Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Letter To My Teenage Self

This post was written a little while back in response to this writing challenge over at Mom's Daily Dose. I saved it for a time such as this when I have nothing to give you, and my readership is dwindling because all I write about is my booty. Spoils. Winnings. Whatever!

You can read some other people's letters to their dumb teenage selves too, by clicking on that link.

I wish I had some nasty old picture of myself in high school so you can see who I am writing to, but I burned all those before leaving Ohio.


Letter to My Teenage Self (circa 1982)


Hi, its me, from 2007!

Yeah, weird, huh?

I just wanted to write and let you know that you rock! Don’t believe me, huh? Yeah, well that’s a self esteem thing you are going to carry around for awhile before you get over it. But you know, all those popular girls are going through it too, they just hide it better.

So, lets see, it’s a good opportunity to give you some good advice.

First thing’s first. Stop Brushing Your Hair!! No really… Do you want to stop looking like a bush? Get some of that stuff that some of the girls use to make their bangs really tall. It’s new. It’s called Gel. Wash your hair, rub this stuff on, scrunch it with your hands, and don’t brush your hair!! Just let it air dry! You will look far more like Farrah Fawcett if you do this, than you do now using that curling iron to make that “tube” down the side of your hair. And if you insist on curling your hair back, get it feathered for god’s sake!

Next, you remember that interview with Joseph Campbell where he talks about his theory called Follow Your Bliss, where if you don’t know what to do with yourself, just aim yourself towards whatever feels blissful and you will go forward on a path that will bring you happiness? Remember how you thought that might be a good way to live your life?

It is. Do it.

For now, though, don’t worry so much about everything. High school FEELS so incredibly important, but really it’s not. In fact, looking back, I have so few memories of high school because I almost never ever think about it. Or I blocked it out. One or the other.

And stop trying to fit in so much. All those popular people who are big fishes in that little pond, are going to be LOST in college, I tell ya!


One of them, who you will swear now doesn’t even know your name, will stop you on a sidewalk at college and talk about how long it’s been, and ask you to hang out. You might want to be slightly more polite to her than I was. That’s just the kind thing to do. She probably feels in college like you do now, in high school.

So, college? You are gonna LOVE IT!! So much so, that you will attend about six of them. You will thrive like you never did in high school. You are eventually going to have this urge to follow your bliss across country to California, which will lead to a cheap education in junior college. Do it. You will make some of the best friends of your life there, and they will be the ones you stick with and who support you through the years, even if visits with some of them are few and far between. You will have your first real long term boyfriend there too, and will stay friends with him forever.

That idea of taking theater classes for fun because no one REALLY makes a living in theater?


A few of those friends are going to do pretty darn well for themselves. At first I was tempted to just tell you to quit floundering around and go major in theater, but if you do, you may never meet your future husband (yes, it does EVENTUALLY happen) who is currently 9 years old as you read this. Yep.

And by the way… he is going to be everything you want in a man.

And more.

Before that though, you are going to have to go through some hard-lesson-learning. You are going to date a guy for three years. He will teach you SO FREAKING MUCH about life. He is so wonderful, and such a mess at the same time. He will shape your philosophy of life, religion, politics, what music you listen too. He will steer you toward the person I am today. He is not easy to live with. Stick it out. But only for two years. That last year? It was a year too long. Don’t believe him when he says he is nothing without you. He will be just fine.

You will eventually work in professional theater and it will be the most creatively rewarding thing you do until you have children.

And, oh, about the children. That idea of tea parties and pink tutus and playing house?

Ain’t gonna happen.

No matter how much you or your future husband plan on having little girls? Again, ain’t gonna happen. Three boys. All completely different from each other. All completely awesome. Start studying little boys now. They are mystifying.

Basically, if you follow your bliss, everything is going to work out for the best. You are going to feel like you are constantly blessed. You do most of the broad strokes just right.

Otherwise, I would say...

*Travel internationally more.

*Stay away from that DJ in Anaheim, he’s married, but he won’t tell you that.

*Keep the hotel room door closed if you are ever passing through Las Vegas with a cat.

*That year in Davis, CA? Nothing really gained. Waste of time. Except you get to live in a Victorian flat and a warehouse loft. That’s cool.

*Floss! My teeth are a mess thanks to you. You owe me 3000 dollars!

Oh, and you know that little company called Microsoft? And that little nest egg you have been saving? Spend it all! Buy stock. As much as you can.

No, really.

Karen, circa 2007


Snowbird said...

Wow, what a neat idea. I don't think I can even remember back that far!!! Oh by the way, I have some pictures of you at that age. I didn't burn mine. Do you want them? :-)

Katrina Stonoff said...

Oh, I LOVE this! What a charming letter.

I especially like the tip about cats in Las Vegas. ROFL. Did you get the cat back?

Elaine said...

Love this!

Still having trouble grasping that you are 10 years older than me. Doesn't even seem possible.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Yeah, after 24 hours of wandering the industrial backroads of Vegas, she came back to the hotel room and snuck in while the maid's cleaned... they had kept all the doors wide open. I was, by then, in a different motel, because the first one was cranky I snuck a cat in.

Elaine... yeah, when I was a kid, we had to walk up hill to school, and up a higher one home... with no shoes! Which were too tight!! Not like in your day. 10 years later. You youngster, you! hee hee...

Okay... I stole that from somewhere... I ain't quite that funny.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Ack... my peeve is when folks use apostrophes incorrectly and I just did it... and stupid blogger doesn't allow you to edit your comments!


elaine@bloginmyeye said...

What a great post! You got the tone to your teenage self just right. I'm sure she will totally listen to you. ;) Owlhaven has a good one of these. Dear Me in 1983, I think. My own letter to my teenage self is still on my someday list. Thanks for the inspiration.

Meleah the Mommy said...

I love this post! I may just have to steal this idea sometime soon. Thanks for sharing, it was a really fun read.

carrie said...


Thanks for commenting on my blog today. I've gotten some great advice about holiday birthdays! Wahoo, December 20!

JeSais said...

what a fun idea! I don't know that I am grown up enough to tell my teenage self anything!

Gumby said...

and, Karen circa 1982, ...

no matter how you want to believe it, you will never, EVER, get to marry Simon Le Bon. Ever.