by the people who don’t take you seriously and insist that “someday you’ll change your mind.” You won’t, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you will. You’ll also end up with a fantastic family of friends, most of whom will also not have kids. You’ll feel in the norm. But you’ll have a very demanding and high-maintenance dog. 😉
- Those teachers and that
teen pageantscholarship program leader were wrong. You WILL go to college. As a matter of fact, you’ll go to a prestigious private college paid for with awesome scholarships. You’ll succeed in the classroom (against all odds, yes), become a leader in your department, win awards, present original research at conferences, and graduate with honors. Then (you might sit down for this one), you’ll go to graduate school and earn a master’s degree. Yes. YOU. You will do this, believe it or not, before you turn 28. You will be awarded “Top Paper of 2008” in the environmental division of a national communication conference. It will be badass. So don’t listen to those Bi***es (we both know who they are). They’re limited and they just don’t understand your brand of motivation.
Okay, go on back out there and run a couple of miles or finish making that glue-and-glitter “artwork” or whatever it was you were doing.
Love you, T (@30)