WordPress Daily Prompt, thank you for inspiring this post. I had been thinking about writing a ‘Dear 16-year-old me’ post for weeks, figuring out how to introduce it, and play it out. This question prompt was exactly what I needed to get this post rolling today.
When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
16. In some ways it feels like this tender age was a life time ago, in other ways, I can’t believe I am NOT 16 anymore. 16 was a great. I loved being a careless teenager, wrapped up between feeling like I loved ‘the wrong guy’, and trying to love ‘the right guy’ even though everything I felt in my heart told my head he was in the ‘friend book’ and that the other guy would never treat me right.
Highschool wasn’t tought for me, but it wasn’t ‘the glory days’. Moving in grade 11 made it difficult to make friends, but my BEST friend ended up transfering to my school, which made it completely tolerable and most days, enjoyable.
I worked 20-30 hours a week at a fresh food place in the shopping mall, and I was highly involved at my church with the brass band, timbrels [a dance sort of thing with tamborines], bible study, praise and worship team [I sang], youth group, teaching sunday school, bible study, and volunteering at a local soup kitchen with my bible study class. In the summer, I worked at a summer camp as a counsellor (and years later, a nurse)….where I met almost all of my current closest friends, and husband.
I was blissfully independent, but not rebellious, eager to take on life as an adult. I was ambitious. I was incredibly insecure. I needed approval. I needed to be liked. I had great plans to travel, start a career, find love, marry, have children, be sucessful in my hobbies, etc. Everything I thought I ‘should’ do.
If you had asked me what life would be like now when I was 16, I probably would have said something along the lines of: Married, working as a nurse, travelling the world, singing and painting in my free time.
Yep…life turned out exactly as I planned, but not exactly as I picture it.
I am married…to a completely different guy. I don’t even talk to the guy whom I thought I would have married back then-for the better? Absolutely. I can’t even imagine if life had gone the way I thought it might. The ‘friend book’ guy? Yep…he got hurt. But always remained in the ‘friend book’. I met this incredible guy a few years later…my husband, my perfect match. He makes me incredibly happy and loved every. single. day. He helped me to figure out who I really was. Without everyone else. Who was I? The me that would be standing in 10 or 15 years. Not the person I was trying to ‘play out’.
I am working as a nurse…. in the ER. I had no idea what nursing would hold for me back then. But I did it. I wanted to do it because I had some sort of messed up idea in my head of what a nurse did thanks to tv shows like ER, Greys Anatomy, etc., and I thought they made TONS of money. I thought it would make me smart, sucessful. Nope. Nursing is nothing like on tv. Do I make a good wage? Yes. Did I account for the student loan debt I would have? Nope. Is it by pure miracle that I fell in love with a career that started off so incredibly uneducated? Yep. Silly 16 year old me. 😉
Now my hobbies include writing, running, yoga, and cooking. I sing….in the shower. I paint….once a year. Tbe things I thought were important to me back then? Turns out they were what people told me where important. They were things I thought people liked me for. Now. Fiercly secure in myself. I know that I did enjoy those things-but they were not what made me me. They weren’t my PASSION. I now do the things I love to do, in my time, without any pressure from anyone….because I love me. Im looking out for mine, and my husband’s happiness. I’ve learned that your life is what you make it. Not who you please in it.
Travelling. Ha. I think at 16 I had no real concept of money. Yep, I worked part time…but I had no sense of what a real adult life would cost. I still have plans to travel…but my plans have fiercly changed. They will most def. not be happening for a while. Hello student debt. 😉 I have also discovered that as free-spirited as I want to be….that isn’t me. I am planted. Like a flower. Id love to be potted and venture…but as long as the promise of return to the garden awaits…if you catch my drift? I love home, and the security HOME brings.
So….16 year old self…..
You are special and unique. Stop trying to please everyone. Learn to say ‘no’. Follow your dreams. Not the ones that you think will make people happy.
Save your cash. All those weekends at the mall, and summers at camp could have paid A LOT of your schooling…and you could be travelling MINUS student loans!
Those guys you are chasing after, and letting chase you? Yep…dating is fun. Friends are wonderful….but they don’t define you. As for breaking hearts? You will regret it. No one deserves to have their heart taken advantage of for someone else’s gain.
Love yourself. You are fully and wonderfully made. You are aboslutely perfect. Stop scrutinizing every pimple and extra pound. You are a beautiful, happy, healthy weight, LOVE that.
And 16 year old self? One more thing….
Cherish you family. They will move away in a little while…and you will finally realize what family means, and how much you love and miss them.