Quite a few bloggers have written lovely posts to their younger selves ( Kate, Emma Jane, Abel). Each one has been inspiring, and made me wonder what I would say to myself at sixteen. I am double that in age, a woman now, and there are days those years separating us seem just a moment, and others, a lifetime. They are a lifetime, to that girl.
Your parents love you. Remember that, because for the next few years it will be hard to understand. The things they say and do will hurt you, but you know who you are and that will not change. You’ll all find your place again, with time and distance, so don’t worry over the things you cannot prevent.
Don’t waste time on your first roommates at college, you won’t be with them long, and the ones who take their place will become lifelong friends. You’ll go to their weddings (some more than once) and hold their babies. You’ll share history and memories and secrets. You’ll tell them things you never thought you would, and they’ll embrace you – every part of you.
You will give up on your dream, and that will be hard, but you’ll find a new one; it will make you happy and fulfilled. You’ll do small things, hard things, but they will be amazing in a way you never guessed. Again, people will not understand your choices, but you will, and they’re your choices to make.
You’ll lose someone, and for the first time you’ll know what it is to wish for their presence. You’ll wonder if she is watching you, although you don’t believe in such things. You’ll hope to make her happy and proud. You haven’t quite decided if you have.
You’ll make lots of mistakes, and I wish I could tell you not to, but I don’t think you’ll listen. You have to make them for yourself, just to know. You’ll see amazing places and want to see so many more – I hope you get the chance. You’ll stay involved in your community and do good things. I’m proud of you for that, although I won’t tell you enough.
That other thing… the one that makes your pulse quicken and your breath catch? It isn’t a phase, as your parents hope (see note above). The stories you read on the internet late at night when everyone is asleep? Some day you will write them. You will be spanked for the first time sooner than you think, and it will be nothing like you expected and everything you hoped for all at once. It only gets better.
You’ll do things you never thought you would. They’ll make you blush, so I won’t describe them here. You’ll have to find out on your own – it will be better that way. You’ll regret some of them. I’m sorry for that. More often, though, you will thrive. You will find power and strength in things which seem antithetical to them, don’t ask questions, just enjoy.
Mostly I think I would say, we’re a work in progress. I wonder what the next me will say to this one, sixteen years down the road…