Dear 15-year-old Me,
Don’t do it.
Don’t trust that boy in a broke-down car. The words he utters are not to melt your heart. It is to melt your pants.
Remember, his friends aren’t your friends. His friends are his friends. They will always be his friends. Don’t tell them secrets he doesn’t know. He will know.
I know your adrenaline’s pumping, but don’t sneak out that door at 2am. It’s not worth the trouble. Enjoy that beauty sleep while you still can. Adult life has a lot of sleepless nights in store for you.
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t give yourself an excuse. Blaming your parents for your actions does not make them any better. You’ll wish you’d listened to yourself in five years’ time.
And even though it feels like it, you’re not in love. You’re seeing stars where there’s glitter. Love doesn’t come in crappy forward texts. It doesn’t bloom the moment his hands are where they shouldn’t be. Love isn’t an excuse to make out. He may tell you otherwise. Don’t let your infatuation cloud your mind.
Your parents aren’t your enemies. They don’t know how to handle this version of you but they’re still right. They’re not ruining your “life experiences.” Don’t alienate them. You’ll kick yourself for it later.
School is important. College matters. Don’t skip classes. If not for the lessons, at least for the memories. When your friends reminisce about them at 20, you’ll feel left out.
Don’t pick a date over dinner with your family. He’s not looking for a relationship. And it’s okay. He marries someone ugly and goes bald in seven years. You’ll be happier this way.
Pick your friends wisely. Don’t forget, the ones who love you will be honest about that skirt being a little too short in the back and his hands being a little too low around your shoulder. Learn the difference.
Your aunts aren’t the greatest. Your extended family isn’t royalty. But, on a bad day with no money, they’ll still be there for you. Don’t show off your unreasonable arrogance to them. They might forgive you. You won’t.
So you’re single. Don’t get a boyfriend because she has one. Having a boyfriend is not a definition of your beauty or desirability. It is not a matter of social status. It is personal. It is emotional. Let it happen in its own time.
Allow yourself a little “loserdom.” It’s okay if your hair isn’t amazing. It’s okay if your grades aren’t the best. It’s okay if you don’t have a squad. So what if she’s the most popular kid in class? It ends. You grow up. You get your own lives. Don’t get caught up in your high school labels. They don’t last very long.
That kid you thought was an asshole? He works for your country. He’s kind and giving. That girl who dated your crush and was the hottest girl in town? She gets pushed into a life she doesn’t like. She’d give anything to have your freedom of choice. Don’t let yourself get swayed by who people are right now. They change.
You will change too.
You’ll be better. You’ll be kinder. You’ll develop a better sense of fashion. (Thank goodness!) You’ll chase your dreams without being afraid. You’ll fall in love. You’ll get your heart broken. And you know what the best part is? You’ll be strong enough to keep going. You won’t stop.
You’ll find friends who love you for you. You’ll date men who treat you well.
There is so much of life that’s waiting to be lived. And don’t scowl or make a sarcastic remark at that. You think you know it all. But you don’t. You don’t know the beautiful views you’ll fall asleep to. Or the books you’ll read. The words you’ll write. The moments you’ll live.
And on your worst day, you will find yourself. You will find all that you are. It will be chaos.
But you’ll know how to accept that.
This life you’re living, it’s nothing like the one you’ll live. Or the one you want.
So stop the crazy. Enjoy your moments. And let yourself be 15. You only have the rest of your life to be an adult.
Be a teenager today.
And listen to your heart when it says, “Don’t do it.”
With all my love and life lessons,