You guys all met YA Jamie (still cringing that I put these pictures on the internet) and you learned some things about her with my little survey but after reading this post I was thinking a lot about what I would tell my YA self I could sit down and talk to her and tell her what I’ve learned in all these years since being a teen. I doubt she would have listened because she thought she knew it all (Will would still say this is true of me now but WHATEVER) but reading so much YA I think SO much about my teenage years. So here it goes…
*stares at YA Jamie* *hands coffee* Don’t give me that face. You learn to like coffee one day or at least like it out of necessity in college. Also, your boobs don’t get bigger. HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU. Everyone who said you were a late bloomer LIED. You just bloom in other ways. So start saving those pennies and cozy up to Victoria’s Secret. So for real…let’s talk.
Things You Need To Know:
It’s all part of adolescence so go with it but whenever you are feeling particularly overwhelmed about something remember that it is transient and think of the bigger picture. That party your mom wouldn’t let you go to? It really did NOT ruin your life. See…I’m here. Do I look ruined?? Worry about these dumb things because it’s your now but put more stock in the important things that will be there in 5 years. Perspective is really key in getting over these things.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t you are going to end up sitting in your bed at night running through all of the “should haves” and “what ifs.” TRUST ME. Sometimes the chances you took don’t pan out the way you think they will but I assure you at some point you will realize that even that failed attempt changed you and you won’t wonder “what if” down the road. Take chances, say yes even when you are scared and be bold. It’s empowering. Some opportunities you won’t get back. They won’t wait for you to finally get the courage 5 years later. TRUST ME. I have a whole list I could share with you.
I know you feel like you get along better with guys and I know your friendships really ARE awesome with them and you DO really fit in. But there is going to be a point when you realize you have no girl friends and you need them. And then when you TRY to make them? You are going to be really bad at it. All the things other girls learned about friendship? You are years behind and don’t quite understand how it all works. It sucks but luckily a few girls come into your life that make it real easy. Sadly, geography is not in your favor but they are important nonetheless. Also, read this and find those kinds of friendships!
They are by no means perfect but you won’t have them around forever as you will soon learn. Appreciate them. A lot. Try to peel back the layers and bridge the gaps. You are going to feel the absence of not having a mom but you still have a dad and sisters and stepmom and stepdad. Cherish that. You and Angela will stop hating each other and actually she will be your best friend. Want to know how? She’s going to tell you she’s pregnant and that will change your life and make you inseparable. Be gentle with her as you work out your differences through high school and college. You are going to realize that these people will be here for you when others hurt you, fail you and they will love you unconditionally despite your flaws and will be the ones you call crying when bad things happen.
Let go of things that don’t work. Let go of people who do not add anything positive to your life. Let go of anger. Let go of the past. Let go and forgive. You’ll feel a million pounds lighter. It’s going to be hard and you are going to struggle a lot. It seems counter-intuitive because you’ll feel like you can fix those friendships and situations but you’ll really just feel prisoner to them. And ignore the slogan, “Quitters never win” because it’s OKAY to not want to do something anymore if you don’t want. You are free to try new things. Just be honest with yourself about why you want to quit it.
You are going to feel like you are always at different stages than your friends and peers a lot. In high school and college you are going to grow up fast because of what happens with your mom. Your friends aren’t going to understand it really and you are going to feel alone. But I promise you that you will have a step ahead of them when it comes to seeing the world differently and having perspective. Relish in that when you feel alone but don’t hold it against them. And then they are all going to be in serious relationships and you’ll be single. It’s okay. When you get a relationship, they all get married. It’s okay. You learn from their mistakes. When you finally get married (yes it’s before your are 30) and get your first apartment, they will be having babies and buying houses. IT’S OKAY. Don’t compare yourself because your journey is different.
This is the biggest lesson you could ever learn. Look, I’m only meeting with you right now because I got laid off and have TIME. I didn’t order food to go with that coffee because I’m broke. But I’ll tell you what…you and your husband laugh a lot. At your situation. In spite of it. You are going to go through things that you can’t control and sometimes you will feel like everything has gone wrong (seriously..2013 you will have a HUGE bad streak) BUT you can choose to put a smile on your face, be kind, laugh, be the best person you can be and that will help you get through it. You can’t control the chaos but you can do something about how you see it.
Seriously, you are going to fight it SO MUCH. STOP IT. You will save so much time, money and painful burns in your quest to straighten it every day. Give into the lazy, girl. Rock what you have!
Seriously, you have lots of dance parties. Just the other day you had one and your husband walked in from work and immediately started dancing with you. He’s a keeper. Plus as much as he shakes his head at your white girl moves and your failed twerking attempts..he still thinks you are awesome. Also, he’s a better dancer than you. Deal with it.
People will show you who they really are. They will. You are going to come across a lot of people who treat you like crap, make underhanded comments, talk behind your back and just genuinely don’t have your best interest at heart. Don’t let those bad eggs make you become jaded…just cut your losses. That person who talks about EVERYONE else (even her “bffs”)…don’t be stupid to think she isn’t also talking about you. That person who loves gossip? You will struggle with wanting to get in on it but it’s TOXIC. That friend who isn’t every pleased with anything that anybody does? You have flaws but don’t need to try to aim for what she thinks is acceptable. Stop trying to please her. Focus on your handful of AMAZING friends. You will be blessed with friends who send you empowering mixtapes when you need them, that friend who you can text at 3am about a fight with your husband, friends who GET you and don’t judge you even when you tell them something ridiculously stupid and petty and friends that understand your quirks and flaws and love you but aren’t afraid to tell you like it is when you are being a jackass.
Even though you should be wary of certain people, you should be gracious with everyone else. Remember you could be seeing someone on their worst day. Don’t assume things. Don’t think the worst of people’s intentions right away. Talk about things when you feel slighted and don’t hold it in. Be honest. Don’t be stingy with second chances and “I’m sorry’s”. Meet people where they are at. See other people’s perspectives and consider them. Don’t judge harshly when someone is human and makes mistakes or does something douchy. Understand that sometimes in friendships you give and take at different intervals — it’s never the same for every friend but I can assure you that it will never be equal at all times. Sometimes people need more from you than they can give at certain times and vice versa. Don’t keep a tally. You’ll know when it’s right.
Things you will still struggle with at 28 (but I assure you, YA Jamie, I’m WORKING ON IT FOR US)
+ making omlettes
+ painting your nails
+ Not stabbing yourself in the eye with your mascara
+ Saying I’m sorry first
+ Feeling accepted/left out
+ Letting things consume you that shouldn’t
+ Trying to seek approval
+ dealing with the loss of your mom
+ Making friends
+ Knowing what you want to do with your life
+ Letting people walk all over you
+ Making decisions
+ Feeling like you are your age (trust me, girl, you still look 16 too)
+ letting one person ruin your mood
+ being the one to make plans/pick up the phone (also, you SUCK at answering texts)
+ feeling overwhelmed to the point of just shutting down
+ loving exercise (though right now you started Blogilates and you kind of maybe love it)
+ reading into things
+ feeling worthy and believing in yourself
+ finding pants that don’t show your crack when you bend down
You aren’t perfect but you’ll do alright, kid. You don’t even comprehend your strength but you’ve gotten through some of the worst things life could throw you with grace. You are still here. You are growing. Learning. Loving. Playing. Every day. And that’s what is important…at 16 or 28 or 58.