Dear 15 year old me.

Dear me,

Firstly, stop worrying about how you look, act and what people think of you.ย Don’t worry about your braces, you will be thankful for having had them later on. And although your hair is neither curly nor straight, don’t worry, in about 25 years wavy will be all the rage, just you wait and see.

Don’t worry that you are too skinny, too pale, too loud, too silly…simply be you. In just a few years, you will meet someone who loves the quirky, crazy, can’t-calm-down parts of you and he will help you come to love that side of you too, and you will wonder why you ever questioned who you were.

You have a mix of independence and longing to fit in – that’s okay, the two can work together. Use your longing to fit in to figure out who you really are, to help you make good decisions and then stand by them afterwards. Use it to give you compassion for those whose desire to belong overcomes their good sense and causes them to treat you, and others, badly. And use your independence to become strong and brave, and with a heart set on justice, ready to forge your own path.

And all those dreams you have right now? Don’t ever stop dreaming. Some of them have come true and some are still waiting to happen. It doesn’t matter…sometimes it’s the dreaming that is important, not just the realisation of them.

Don’t be bothered by the fact that you don’t have many friends. When you are older, you will have friendships that are rich and amazing and go far beyond what you could even imagine right now. And you mother is right…other 15 year old girls are threatened by sassy, funny, honest girls like you, and will treat you badly because of their own insecurities, so listen to her advice. You will need it later on, too, as you will be dealing with the same issues except the insecure girls will now just be insecure women. And you will learn, somewhere in your 30’s, how to really determine which women are worth the while. And you will be able to relax and let friendships grow and allow people to really see the you inside. So don’t worry that you don’t have that now; it’s coming, and it’s worth the wait.

Work harder at school. Your parents are right – you DO have a good brain in your head. Yes, you are good dancer, and yes, you will get into that performing arts school, but life has a funny way of changing things on us and it’s good to have a back up plan just like your parent’s told you to have. Listen to them!

Remember these days. You will one day have daughters and you will need to remember what it was like to be 15, to be able to truthfully look into their tear filled eyes and say you understand. Because you will understand. Because you have lived and have felt things that are universal and unique, all at once.

And love? It will come and it will be better than in any of those books you are reading, better than on the TV shows you are watching, like 90210, and more satisfying than anyone will ever be able to tell you. It will be rocky, really rocky, and you will wonder at the beginning if it will be worth it. I can tell you, it is. So push through, don’t despair and don’t give up.

And the biggest thing I would say to you?

Don’t lose your passion. Don’t lose yourself. For you were made you for a reason. It’s cliched but there really is no-one like you.

Don’t waste it. Embrace it, enjoy it, share it. For you will learn that giving of yourself to the world is one of the best ways to change it and is the greatest gift you can give.

Love (finally) from me.

9 thoughts on “Dear 15 year old me.

  1. “It’s the dreaming that is important.” Love that. I am coming up on going through the teen years yet again – the grandsons are a few years away, but I see it coming. And listen to your parents! Most teens forget that their parents were teens once. Though the gadgets were different (or lack thereof), it’s the SSDD for all of us.

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    • Yes, I imagine you will be saying to your son when he is exasperated with his teenage boys “But remember when you were like that…?” I know my parents sometimes have to remind me in relation to my own kids ๐Ÿ™‚
      And yes, there is an affinity in feelings even if the gadgets and circumstances are a bit different – we’ve all been there!

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  2. Wonderful post! Wish I had seen it at 15. I do have something, though, that’s worth hauling out once in a while. As a sophmore in college, I took a class on personality development and had to write a paper on the development of my own. We had a detailed outline to follow and with all the wisdom of my 19 years or so, I dutifully addressed every point on the outline. Oh my…at least I have a picture of who I was, or thought I was, and where I thought I was going at 19. Every 10 years or so, I drag it out and have a good laugh. Amazingly, I had some fairly accurate insights even then. I think it’s important that ever so often we reflect on this wonderful gift of life.

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    • Yes, I wish I’d seen it at 15 too! How wonderful to have the paper you wrote at 19…I have many, many journals from that age, which when I do pull out, induce a mixture of embarrassment and surprise – surprise because I actually KNEW stuff! Reflection is so very important, at every age. When I am 60 I wonder what I will wish my 40 year old self knew, and if only I could actually know that now! ๐Ÿ™‚

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