To My Teenage Self:

For some reason I was thinking about what I would say to myself if I could go back in time to when I graduated high school.  Without destroying the space time continuum, of course.

Guess what?  Your beliefs haven’t changed – they only got stronger when tested.  And you have more of them.  You are still Pro Choice.  You are a still a fan of the underdog.  You are still suspicious of organized religion.

You know all those things people said you would regret when you were older?  Hasn’t happened yet.  I think at 39 years old, you can stop worrying about what effect those tattoos will have on your life, and those other assorted things that people are sure will ruin you.   Although you should start wearing more sunscreen.

When you wrote in your yearbook statement that you’d rather be working at McDonald’s and be happy than be a rich lawyer and be miserable, you were exactly right.  You don’t make a lot of money but you like your job – that’s why you keep it and haven’t tried to move up in your field.  You’ve seen your supervisor’s job.  You don’t want it.

Sorry, but you didn’t go from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.  You are still quirky, but you make it work.  There are a lot of people who love you.  Your sense of humor is outstanding and self-esteem is pretty high.  Once you go to college, you’ll finally feel the relief of not being the weirdest person in the room.  Most of the time.  The other times, you won’t give a shit because you know you are magnificent.

When you have your wisdom teeth taken out sophomore year, you won’t die during the surgery.  I know it’s your first time having general anesthesia, but you’ll wake up, I promise.  It’s not worth all that worry.  The next year when your appendix is about to burst, you’ll be happy to go under.  Speaking of that appendix – you are the only one who knows what is really wrong so don’t believe all those dumb-asses (including the college doctor) who think it’s the stomach flu.  Go home and see your pediatrician.  And then get a grown-up doctor, for crying out loud, you’re almost 20 years old!

You won’t get the college degree you were expecting, and your part time job will lead you to a career that you didn’t even know existed.  You’ll spend a lot of time explaining to others what you do.

The heartbreak of being dumped is painful, but you get over it.  So over it.  You’ll look at that person years later when they friend you on Facebook and feel nothing but amusement.  You’ll enjoy seeing pictures of their kids.

The heartbreak of dumping your soul-mate was a surprise you didn’t expect.  It comes and goes.  You’ll look at that person years later when they friend you on Facebook and feel an invisible fist punching you in the gut.  You’ll look at pictures of their kids and wonder if those would have been yours.

Appreciate your sleep while you can.  Later in life you’ll develop “sleep maintenance insomnia” and it sucks.  You’ll also be diagnosed with various immune system problems and it will freak you out because the doctor who tells you is a jerk.  It will cause you some problems but on the whole you are lucky to have things pretty mild so far.

Take more pictures of the Star Car, Doc, Grandma and Grandpa P.  You’ll miss them when they’re gone. So much.

You’re probably not having kids and that’s probably for the best.  But you will have an adorable niece and nephew  and I bet they’ll do amazing things.

Your brother…has not been so successful in life so far.  I desperately want to advise you on how to help him be happier and achieve greater things, but I’m not exactly sure yet what went wrong and where. Everyone has a different theory on this.  My measure of success has always been happiness and I’m just hoping for the best.

You get married and for a long time will wonder what the hell you were thinking.  Not because you don’t love your husband – you do – but he comes with a lot of baggage.  (I’m sure he’d say that about us too.)  Things start to work out eventually but it’s really hard for many years.  There are things I could suggest to do differently but I honestly don’t know if they would make a difference.  Things are better these days.

Other random spoilers: You’ll do a lot of travelling – don’t forget that “sortie” means EXIT in French or you’ll never get out of the Paris subway system.  Buy a Nikon instead of that Canon Rebel.  Do NOT ignore the call from the doctor about the abnormal pap.  Don’t bother opening that Roth IRA because the economy tanks shortly after and takes your money with it.  Tape record (with permission) more conversations from your messed up friends in college.  Those conversations are just as hilarious @20 years later as you thought they’d be.

Remember that it doesn’t matter if people are laughing at you or with you.  The important thing is that you make people laugh.

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About deepfriedyankee

I am a parade of one. A seeker of bathtubmarys. A lover of Mardi Gras, bacon and marbles. I have the patience of a saint. A very, very flawed saint.
This entry was posted in Humor, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to To My Teenage Self:

  1. Mandy says:

    I probably have about a million comments to this, but I’ll stick with this. What, I don’t make the list? It’s just because you know I’ll be reading it and commenting, isn’t it? 😉

  2. read.robin says:

    I liked this! It was touching and funny and also a bit wistful. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  3. Beautifully real! A wise post. It dowses me with a reality check I need… Thanks!

  4. cool post…..i was such a twit as a teenager and in my twenties….but now i know who i am and all that nonsense is relevant….i think ive yurned out ok despite all the stupid things ive done…..im happy and have realized that i would have been so much earlier if i just realized that i am who i am……life is a journey to be enjoyed with the company (yourself) not a destination that you arrive at as a stranger……

  5. CharmedYogi says:

    Reblogged this on A Charmed Yogi and commented:
    What a wonderful post on perspective.

  6. Oh, I love this post! This is brilliant and beautiful. It motivates me to try something similar. Well done! And congrats on Freshly Pressed! Hang on for the ride!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  7. Reblogged this on TheBoringLifeOfSteph! and commented:
    I wonder if this is what I will be thinking like in the future 🙂

  8. jolean says:

    I love this post of yours. It made me think about what I would say to my teenage self. =)

  9. dinkerson says:

    Good grief, I really enjoyed that. Lol, I got goose bumps, a lump in my throat, and I laughed more than once while reading this. Very well done 🙂

  10. Martyna says:

    I liked the post, but for some reason i felt sad after reading it 😦

  11. aslamrahaman says:

    Reblogged this on Aslam Rahaman, Author and commented:
    Let’s ask to ourselves….

  12. thepoolman says:

    Very good post. I laughed out loud at “… don’t forget that “sortie” means EXIT in French or you’ll never get out of the Paris subway system.” It is so true. Keep up the good work!

  13. Steven Wantz says:

    I enjoyed reading this. I sincerely think many people could learn much from doing exactly what you did and reflecting on what they planned to do compared with what they actually did. It would probably surprise a lot of people.

  14. Cool post.. I may be just 18 years old, but you did make a presage of my future..Thank you!!
    Cheers ! Mate 😀

  15. this is only kind of related, but i just read a blog post yesterday from someone who discovered a website where you can write a letter to your future self and they email it to you on the day you suggested. kind of backwards version of talking to your teenage self.

    solid read though, thank you for sharing! x

  16. Michelle says:

    I would say a LOT of the same things to my teenage self – you helped me take a moment to do just that! Loved it.

  17. Nisha says:

    brilliant post! loved each thought.

  18. g0ddamn1t says:

    This was written really well, love your humor it reminds me of my own. I’d be too afraid to write back in time to me, there’s always a chance I’d make it worse, my luck. Can’t wait to read more, couldn’t hit follow fast enough.

  19. shelconnors says:

    Great post- I laughed, and (nearly) cried while reading it, and it make me really think. You’ve made a new follower out of me 🙂

  20. Loved the part about the camera!!! I want to buy a DSLR but not sure nikon or canon rebel.. you helped

  21. Linus says:

    Sounds like it would be a long conversation…do you think your teenage self would be able to sit through all that?

    I felt a bit sad too…don’t you have any good news for your younger version?

    • I’m alive and loved by many. I think that’s pretty good! I can’t lie and say I win the lottery or discovered the last unicorn or anything like that. We’ll save that for “Lies to My Teenage Self” 😉

  22. Loved this! I’m in my Yankee hometown for a high school reunion this week and thought this was appropriate! 🙂

  23. Oh wise one….fabulous post – congrats on FP! Very well deserved.

  24. Not sure why I’m telling you this, but that was an e’ffin awesome read! I didn’t know if you were a guy or a gal till half way through, and it honestly did not matter.

    The scary part is . . . 20 years from now, you would have words of wisdom for yourself this afternoon.

    Rock On!

  25. the_lunatic says:

    What a list! I love it!

  26. Reblogged this on Beautiful Girl and commented:
    This is a wonderful blog post. Quite reassuring – a calm, “deep breath” look into the future. Not everything will go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean that life will fall apart.

  27. I love this article no end, it is a lovely mix of fabulous and wistful and I really hope that I am as happy with myself in 20 odd years as you seem to be!

  28. Pragati says:

    Good work… !!! 🙂

  29. Molly says:

    I LOVE THIS! So crazy, I have been doing a series of blogs titled “Letters To My Younger Self” right now! I’m on part IV which just wrapped up the first year of college for me, and hope to pump out a couple more this week. I have really enjoyed writing them because it’s nice to see how far I’ve come. Again, really enjoyed your post and congrats on FP!

  30. Alexander says:

    Thanks! I have a shit day, but thanks to you I kind of got back my faith in future 🙂 Great post! Hugs

  31. Absolutely loved this post. I am only in my 20s myself, but constantly think about the past and what I would tell my younger self. This reflection certainly has inspired me to do something similar in the future. Best of luck.

  32. jasli98 says:

    I love this idea! It’s really creative. I love how you made this bittersweet and funny at the same time.
    Your line about how you should take more pictures of Doc, Star Car, and Grandparents really touched me.

    :)Check out my blog! http://thesolutiontolife.wordpress.com It’s just a week old! 🙂

  33. Very well-written and THOUGHTFUL post! I’ve felt the same way myself…and I’m greatly enjoying the fact that I was not shot, raped, murdered or otherwise maimed/violated while living in NYC, which my mother thought was a given. THANKS for sharing! 🙂

  34. hangryhippo says:

    Really lovely. Life throws us so many unpredictable curveballs, but it seems you’ve handled them with grace and humor. Keep it up.

  35. mary says:

    I just fould your blog. I LOVE IT. I am going to start reading it. As for this post I love it. I am going to do a post just like it. Thanks for the idea

  36. vixstar1314 says:

    This is awesome, I always wanted to do a post like this but keep forgetting. I love the way how you have put it into the correct contence and we do wonder all these things, but of course in reality we can’t really go back to “tell ourself” it’s all going to work out ok in the end. But writing a post like this is refreshing. Thanks for sharing =)
    Have faith in your past and in your present and future!

    • I had been meaning to do this for a long time too. Here’s the trick: find yourself in the back of a classroom for three hours, monitoring students going through training you already know by heart. It passes the time!

      • vixstar1314 says:

        ooh your a teacher? but I feel as I am still in my 20’s I am still in the confusing stages and life is still not ideal yet that I am not too sure what to write to myself..
        I have written something like this but only to “future me” lol….

  37. Congrats on being FB! I totally agree with your statement: You’re probably not having kids and that’s probably for the best. But you will have an adorable niece and nephew and I bet they’ll do amazing things.

    That is exactly how I feel, you placed my thoughts into writing! This was genius 🙂

  38. girlinshoes says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your post. I have wonder a 1000 times what would I say to my 17 year self… Oh the lessons, I could teach her… but at the end all I would tell her is to be happy!
    Great Post!!

  39. mommylaughs says:

    I dont know why this made me cry! Maybe because I see a little of myself in it.
    Good job!!

  40. societyred says:

    Really great work! Raw exposure is often good for us, nice job!

  41. outlawmama says:

    I love your blog name and your sense of humor and wisdom. I am 39 years old and took my turn as a miserable lawyer. I wish you could go back and talk to my younger self. Great post. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  42. This was really entertaining and fun to read. Great job! It makes me wonder what my future self will be like. 🙂

  43. virginia says:

    going through teenage befuddlement currently- ergg. i love your writing style, though (:

  44. Great post, made me think what advice, I would give to myself as a teenager. Choose the career that you enjoy doing, as nothing worse than slugging it out 20+ years, and hitting the reset button. Could have enjoyed a lot more quality time with the people I love.

  45. Absolutely beautiful article. The idea of being able to “speak” to your younger self is amazing. I am currently 20-years old now and will definitely be taking some of the advice you’ve told yourself to do. Thanks!

    http://thehonestlifeblog.wordpress.com/

  46. Wow, good post XD Wish I could get to lengths like you, but I’m only a teen myself. I think this is inspirational, and it’s just overall quite good XD

  47. rfljenksy says:

    Quirky and brilliant post.. as brilliant as this video of a man speaking directly with his 12 year old self (http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/man-has-conversation-with-his-12-year-old-self) Loved it like I loved your post.. inspired to write myself a letter.. could be freeing.. thanks for posting.

  48. Wisely and entertainly written. Thank you, Daniel
    http://thehumancond.wordpress.com

  49. Lori says:

    Loved it! So very, very true. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  50. I like the creative concept you developed for this piece. It’s also funny and well written.

  51. It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. (Please don’t think I’m a weirdo for saying that.) But we do — right down to writing things in the back of the classroom since you’ve done the training so many times you know it by heart. (I work in Training & Development.)

    Anyway, guess what I’m saying is that I can relate and enjoyed reading this post.

  52. Great post! Being a mother currently raising teenagers, I can only hope my two come away with similar thoughts on self esteem when they are 39. Kudos.

  53. mummybigbum says:

    Firstly, well done on being Freshly Pressed; it must be great to have so many new people find you (even if some of those people are twits like me!). What a fantastic post; I really love your style and of course the content was great – kind of reminded me of Baz Luhrman’s ‘Wear Sunscreen’.

    For some reason I was convinced throughout that you were a man – the ‘husband’ bit threw me a bit and made me look to see if I was right or wrong. I have yet to read more of your blog, but from your About page I can only presume you are female: ‘glitter is the herpes of the craft world’ is a view shared by many, but I can only imagine a woman to be cool enough to say it!

  54. nell's dish says:

    Enjoyed this a lot. Definitely made me think. I might have to write my own post about this. You’ve inspired me. Thanks.

  55. Perfect timing as my ten year high school reunion is next weekend. Nice job!

  56. ButchInc says:

    Great, just great. I felt sad, but at the same time it was kind of amusing. I guess, most people see a bit of themselves in it.

  57. Anita Neuman says:

    Well said! I love that you were honest about your marriage. It really is hard work, which young-and-in-love newlyweds don’t fully grasp…until the tough times start and then too often they give up. But sticking through it is so worth it. Congratulations on all your well-earned and well-learned life lessons so far, and congratulations on the FP!

  58. I’m not surprised this already has 65 comments. This post made my day. It’s an anthem for anyone. I related to so much of this. I hope I can say that I love my job when I’m my future self too. I’m going to take a lot of the advice laced within this post. Thank you.

  59. This is simply amazing. I know you are probably getting a million comments so please do not feel obligated to reply, but I just wanted you to know that the honesty and clarity of this post was truly moving to one who is not easily moved. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Thank you for your kind words (everybody’s kind words really). It was a bit of a shock to be asked about being featured – I hadn’t even realized it was a thing. I write for myself and it’s nice if others get something out of it as well.

  60. I really wish that my future self would send me a letter just like this, telling me that it’ll all work out. This is a really awesome post that made me very emotional. Great job (:
    Come check out my blog if you get the chance!

  61. WOW, this is one great post. I agree with you, i DON’T regret anything, but yet I’ll give my younger self some advice (I guess focused on how to handle things). About taking pictures about the things/persons you’ll miss I agree too, this is some advice I want to follow. Sometimes we take for granted what we have everyday, but yet we will miss em eventually.

  62. archbist says:

    Loved it. It is so true about heatbeak and then becoming friends on FB, Congrats on FP.

  63. Nice post! I wonder if my teenage self would listen to this old man I have become, maybe he would. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed.

  64. I wish it were possible to give your past self advice like that. Do you know how much time, energy, and trouble I could have saved myself? Then again, where’s the fun in a life where you know what’s going to happen?

  65. Mary says:

    Very well written & great advice. I wish I could go back and give my teenage self some of the same advice.

  66. Mei says:

    I love the part where you described going to college and you “finally feel the relief of not being the weirdest person in the room. Most of the time. The other times, you won’t give a shit because you know you are magnificent.” So much truth in so few words! Beautiful!

  67. Ali Morris says:

    Such and honest, heartwarming and sometimes melancholy words. Inspiring and thought-provoking, thank-you so much for sharing and congrats on Freshly pressed!

  68. This was ABSOLUTELY beautiful. Made my day. Thank you!!!

  69. Aww 🙂 Thank you for sharing. This was both heartwarming and heartbreaking ❤

  70. I love reading these letters because even though I’m still young I feel like I can already write one of my own. Great post! 🙂

  71. Serafine__ says:

    Beautifully written; and it is so true. I could see myself in the post here and there. Congrats for being on freshly pressed 🙂

  72. Kasturi says:

    Loved you post but also found it a little scary. I’m 20 now and I’m wondering what I’ll be telling the teenage me 20 years down the line.Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

  73. This is great. Every teenager should read this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    http://stepstochangetheworld.wordpress.com/

  74. Jello says:

    full of thoughts, great post! I enjoyed reading it 🙂 congrats on getting FP’d.

  75. This reminds me of that “Always Wear Sunscreen” song or whatever its called. Great post. Some day I think I’ll write myself one like it.

  76. nell's dish says:

    Reblogged this on nell's dish du'jour and commented:
    I don’t normally reblog other people’s posts… but I found this one to be especially thought-provoking so I thought I would share it with all of you. I’d like to write a letter to my teenage self but it will take some thinking… in fact I might want to wait a few more years for even more perspective. One thing I do know is that I would tell myself not to worry so much about whether or not I’ll ever find love… b/c I did – and he rules and he was definitely worth the wait. So that was a lot of worrying for nothing! What would you tell your teenage self? Hmmmmmm.

  77. greenthumbs4 says:

    This post is awesome! It seems as though you really put some thought into it, girly. =P

  78. charmaine151 says:

    So deserving of a FP, well done! Have reblogged and will serve as an inspiration for a future post.

  79. Re blogged. Nice and great blog, I was completely able to relate to everything.
    Visit mine too! http://theguyleftbehind.wordpress.com
    Thank you! More support 🙂

  80. Reblogged this on TheGuyLeftBehind and commented:
    To think is easy.
    To act is hard.
    But the hardest thing in the world
    is to act in accordance with your thinking.

  81. Teatart says:

    Makes me think what I would say to my teenage self … If only I knew back then what I know now 🙂 Congrats on making Freshly Pressed!

  82. Really enjoyed reading through this. Thank your recently passed self for writing it for me.

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