There was a trending topic on Twitter recently where people tweeted their sixteen year old selves.
Instead of Twitter, I thought I’d use my blog as a launch pad with which to hurl myself on the bandwagon now instead of doing what I usually do with anything that’s current or trendy or “in” which is to wait until it’s not and then completely immerse myself in it. This usually occurs anywhere from ten minutes to ten years after the fact, right around the time when no one gives a crap about whatever it was anymore and I’m left by the side of the road wearing my Bump-It, aviator sunglasses, Ed Hardy t-shirt and zippered, two-tones jeans yelling SHIT! ANYBODY SEE A BANDWAGON AROUND HERE?
So step away from the boombox and listen up, sixteen year old Andy:
Blue and green eyeshadow? Really? Stop it.
Perms are not your friends. Never have been, never will be.
I know it won’t stop you from agonizing over it but hear me out … you *will* get your driver’s license and then you’ll never have to parallel park again in your life.
It’s not all about you. Not even close.
The extent to which alcoholism will affect your life will be devastating and leave you broken and reeling. Focus. Be strong. It’s not like you’ll have a choice.
Don’t go to the senior ball with Jay. Unless you actually want him to feel you up. Which you won’t.
In the spring, you will have an Intro to Computers assignment in which you will have to write a program to get a digital match to light a digital candle and have it melt down to its digital wick. You will get a “C” on it because it will melt but it will do so diagonally to the left while leaving one big glob of digital wax floating in the middle of your screen. Listen, whatever you do, don’t give up. Take computer graphics and web design in college. Please. I’m begging you. Twenty-five years from now, you’re going to be redesigning something called a blog and your header is going to wind up scrolling off your monitor and your widgets are going to be all wonky and you’re going to be yelling and hysterically crying and curling up into a fetal position and a fat hell of a lot of good your criminal justice degree is going to do you then.
I know your twin brother is one enormous pain in the ass right now but there will come a time when each of you will see the value in the other. He will become one of the most important and loved people in your life. So you might want to think twice about punching him in the groin next week.
Make peace with your boobs. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
That guy you just sneered at? The one to whom you muttered “get a room” under your breath because he was looking for his tongue down his girlfriend’s throat over by the lockers? In eight years, you’re going to be his wife and you will find yourself going ten rounds with your mother over whether to celebrate that fact over a buffet or sit-down dinner.
Stick to your guns and demand the buffet because it’s going to be delicious and fourteen years from now, when you become his ex-wife, you’ll be able to count that meal, along with your three year old daughter and a set of awesome former in-laws, as the three best things to come out of that marriage.
Speaking of daughters, you’re going to have two of them! And two husbands. Gobsmacked much?
Your second husband will be wearing a ridiculous 3/4 length wetsuit when you meet him. He will also spend $80 on a chia pet at one point and use the word “negatory” more than once. Try to get past it.
Nothing goes with green and red plaid furniture. Nothing.
You will fall in love with San Francisco. Three times.
The nose you carry on your face now will not be the nose you carry around later. Believe me, we’re all relieved.
Guess what? You actually like children. Your own will be so much nicer than the ones you’re currently babysitting, if only because they won’t whip off their diapers and smear their feces into their spaghettios while you’re earning $1.00 an hour plus tip.
You will be a better mother to your kids than you think you’ll be but nowhere near as good of one as you hope you’ll be.
Enjoy your flat stomach. Soon it will be squooshy and glisten with 850 stretch marks and you’ll look like an out of shape Cullen who’s been left in the sun too long.
Just so you know, Cullen is the name of a vampire family in a popular book series in the next millennium. Your teenage daughter will be completely enamored with them but eventually find herself siding with a half-naked werewolf. I know. I don’t get it either. Except for the half naked part. You will always be a sucker for a great set of abs.
If only I could show you the cold sores you will eventually suffer. Holy Hell. They’ll make those few zits you’re agonizing over look more like a unicorn sneezed little gifts of happy happy joy joy all over your face.
You will overcome adversity, the likes of which you cannot even fathom at this point in your life, which will make that trigonometry test tomorrow pale in comparison. You are stronger than you think, even though you have the arm strength of overcooked linguine and will fail to achieve even one pull up in gym class later on today.
When someone named Gene approaches you in a bar during Christmas break in 1985, run. And don’t look back.
Hang on to your skinny jeans. But ditch the waist-length, two-tone leather jacket. My God, what the hell were you thinking?
Assholes come in all shapes, sizes and ages and you will date a lot of them and by the time you get to my age, you will have a slew of bad choices under your belt but you will discover that out of all of them, your rockiest relationship will ultimately be with God.
Please, please, please, don’t get into that truck. Your back and your soul will pay a far higher price for that one single act alone than all of your foolish, stupid, teenage and early twenties crap combined.
You won’t follow a lot of my advice. You will screw up. You will fail almost as much, if not more, than you succeed and some of your failures will be of epic proportions. But try to remember that each victory and every defeat will mold you into the person who is writing this post and that person? She’s not so terribly bad. Among other things, she graduated college summa cum laude, recently lost 45 pounds, once owned her own business, is raising two awesome girls who tell her every day that they love her, is teaching one of them to drive, just helped the other one rock a Halloween costume, loves all kinds of music and people, can run two miles without vomiting, still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life but chooses to view that as opportunity instead of a character flaw, takes her marriage vows seriously, and continues to persevere despite the heartbreaking choices of loved ones which pierce her heart and blister her soul. Because that’s what you do when you’re a grown up.
What would you say to your sixteen year old self?