An Open Letter to My 16-Year Old Self

Letter to my 16-yo self

Dear 16-year old Jenny,

Your future self has some important looking-back on life wisdom to share with you, especially now that future Jenny is 20 years away from 16-years-old-land. I could go on and on for about a zillion pages, but let's boil down a few important points below...
  • Be glad there isn’t such thing as social media/texting/email - the closest we got to “texting” each other was to send number codes via pagers (ha ha remember those?) - usually a 07734 meant “hello” (or 14 for short - “hi”) or a 143 meant “i love you” - paging someone with your number + 911 meant to call back quick because there was some social drama or gossip that needed to be discussed asap. At the time it all seemed so urgent and important and necessary, but we had no idea what was around the corner technology-wise, and should be glad that we weren’t navigating our adolescent territory with a global audience via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to preserve those awkward and embarrassing moments for all of eternity. 
Letter to my 16-yo self
  • Stop being a sad sack all the time and feeling sorry for yourself - it’s hard to be patient, but your life is going to be awesome… eventually. It will take a while. In the meantime, go find yourself a counselor or social worker or doctor to talk to. Maybe get yourself on an anti-depressant if necessary. Being sad and brooding is so goth, but it’s also energy-draining. Try to find things and people that DO make you happy and surround yourself with them. 
  • Guess what? Those girls mean NOTHING. Mean girls are the worst. And I had ‘em. It’s hard to go through your life at 16, having to see the same people (good or bad) every day. Because you couldn’t escape them. Even as an adult, if things get bad enough, you can quit your job and go elsewhere. But when you’re 16 you’re kind of stuck. So, what I can tell you is that as soon as you get out of here, you are FREE. You won’t need to see them or interact with them for anything. And when social media does become a thing, you can just block them. Literally. Out of your life. You don’t need that negativity. Do people grow up and out of mean-girl-ness? Probably. But I’m not going to stick around to find out. I’ve got better people to spend my time with.
  • You know how you always suspected that you were "meant to be?" Well, you were actually right all along... Whoa. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming. Maybe you just crossed paths with him too soon, but the timing wasn’t right. Something aligned to keep you guys from being together until the absolute weirdest point in your life. But then it happened, and now you’re here. You had a feeling in your gut, even way back when. And it was right. And it’s amazing, just like you imagined. :)
Be Yourself.
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  • Just do you. LOL. I know I say that in an ironic sort of way, but I mean it. It’s so hard being in high school and caring (way too much) about what others think of you that it messes with your own sense of self. The best people in the world are people who are unapologetically themselves: Leslie Hall, RuPaul, Andrew W.K, Sharon Needles, Betsey Johnson… and a bunch of others I cannot think of at the moment. Think about who you admire most. Don’t try to be like them, try to embody their spirit of being themselves, and take that inspiration to find out who YOU are. 
  • Join the junior roller derby. That has to be a thing, 16-year old you! Find out where it is, and go. Because then 36-ish year old you will be so much better by the time you get there! :)

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor

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