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Dear teen-age me…

April 15, 2012

Dear teen-age me…

Oh, if only you knew what I know now, your life would be so much less painful.

I don’t know what happened between sixth and seventh grade.  Up until sixth grade, you were confident and had no problem making friends and talking to boys.  Then, all of the sudden, you had to start seventh grade in a new school with older kids, and you changed so drastically.  You pulled yourself into a shell and were afraid of your own shadow.

Yeah, yeah, I know that your parents told you to eat more because you were so thin, well, skinny would be a better description.  That may have not been the best tactic for them to use, but in their ignorance, they meant well.  And you were skinny…well, actually you looked anorexic, kind of sickly.    And you took their comments to heart…to the point of feeling like an ugly duckling.  Unfortunately, if you saw me now, you’d be ever so thankful for having been on the thin side.

And what’s with this attitude you have about your mother?  Okay, so she’s not June Cleaver and doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy when she’s around.  She does bitch and moan and yell and scream and hit.  Well, get used to it.  That’s her.  That’s what her childhood molded her into being.  And think about it…there’s FIVE of you kids only nine years apart.  That alone would be enough to make anybody act looney.

On top of that, when she tells you to do something, you don’t need to give her any lip nor make faces behind her back.  Mothers have an instinctive ability to know when that’s happening.  You’ll be a mother someday…you’ll know exactly what I’m saying because one of your kids will do it to you.

So Mom went to work to help with the finances when Dad lost his job, and it fell on you to step in and watch over everyone just as you started junior high school.  That’s a big deal, but it’s not the end of the world.  There are some kids who only have ONE parent, so count yourself lucky.

Now about the house cleaning.  When you have a whole Saturday to make beds, pick-up clothes, wash dishes, dust and vacuum the house, you kids shouldn’t be shoving the three double beds together in the upstairs bedroom and using them as a day-long five-person trampoline episode.  You should not wait until 30 minutes before Mom gets home to start cleaning the house and expect it to look like you’ve been doing it all day long.  And cleaning your brothers’ bedroom does not entail dumping everything in a pile in the middle of the room and putting things away one at a time.  Who’s brilliant idea was that?

Now about that driver’s license.  Yeah, I know it’s great that you got it on your 16th birthday and there was that brown 1951 Chevy to drive, the one your brothers and cousins called the Turd.  So you thought that was cool to have a car to drive and you could come and go as you pleased, right?  Well, quit moaning and groaning about having to drive all your brothers and sisters around and picking Mom up at the bus stop six miles away at 9:30 in the evening.  Do you think she’s having fun?

So then your father turned 40 years old, and you thought he was absolutely ancient.  What are you thinking?  This isn’t the 18th century.  Forty years old is barely half-way to antiquity, to senility.  Forty years old is just one tiny step beyond being a young adult.  When you’re in your sixties and seventies, you will look back and realize that 40-years-old was just approaching the point where you were your best, both physically and mentally.  Your elderly self would probably be willing to give an arm or a leg to be forty years old again…well, not literally…but, wow, to be that fit again and that mentally strong again!

I could go on and on.  Some of the bizarre things you’ve been handling quite well…others not so well…such as that blind date who wouldn’t take No for an answer.  I know that was rough, but you’re stronger than you think.

Overall, I wish I could tell you that how to get through those tough times…but I can’t.  I can only say that someday you will realize just how strong you really are.  You will look back on these episodes with a mature outlook and realize things weren’t your fault, that there’s nothing wrong with you (except when you give your mother the eye-rolling routine).

Things will get better.  Until then, I just wish I could give you a big hug.

 Love, ME

P.S. Thank, BrainRants, for the topic idea.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 4:29 am

    Thank you so much for the inspiring post! I couldn’t wait to try it out myself. Wonderful and inspiring letter to yourself 🙂

    • April 16, 2012 7:57 am

      Thank you. I got the idea from BrainRants. Your’s is the inspiring letter. My teenage self needed a longer letter, but I couldn’t bring myself to share that much information. I’m glad things turned out so well for you.:)

  2. April 16, 2012 9:06 am

    I like what you did with this idea quite a lot, and thanks for the trackback.

  3. Betsy Cushman permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:16 am

    What a gift you have of writing so that we all can relate to it! Most of us would like to write to our teenage selves, but I’m not sure we’d all be so wise. Thanks so much for sharing what you did. It’s a gift to us all.

    • April 16, 2012 5:39 pm

      I think it’s within all of us, don’t you? 🙂

  4. April 16, 2012 11:15 am

    This is the sweetest letter! And such a fine idea. Thank you and welcome back 🙂

  5. Sue Brown permalink
    April 16, 2012 1:59 pm

    Love it. What a great piece of writing.

  6. April 16, 2012 7:34 pm

    I think we all should write a letter to our younger self. Did you feel some release after you finished?

    • April 16, 2012 9:36 pm

      Yes, I actually did feel a sense of relief after I wrote it.

  7. April 16, 2012 9:53 pm

    Great letter — heartfelt. I too wish I could go back and tell myself a thing or two!

  8. April 17, 2012 3:18 pm

    This is a wonderful post. I think we should all follow suit and give our younger selves a bit of a hug and a reprieve, and our older selves relief from the pain of our youth.

    • April 17, 2012 9:04 pm

      Oh, you put that so well! Prairiewisdom asked me if I felt some release after I finished writing this. And I did! I hope everyone might consider writing such a letter. 🙂

  9. April 18, 2012 6:29 pm

    I absolutely love this self-affirming, nurturing and forgiving letter!! What a wonderful experience to give oneself! I believe everyone has scars from those growing up years and beyond, but now it is about loving, appreciating, and admiring who you are today. Thanks for sharing. I was once told that the painful things of one’s past never go away but they can be put on a shelf. I think this letter puts them on a shelf.

    • April 22, 2012 7:28 pm

      I like the idea of putting our past ‘on the shelf.’ Thanks!


  1. Dear teen me… « Simple Relevance

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