Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear 16 Year Old Me

Last week, a friend shared this video with me.

It's about the dangers of skin cancer. Each person in the video has survived skin cancer and is offering advice to their 16 year old self.

It's a powerful video. You should watch it. But it also got me thinking about other things.

Like who I was at 16. I wonder if that girl would be satisfied with the way her life is turning out. I wonder what she'd think about all the things that have happened differently than the way she imagined it. I wonder, if I could go back in time and give her the wisdom I've gained over the past 11 years, if she'd take my advice to heart.

I guess I'll try. It doesn't hurt to try, right?

Dear 16 year old me,

Happy birthday. Why aren't you at the DMV taking your driver's test? Don't put it off because you're afraid.

You know that guy who keeps showering you with attention? The one who's 4 years old than you? Yeah, that guy -- forget about him. And do it soon, please. He's going to steal a piece of your heart away.

I know you're not going to listen to that piece of advice. You're a 16 year old me, after all. Well, in a few weeks, he's going to give you your first kiss. In an attempt to do something with your hands during the kiss, you're going to slap him on the back. And knock the breath out of him. You are going to be mortified. But don't be. I mean, that boy deserves to be slapped. What's he doing kissing a girl 4 years younger than him?

In December, your mom, who just had your little sister, is going to announce that they're going to have another baby. I know, seriously? You're going to think your mom is nuts. I don't have any advice for you; I just wanted to ease the shock a little.

Your life is going to change dramatically in the next year. Don't leave behind the people who are good to you.

When you start to think about college, don't decide to live with people you already know. You have expectations that they can't live up to. It's not their fault. Do your best to maintain positive relationships with people.

Mass Communication will not be your major in college. Don't stress over it.

On May 26, 2003, try to wear something nice. And for goodness sake, do something with your hair. That's the day you'll meet your husband.

When you realize that you're in over your head, learn when to throw in the towel. Changing direction is not giving up.

When you go away to college, it's going to be hard for you to find a new church. And by hard, I mean, you're not going to find one. God is still with you, and He still loves you. You'll find your home soon enough.

Be selective of who you allow into your life. Remember, if people gossip to you, they'll gossip about you, too.

You will graduate college, I promise. It may take a few more years than expected, but you'll get your diploma.

When things seem impossible, remember that's the perfect time for God to move. He still hasn't let you down yet.

It takes 30 days to create a habit. Don't give up on anything before 30 days.

You have high expectations of people who you let in to your life. Sometimes they can't live up to those expectations. Learn to fogive and to love anyway. Cling to the people who do the same for you.

You're going to have a baby! Can you believe it? He's going to be such a source of happiness for you. Just remember, trust in God's timing -- it's always perfect.

I don't know why I even try. I mean, you're probably thinking about that boy right now as I spill my heart out to you. Typical. Oh well. Well, when that kiss happens, make sure you slap him once for me.

Your 27 year old you

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