Dear Teenage Me,
It's me. Do you recognize me? Probably not. I'm a little more wrinkly than you, a little wiser than you (sorry, I know you think you know everything) and a little older than you. But it's still me. And you. Kind of mushed together into one morphed me.
I wish I could tell you that those things you're going through - you know, those things that seem so important and life-changing! - really are not that important. Sorry. I hate to minimize what you're going through. But it's okay that you have to go to your senior prom with just a boy friend, not a boyfriend. I know you wish you had a boyfriend, but you'll find him. He's already in college, you'll meet him shortly after you get there. And he's it. I mean IT. Eventually he'll ask you to marry him and you'll say yes. Don't worry about those other boys that do or don't ask you out. They're just temporary.
I know you wonder if your mom will ever stop being such a pain in the butt. The truth is, she will grow to be your best friend. She really does love you. A lot.
Those girls that you wonder if they are friends or not? They're not. Your high school is so small and you've run out of friends. That's okay. You won't see them again. 22 years from now, you will still never see them again. When you get to college, you are going to meet amazing friends that will stick with you throughout your life.
You'll also meet new friends when you are a grown up. Good friends. Friends who don't care what clothes you are wearing, what car you are driving, and whether you smoke (you don't) or you drink (you do, but just every once in awhile). They will be there for you. No matter what.
Some of these friends you will meet at church. Yes, you go to church. In fact, you even like it!
When you get married, you will get an apartment and really ugly furniture. I mean REALLY UGLY. Unfortunately, this furniture is made really well and it just won't wear out. For like 16 years. Please do not buy it. That hot hunky guy that you met in college who has now been your husband for 16 years will not let you get new furniture because there is nothing wrong with the old stuff. He won't get rid of his socks with holes in them either. Just giving you a head's up. Be careful what you buy, you will be stuck with it a LONG time.
After living in the tiny apartment for a year, you will buy a house. It isn't the biggest house or the nicest house, but it will be your home. Many times over the years, you will wonder if you should buy another house. Stick with it. It will turn into your home. And there is no place like home. It helps when you're not even 40 and you have your mortgage paid off too. Kind of like the cherry on top.
You will go through all the normal life stuff. You'll get a job. You'll be a financial advisor. You'll really like it, but you'll never be really successful at it. That's okay. What the world defines as successful (making a lot of money) isn't what will be important to you. You will get more satisfaction out of knowing you have helped someone. And you will. Several times over.
Dealing with those jerks in high school really do prepare you for real life. One thing your mom is wrong about - people aren't mean to you because they are jealous of you. People are mean because they are jerks. There are lots of jerks in this world, unfortunately. As you grow up, you will learn to walk away from them. You can do that. Life is way bigger than your high school.
You will get a cat. Then a dog. You'll travel a bit. Then it will be time to start thinking about having kids. Yep, you will grow up and want to start your own family. I wish I could keep you from the pain you are about to experience. Unfortunatly, even with help from the doctors, you will not be able to have kids. It will devastate you. Your husband too. It will be the most stressful thing you will ever face. You will feel like you are barely hanging on to a spinning, crazy world where everyone else has babies. I mean, they just pop them out like *poof*. For 7 years you will go through pure hell on earth. But it will not rip you and your husband apart, thank God.
Once you come to terms with what life has thrown at you, and you go through many, many tears, you will decide to adopt. Let me tell you something - it is NOT SECOND BEST!! Oh my goodness, you will adopt twice and your kids will be AMAZING. And yes, they will be YOUR kids. You also get to travel around the world since your son will be from Russia and your daughter will be from Guatemala. You love to travel. And you love kids. When you first lay eyes on these children, you will know without a doubt that you were meant to be together. Without a doubt.
You will then retire and stay at home full time as a mom. You will wonder what your college degree is good for as you are reduced to a house-cleaner, butt-wiper, taxi-driver and chef. Do it anyway. It is the best thing you could do for your family. They really do appreciate it, even if they don't always tell you that. Plus your kids grow up so fast. SO fast.
You know how you're always missing the bus? Apologize to your dad. He takes you to school every day and you know it bugs him. Try to give yourself 5 extra minutes. It doesn't get any better as you get older and you will get so annoyed with yourself that you are late for everything. Again. Your dad doesn't mean to yell at you every day, but you know he hates to be late. And maybe he is trying to help you to break this habit. Thank him for that.
Enjoy your grandma. She dies before you have kids and you will miss her terribly. You two have always had a special bond. Spend as much time as you can with her.
Don't be afraid to be you. Stop trying to act like everyone else just to be cool. It would be boring if we were all the same anyway. Soon enough, you will be appreciated for being YOU. It's okay to be you. Honestly. It is okay to be you.
Get some length on your skirts and shorts. I don't mean you have to look Amish, but really. I know your legs are all cute and skinny, but you do not need to barely cover your butt to look good. Your mom is not old fashioned when she says to leave something to the imagination. She's got a good point. You will understand that so much more when you have a daughter. Trust me on this one.
Nothing that you go through is a waste of time. You can learn from your mistakes, grow from your experiences and look forward to tomorrow while appreciating today. Time does go by fast. I know you can't wait to be a grown up but it will come soon enough. I know you are at a crossroads in your life where you look like a grown up but still feel like a kid. That's okay. It's all a part of growing up.
Trust your parents, they really do have your best interests at heart. I know you think your friends are much cooler than your parents but they don't love you like your mom and dad do. Your mom and dad would do anything for you. Anything. Love them back. You'll be glad to have them as you become an adult. Really.
Hang in there, your teenage years are almost over. You'll make it! The best is yet to come.