What would I tell 16 year old me? Where shall I begin??? We all thought we had the whole world on a string, or at least I did. The days of being a teenager are sooo long gone, I won’t even give you a ballpark number. But let’s just say, I’ve had enough time to (shall we say) re-think a few things. The fourth installment of the 30 Things My Kids Should Know is 10 things I would tell 16 year old me. Currently, shaking my head at what I *thought* was wisdom, I don’t actually know that I’ll be able to STOP with just 10 things! But I’ll give it a try.
- You are *not* as fat as you imagined. Trust me – there will come a day where you will not have the ability to drop a few pounds on a whim, where the skin is not so smooth, when things will dimple, and wrinkle, and then you will MISS that 16 year old baby pudge. So quit beating yourself up.
- That guy is not The One. Him. Or the next one. Or the one after that. So let him go. All of them. Because if there is one thing I can say with complete honesty, it would be that when you find the one who *is* The One, every single one before him will be a regret. And in about 15 years, you will meet him. And he’ll be amazing, and you really will see why it never worked with anyone else. You won’t understand this now. But if you did, the tears you’d save…
- Some friends really are forever. Others….notsomuch. So be careful what you share, but remember that some of those girls – the ones you went to prom with in high school? Yep, they’ll still be there for you 15 years later. They’ll be there to support you, encourage you, and will drop everything to go have a girl’s dinner with you when you come into town. And you’ll cherish them.
- For the love of all things holy, finish college the FIRST time! Doing Anatomy and Physiology at 18 with zero distractions? SOoooo much easier than doing it while married, pregnant, and chasing a 3 year old. Yowzah!!!
- You WILL use Algebra in nursing school…so pay attention! Yep. It’s true. Those letters and numbers? They’ll be KEY in dosage and solutions when you *finally* go back to school to be an RN. So learn up, honey chile…
- Save some of that money! Even just a little. Even just 1/10. Because you won’t live at home forever. And those clothes and shoes are cute, yes. But they don’t pay rent. And when you start paying rent, you’ll wish you had a better handle on your savings. Or even just wish you HAD savings period. O_o
- Don’t be so afraid. Yes death happens. I wish I could prepare you for those you’ll lose later so you can hug them more. So you can tell them that they make your life brighter. So you can tell them you appreciate them. Or so you can tell them you forgive them. You don’t get promised tomorrow, so say what needs to be said. But don’t live so in fear that you worry about everything. Let God be God, and you be 16.
- Try harder in school. Yes, you get good grades. Yes, you’re honor roll. Yes, you’re a well-behaved student. But lesbehonest…You really could try harder. And maybe, just maybe, you could have gotten a few other college credits out of the way. Or at least been more solidly in the top 10 of your class. Oh, by the way, you’ll lose that spot to the new chick senior year. Wish I could say it weren’t so. But you are the only person who can change that, so quit half-assing it.
- You don’t learn everything you need to know in high school. No one showed me how to fill out a loan application, haggle with a car dealer, balance a checkbook, change a tire, or apply makeup. How the hell-oh!?!? You’d think those things would be as important to TEACH in school as they are to KNOW after school, right?! Let’s just say there are things you’ll have to figure out beyond those institutional gray walls. PS – might want to start taking that makeup thing WAY more seriously, because some of those yearbook photos…Dayummmm!
- Motherhood really is as amazing, fulfilling, exciting, and enjoyable as you imagine. Maybe more so. But it’s also exhausting, endless, frustrating, tireless, and anxiety-producing. You’ll think you may not make it till they graduate without becoming an alcoholic, you’ll pray all the time, you’ll cry, you’ll fall asleep in your bathtub after exhausting days. You’ll worry. You’ll grit your teeth. They’ll hurt you. You’ll hurt them. You’ll hurt when they hurt. But ya know what? You’ll never love anything more than those kids. They are the best example of what it feels like to watch your heart walk around outside your body. And your world will be so blessed because of them.
Doing these 30 Things posts have become something I look forward to, and a wonderful point of reflection. Hope you’re enjoying reading them as much as I am writing them! Happy Wednesday!