Monday, May 11, 2015

32 Things to Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

I wrote the following post four years ago but so much has happened since then.  On the eve of my 33rd birthday, I came up with a few things I'd like to add.

September 2011

If I could have a chat with my 16-year-old self, this is what I would say...

Don’t stand on a chair on your 21st birthday and yell, “Everyone look, it's Bob Marley! Bob Marley is here!” It’s rude.

Use sunscreen. Wear sunglasses. Drink water. Wash your face at night.

You will not have everything figured out by the time you turn 30. But what a relief—how boring would life be if you did?

Your breath will be taken away so many times: Finishing a half marathon, looking up from a scrapbook to see your boyfriend down on one knee, and watching your baby’s heartbeat light up the screen are just a few...

When you’re with someone who’s the life of the party, your laughter will never be enough. Date them anyway—it'll allow you to appreciate the one who makes you laugh when no one else is around.

Quit eating crap. Your fast metabolism doesn’t last forever and bad habits are hard to break.

Thank your parents for making travel/vacations a priority. You've seen more sights than most your age.

Very soon you’ll have a dance party in the garage with Julie and Leslie. Have someone record it because you’ll reminisce about it forever.

Being class president is not necessary to get into college, but I’m proud of you for doing it. 12 years from now, you’ll help throw a pretty fantastic reunion.

The lessons you learn from your college friends will far outweigh the lessons you learn in the classroom. It’s ok to miss a few classes due to the memories you made the night before.

….But don’t miss too many classes, otherwise you’ll have reoccurring nightmares for the rest of your life.

Don’t hold grudges. It’s a waste of time and bitterness is not attractive.

You will not live in Fort Smith forever. Breathe.

Watch some soccer games in college—not all TU soccer players are jerks (one, in fact, is the nicest boy you'll ever meet).

Pay attention in German class. You’ll need it when you live in Deutschland for a month.

Spend more time getting to know John Paul and Matt Richard—their memories will far exceed their lives.

Your thoughts on politics and religion will change.

Just because someone is a grown up does not mean they've grown up. Immaturity can last a lifetime if you let it. Don’t let it.

Hug your parents every chance you get. You’ll miss those hugs when you live four hours away.

Your brother is better at math. Quit trying to compete and enjoy being the “fun one.”

Marriage is a slumber party every night with your best friend. But that friend will try to steal your pillow, so watch out.

Love yourself. Be proud of yourself. And rock those ridiculously short shorts while you still can. 


May 2015

Mom and Dad love you, no strings attached.  From day one they have cared for you, prayed for you, and treasured you.  You'll tell them you understand and sometimes won't believe them but you won't have a clue until you have your own.  And then you'll sit back and wonder how you ever doubted.

Babysit more.  You need practice.

Your heart is worth protecting.  Be careful with your relationships.

The doctor told you your scoliosis would make pregnancy painful.  You'll carry two large babies and never suffer any back pain until week 37 where you will Google,  "How to deliver twins at home."  Just kidding.  You probably don't even know what Google is yet.

Don't give up your dream of writing a book one day.

The month of May is fun.  The month of October is magical.

The two greatest days of your life will look nothing alike.   One you will look and feel beautiful, walking down the aisle toward your soon-to-be husband.  The other will start on a surgical table, where you will look and feel your worst.  By the end of both days, you will be forever grateful.

At some point in the near future, someone will hit the fast forward button and life will suddenly move very quickly.  I'm currently twice your age (for one more day), and the last 16 years have flown.  Don't ever wish a day away.  They go by fast enough on their own.

You are so very fortunate.  You have some tough days ahead of you that I so badly wish you wouldn't have to face, but you will never walk them alone.

You know how you always complain you never win anything?  When you turn 30, you'll win the lottery.  Their names are Jude & Sloane and they are the two best things that have ever happened to you and that cute soccer player.

17-year-old me

32-year-old me 


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