[As usual, I’m a little late to the online ballyhoo, party, shindig and whatnot. Some folks have been writing letters to their younger selves. Hey, “selves” sorta looks like elves, and well, that’s just weird ’cause I’m not gonna write a letter to an elf. I mean, really, if’n I see an elf, he’s probably stealing my gold at the bottom of a rainbow and all I’ll be saying to that little punk is “Stop elf! That’s my gold! Let go! Don’t make me stoop down there and thump your little elf-kin butt! It’s mine, let go!” So, anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I’m writing a letter to
my self my teenager me.]
~ ~ ~ ~
Dear Darlin’ (Oh, don’t I know how you love it when people call you that. Yikes.)
Alrighty then. Listen up. Well, that’s fairly futile ’cause I happen to know what you are like, standing there, hands on your hips, one eyebrow raised, all decked out in your teenage angst with your thigh-high, green suede, Robin Hood boots and your too-short, fake leather mini skirt and that short, spiky hair with lines razored into the sides. If’n I told you that I am you, you wouldn’t believe me, so let’s just say this is a letter from a friend.
Teenage Darlene, there’s some stuff you need to know –
– Just because you won’t get into the Army to be a medic (because of your insulin-dependent diabetes), don’t fret none. You’ll be immersed in health-related endeavors from here on out. And you will even meet and treat the Worlds Greatest Athlete of the late 1990’s. And ya know what, his feet stink as bad as those high school athletes you work with nowadays. No one is better than you. And you are no better than anyone.
– That thing that happened to you when you were fourteen, and the way you were forced to deal with it, it will be forgiven. You are gonna meet Someone who knows and cares and heals. And He will bring you out on the other side whole.
– You are gonna grow your hair out long. Uh-huh. Yes, ma’am, you are. And you are gonna like it, but then one day, your man is gonna ruffle your feathers and you are gonna cut it off in angst ’cause you know how much he loves your hair. Listen missy, do not let angst or anger or revenge be your driving force for anything.
– Someone, well, actually two someones, are gonna ignore you when you have something very, very important to say. Just know that their non-listening ears and critical responses have everything to do with them, and nothing at all to do with you and what you need to say. Remember that Guy I already told you about, the One who knows and cares and heals? Well, He listens real good too. Actually, He’s got the market cornered. And that’s a good thing.
– Your spunk is gonna see you through more than you can imagine. You are gonna survive things that seem impossible. You are gonna need that tough stuff from here on out. But don’t wear it like a badge, use it in small doses on an as-needed basis only.
– By looking down your own bottle, you will not discover why your dad died at the bottom of his. I’m not gonna tell you not to drink, but I’m gonna tell you to be careful. One night someone whom you think is a friend will prove not to be. Keep your defenses up and kick ’em where it counts, sister.
– Hairy legs are not attractive on women and when you grow yours out because you are protesting your husband’s (yep, you are gonna be married in college so someone you already know) 145-day internship (where you won’t see hide nor hair of him until he returns), you are gonna give those collegiate male athletes a run for their hairy leg money in your gymnastics class. And they will hide in shame ’cause your legs are hairier. Ugh. That’s really rather sorta gross. Plus, when your husband gets back, you are gonna have to trim your gorilla legs with scissors before you even use razors. Clogged drains, dulled scissors, spent razors, jars of shaving cream… just keep up with your personal hygiene from the get-go, girlie.
So, miss Teenage Darlin’ – I will not tell you how to avoid the bad-n-ugly or the sad-n-struggly. Why? Because all of it has led to who you are in this very moment. And I don’t like to mess around with the order of things. Yikes… it’s too Twilight Zone for me. For you. For us. Ya, know what I mean. Anyway, I will enlighten you with some general tips though:
– Don’t bite the bubbles in the bath tub.
– Do put it in 4WD, not just when you’re stuck,
but when ya just wanna watch mud fly.
– Don’t eat plain tofu.
– Do keep shavin’ your legs.
– Don’t sass your momma.
– Do what is right. Always.
– Don’t be such a touch-camel.
(Hug your husband more.)
– Do brush your teeth with soap every now and then.
– Don’t expect to grow any taller.
– Do use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.
– Don’t whine.
– Do be you.
Love & Blessings,
P.S. Thank heavens you switched from thigh-high, suede boots to cowboy boots; I mean really, cowboy boots go better with graduation gowns and wedding dresses and cut-off jeans. You saved yourself a lot of fashion heartache right there with that move.
P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.? Who gives a rip-toot and snort? Anyway, I think this is gonna be your theme song. Psst, country music still floats yer boat as an adult...yeeeeehhhhhhaawwwwwww!)