Saturday, January 28, 2012

What I wish I could tell...

There is a video going around titled "What I wish I could tell the 16 year old me". In it, several people talk about what they wish they could tell themselves at 16 and it ends specifically with cancer awareness. I have been thinking a lot about what I wish I could tell the 16 year old version of myself lately...

Relax. In some areas of your life you are stressing too much about doing it all and making sure that you are perfect. You may not be "perfect", but you are pretty darn good. You are healthy, you are brilliant, and you are a good person. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself from time to time. The only people that matter think highly of you so take a few risks and be a teenager. When you go to! When you meet new people, smile and initiate conversation. Yes, I know you are friendly and cordial, but take the first step and show some initiative!!! Ask to go out with friends sometimes too!

Work harder! I know this seems counterintuitive considering I just told you to relax, but above was about letting your hair down once in awhile. Working harder is about two specific areas-the classes you should probably be studying for and basketball. School comes really easy to you and that is great, but you are going to take AP Anatomy your senior year and while you breeze by with a B, you need to learn to study. Take this opportunity in high school to learn how to apply yourself in a class you don't really care all that much about. It will serve you well when you have to learn new things in college. As far as basketball goes, you are doing a great job on moves and actually playing. Push yourself in strength training and conditioning, I promise that you won't die! Your senior year you are going to want to quit...listen to your mom when she tells you no...she is right and it is good that you finish out the season. You WILL miss playing basketball one day!

It is ok that you never seem to catch the eye of any of the boys you like. It is even more ok that you won't be able to go to prom with either of the guys you want to take you. Very soon you will meet the man that changes your life. In fact, when you go to A & M, run as quickly as you can to meet him at your work so that your lives together can start sooner! He is so worth it. Your marriage has been a brilliant balance of tough times, hard work, and enjoyable and amazing memories. You both challenge each other and work side by side to make your relationship work. And he has made you happy beyond anything you could have ever imagined you deserved in raising your girls together. Sure, it would have been nice to "date" some of those high school boys, but your life is no less rich because it didn't happen. And since you don't end up with them anyways, don't stress about prom. Have a good time with your friends because that is what prom is supposed to be.

You will achieve you goal of being a high school history teacher. Yay for you! I hesitate to tell you that it might not be what you want when you get there. It has been great and rewarding, but really, really hard too. You are a really good teacher, but there are other jobs pulling at your heart later in life. I say, still go for it! I tell you this because I want you to know that it is ok if you don't have it all figured out right now. Coming from the 27 year old version of yourself, you still won't have it all figured out!!!

Keep being passionate! The issues you care about in high school are the same issues you will care about later in life. The interests you have in high school are the same interests too! You throw yourself so completely into things you care about and that is a good thing. People will even start looking to you for information about the things they know you care about and that is a really good feeling! You are smart at 16 and will be able to communicate that even better as you get older.

You are doing a great job with maintaining and putting yourself out their in friend and family relationships. Sometimes it doesn't seem like it is worth the effort, but it is. Keep working to build bridges with those you love, people will cross the bridges in time. Treasure the times spent at home on Saturday nights with your family, enjoy going to football games with friends, and delight in the time with classmates, teammates, and teachers at school. Some of these relationships will serve you well later in life.

Overall, 16 year old self, you are amazing. I am so glad to know where you are going because 27 is a pretty amazing place to be. Your life sort of turns out the way you want and sort of doesn't. But you are pretty blessed and you deserve good things!

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