Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Words For My 17 Year Old Self

Like they say hind sight is 20/20.
There are a few things I wish I could've said to my 17 year old self. Not that I would've listened to much because frankly I was a big jerk. Above and beyond the typical 17 year old jerkiness - I was actually a juvenile delinquent. A frequent phrase I heard my dad say in my teenage years was "God damn it Thea". I swear that phrase was my name. But maybe just hearing wise words would've made me stop for a second and think.

I wish I could've said that no matter what anyone says to you if you've done wrong at 17 it is not the end of the world. There is no script prewritten for your life. You do not have to follow a predestined path just because you "messed up". You are very young and it's your time to make mistakes. There are shorter ways to achieving things but some take the long hard road. Sometimes that makes life richer.

I wish I would've confirmed that friends are very important. If you are lucky enough to have grown up with a handful of friends try to stay in touch through the years. Its a truly humbling feeling when you reminiscence with those who knew you then. Talking with old friends is like going "home". And the 35 year old self knows that it's surprising to see how many pass on much too young. Enjoy them and their company while you can, because if you are like most folks you come from a dysfunctional family and they will be your family.

I would've like to say that being 30 isn't bad at all and it's not old. Most who are 30 something are still figuring stuff out. Also that most of the problems you have now, someone telling you what to do, your best friend's boyfriend leaves her for someone else, yada yada ya are all still problems for you in your older self's life. Now you just have bills to pay and kids of your own to feed.

I wish I could've said that the guy you first loved will the only one you love freely, honestly and stupidly. No one else will ever receive love in that way from you ever again. First love is so true and simple. You will breathe him in, fall head over heels in love and you'll never forget his smell, smile or silly mannerisms even after its long done. Every love after that comes reservations from past hurt and though they might be small there will be walls that you put up to protect yourself from hurt. That first love is a special one so be picky and cry a lot when its over. If he cries too thats how you know he loved you as much as you loved him.

I wish I could've whispered that - you don't HAVE to get married. A man will not fulfill your life nor will he ever complete you. That is something you discover for yourself on your own. You hope that you find someone who compliments you not completes you. That way it never gets boring. That way you are still you and you can be individuals who choose to compliment each other. I know this now after I've seen many marriages fail.

I wish I could've said that compromise is the baseline in life. Many disappointments pop up as you walk along into the future and some can be devastating in the moment but there is always a way out it just might not be the one you thought it would be. It will be okay as long as that is your goal. No need to get so hotheaded and argue to the death because you think you are right. Push your passionate feelings into doing something good.

I wish I could've said many things to my 17 year old self, tell your dad you love him and hug more than you did, show off your mid waist more because having babies messes that shit up, stay up late and watch the stars with friends, don't bother wearing too much make up because your skin is perfect.
The 17 year old me
I see myself and my close friends aging but I still see their 17 year old faces in them and it is fun to reflect on where we've come from, where we've been and where we're going to. Since saying all of the things above isn't possible and many things have passed by like anyone else's life I say these things to my children.  How about you? What would you like to tell your 17 year old self?


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