Sunday, September 23, 2012

dear 16 year old tia

Dear 16 year old Tia,
You don't know me yet, but you will, sooner than you think.
I am you.
All grown up.
I thought I would write you this little note to tell you a few things.
Cause, you know, I've been there.
And I know all about your hopes and dreams.
And I know how unsure of yourself you are.
Where shall we start?
Let's begin with the easy stuff:
Stop double cuffing your t-shirts.
You look like a dork.
Study more.
You are way too social.
I know you are doing fine is school.
But seriously, put forth a little more effort.
Who knows where it might take you.
For the love, wear sunscreen.
My 35 year old self just discovered an age spot on my hands.
Not cool.
So lather up, buttercup.
Learn to walk in high heels.
Just trust me on this one.
Ok, onto tougher subjects:
Be nicer to your friends.
I know you think you are, but you don't spend near enough time with them.
I know you are a solitary sort, but trust me, girlfriends are important.
I have the best ever now, so trust me on this one.
Grow a pair, sister.
You are such a baby!
Do all the things you want to do, but are so afraid you are going to fail at.
Go out for the cross country team.
Ask that cute boy out.
Wear the sweater you like, even though a certain friend called it hideous.
Party.  Just once.  Have a beer for crying out loud.  Because of you I can barely tolerate it today.

Study Literature and Writing in college.
Or Business.
Or Library Science.
You won't do this one, but I thought it was worth a shot.
I know you don't know what you want to do, but don't pick Health Science.
It will get you nowhere.
Now for the most important stuff:
When Chris asks you to dance, DO IT.
It will be the single best decision you ever make in your whole life.
I know you just got your heart broken for the first time.
I know it just about the last thing you want to do,
but do it.
I mean it.
This is serious.
You will fall in love so hard with him, your head will spin.
And he will make you happy at 16.
And 24.
And 35.
And he will give you a beautiful daughter.
Leave Parker.
I know it is your home.
I know the thought of leaving is terrifying.
But it is the second most important decision you will ever make.
And trust me, you need this.
Everything will be fine.
People won't forget you.
And you have no idea the joy that awaits you in the world.
There are people out there waiting to love you and show you things you will never learn if you stay.
Spend time with your mother.
As much as you possibly can.
Hug her all the time and tell her you love her.
When she wants to teach you how to make dumplings, stop rolling your eyes and pay attention.
When she asks you to take a walk, get off your butt and go.
When she wants to teach you to sew, learn.
Don't talk back.
Help her clean the house.
Ask all the embarrasing questions.
You don't have as much time with her as you thing you do.
Make every single second count.
You will miss her someday.
Even though it doesn't seem like it now.
So there.
I guess that is about it.
I know I sound all old and stodgy.
I can't help it.
I am 35.
Ancient in your eyes.
Do all the things I mentioned and you will have no regrets.
Well, not many, anyway.
I love you.
Take care of yourself.


Jessilyn said...

Tia, I was reading this and it made me feel a whole range of emotions. Wouldn't it be so nice to go back and sit down with your younger self? Currently, I'd like to jump in a time machine and meet 35 year old Jessilyn. Because I really want to know that she makes it out okay : ) Reading your post though makes me think that 35 Jessilyn will be, thanks for posting!

Denise said...

i like this.

i saw this writing a letter to your teenage self at "chatting at the sky." i did one years ago, and considered joining her for now, but haven't.

so much i would say to 16 year old me. so much. like lay off the aqua net and grow out your bangs!