Thursday, April 19, 2012

Letter to my 17 Year Old Self

If you had the chance to share some words of wisdom with your 17 year old self, what would you say?

I often wish that Future Me could pay me a visit, give me some direction and share a glimpse of what lies ahead. I'm fairly certain that if my 17 year old self could pop in and check out her future, she wouldn't believe her eyes.

Dear 17 Year Old Self,

This is weird, right? I'm sure you have a lot of questions for me. I can't answer very much for you. Most things you're just going to have to wait to find out on your own.

I already know the first thing on your mind and since it's the most important thing to you right now and the least important of what you actually need to know, I'll tell you:

No, you never have sex with Jack Reilly. Or hold his hand. Or meet his Mom.

I know. I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, it won't matter in a year anyway. Honest.

I do have good news. You graduate high school! Come could act a little more enthusiastic about that! Especially since no one else thinks you will, not even you. But you do and if I could go back and do it all over for us, I would -- in a heart beat.

I'm going to tell you something that's really going to blow your mind....ya ready?

You have two kids.

Both boys and they're AMAZING.

Relax. You're really good at being a Mom.

Now if that wasn't enough to send you into total shock, I'm going to tell you who their father is. You'd better sit down for this one...

You know Shannon Nagel's boyfriend, Ray??

Nooo, not him. His brother. No, the other brother, Larry.  I'm not kidding. I swear to God.

I know...I don't even understand it. It's all good. Promise.

I think you've had enough to hold you over. Like I said, some things you're going to have to wait to find out on your own. I do have some advice for you and I really, really hope you'll take it. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about...

1. Get off your ass and start exercising. Right now you think you'll be healthier in the future. That couldn't be further from the truth.

2. Stop smoking. PLEASE. In the future our teeth are yellow and we always have phlegm and it's awful. And we can't stop doing it. The one thing I can honestly say I'd do over for us is that I never would have lit that first cigarette.

3. Save your money. We're broke as shit in the future. All the CD's you're spending $20+ on will be $5 or less at Walmart and in the future no one uses CD's anyway. Oh yeah, Cape May County gets a Walmart. Don't tell anyone. You don't want to ruin the surprise.

4. Do not apply for your first credit card until you are 30. And if you do, don't apply for 8 more after that.

5. Don't take any drugs that you can't immediately pick from the ground and smoke or ingest for the desired effect. Everything else is bad. Despite what you think now, it's true what they say, drugs are bad.

6. Get your friggin' driver's license. In the future we STILL don't drive and we're really lame because of it.

7. Enjoy your friendships now. In the future everyone changes, including you, and for the most part, the bonds won't withstand the test of time.

8. Chill out and calm down. Don't obsess about stuff you have no control over, don't overthink, don't get so angry. None of it is worth it. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

9. Don't stop writing. I wish I could tell you we're on the NY Times Best Seller's list in the future, but we're not. Do it because it's what you love. Do it because you want to. Do it for you.

10. We're going to make a lot of mistakes, I can't save us from them. Learn from them. Grow because of them. Embrace them. They'll make us who we are today.

I love you. I wish you'd love yourself. Remember what Sister Angeline always said: "Good, better, best...never let it rest, until your good is your better and your better is your best."

Older You

P.S. - There's something you need to invent. It's called a Pillow Pet. It's a pillow, it's a's a Pillow Pet. We'll be friggin' rich.

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