I would give anything to go back and be a teenager again; to do life over and make different choices, ones that were smarter and less detrimental to my future. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a time machine. All I can do is reflect, learn and be grateful for my experiences. However, if I were able to talk to my 16 year old self, I’d have a few things say:
1. Study harder
Generic? Maybe, but had I actually done well in school, a feat I know I was capable of, I might not have ended up working in a boring field; having being bullied by bosses, I know things could have gone down a different path had I put more effort into my school work. You can do it!
2. Love more
Let me explain this one. As a teenager, we all go through hormonal changes that affects the way we act and perceive our environment. I lacked empathy for others and acted beyond selfish on more than one occasion. I wish I would have been more thoughtful in my actions and words. I wish I could have learned sooner than later that other people feel things just as I did, and still do. Be kinder!
3. Process the tough stuff
When I was 16, a good friend of mine, Nancy, was murdered. I never properly mourned; every therapist I saw turned my grief into some sexual experience. Don’t listen to them. Let yourself cry. Let yourself feel.
4. Hug mom and dad more
Parents don’t last forever; you think they will because they are indestructible but there’s always an end to life and it’ll happen when you least expect it. Go give them a hug and a kiss; they need it as much as you do!
5. Eat Better
Growing up, our family had very poor eating habits. Sadly, those habits stayed with me for life. Old habits die hard, right? EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!
6. Listen to different types of music
Like in most circumstances, I was very much in my own shell. Terrified of unknown things, and oddly, that included music. Luckily, as an adult, my tastes have grown and I love all kinds, but I missed out on appreciating it all those years. Turn off Madonna, and put on some Frank Sinatra!
7. Write more
As a writer, it’s weird that I never kept journals in my formative years. I wish I had so that now I’d have the chance to go back and read them, and relive some of the moments I wish I could have back.
8. Read more
Again, as someone who adores words, novels, and any type of written form, it astonishes me that I didn’t read more. Put down the Nintendo and pick up a book!
9. Don’t worry about boys
I remember feeling that if I didn’t have a guy like me, there was no point to life. I want to slap that girl who missed out on so much around her because all she did was concentrate on boys whose names I can’t even recall now. Stop being boy crazy!
10. Don’t sell yourself short
I still struggle with this; my whole life is one big “Sorry, my fault!” even when it’s not. I never thought I was good enough for anything and sometimes, I still don’t. Give yourself some credit, kiddo. You’ll turn out just fine!
What would you tell YOUR 16 year old self?