I recently received a Facebook notice of my 30th High School reunion. I am nearly 50 years old, I have a teen age son and a daughter nearly out of her teens, but being a teenager feels like it was yesterday. I am not a person who looks back at my teen age years fondly OR negatively. But If I could talk to the teenage version of myself, here’s what I’d tell me.:
1. The mirror lies.
2. You’re your own worst critic.
3. Don’t ever apologize for being ambitious.
4. Your heart will get broken — but it will heal, too.
5. Don’t just love your mom and dad, befriend them. They’ll swear they’re just your parents and not your friend, but you both know the unspoken truth.
5. Try and do one random act of kindness everyday. You’ll benefit yourself and your community.
6. You’ll always be well-dressed if you’re wearing a smile.
7. Being smart, kind and honest trumps “sexy,” “hot” and “athletic” any day. (and I was NONE of those)
8. Always value people for their heart.
9. You’re appreciated.
10. Advocate for something that means a lot to you. YOU MUST STAND FOR SOMETHING
11. Don’t let the ignorant and superficial opinions of others destroy your self-confidence.
12. Learn the art of composure is stressful situations
13. Stand up for what’s right no matter how difficult it is at the time.
14. You don’t have to be religious, but be spiritual. Discover what you believe in.
15. You’ll never be younger than you are today. Comprehend the magnitude of that and enjoy every moment.
16. Stop wishing away time so things you want to happen will “hurry up.” There will be a time, sooner than you know, when you’ll want to set the clock back.
17. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Don’t forget to behold their character when deeming someone attractive.
18. “Things have a way of working out.”
19. Treat your body well! Your current self will look and feel better, and your future self will thank you.
20. “Everything happens for a reason.” Really. Even if it is a really sucky reason
21. Say “I love you” whenever you can. It never gets old.
22. You can’t put a price on happiness.
23. “A smooth ship never made a skilled sailor.”
24. Keep marching to the beat of your own drum.
25. Your bullies will be eating their words in a few years. It’s okay to prove people wrong…especially when they doubt and/or ridicule you.
27. Don’t be afraid to branch out and make new friends.
28. Blood is thicker than water.
29. Confidence not only attracts people, but opportunities and situations as well. Keep working at it.
30. Go with your gut. It rarely fails.
31. Follow your heart, because you may just be following your happiness, too.
32. It’s okay, eat another slice of pizza. You never know when you will get back to Montelioni’s
33. Enjoy snow days while you have them.
34. You’re never too old to watch cartoons.
35. You’re here for a reason.
36. No dream is unattainable.
What would YOU tell your teenage self?