Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dear 16 Year Old Me...

Today I watched a YouTube video where people spoke to their teenage selves about skin cancer, a cause near and dear to my heart.   It made me recall similar blog posts I've seen and songs I've heard, and I started thinking about what advice I would give teenage Haley and what I may want to share with my own daughter one day.  In the spirit of sharing (rare, since this is not a personal blog), I decided to write my own letter and post it here.

I've also added a link up widget if you'd like to participate in this (very cathartic) exercise.  I don't expect it to take the internet by storm, by any means, but it could be fun.  You can also participate via Twitter by using hash tag #dear16yroldme

Dear 16 Year Old Me,

You're 27, and despite what you think now, that's NOT old.  The things you're going to read will be pretty shocking, and you won't believe all of them, but try to open your mind and accept what you'll be learning in 11 years of life:
  • You're not fat.  Really.  I'm not sure why you think that you are, but in 11 years you'll be sad that you spent so much time beating yourself up and hating your body.  You're strong and in pretty good shape from drill team - you can jump and land in the splits.  This talent will not last long.  You'll be happy to know that you can still fit into your prom dress in 2011.
  • Stay focused on your grades.  You are starting to understand that academics are your ticket out of Highlands, TX and that you're smart enough to get scholarships.  More than half of your college will end up being free, so don't let Dad's tirades about money get you down.  You do not need to have that screaming fight senior year, you're going to be just fine. 
  • And while we're on that topic, try to be nicer to your parents.  In 11 years, you're going to get along really well and be ashamed of some of the things you say to them.  Yes, they're strict compared to your friends' parents, but it's because they love you and want to keep you safe.  At 27, you'll laugh at your request to ride to Houston to attend a Third Eye Blind concert with someone who has been driving for 7 months.
  • The people who aren't very nice to you right now are no longer in your life.  In fact, you haven't thought about most of them in at least 8 years and are laughing to yourself about them now. 
  • Quit trying to turn your male friends into boyfriends.  It will not work.  It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, but you'll keep trying for years and fill many journal pages with emotional entries trying to figure it out.  
  • Stick to your guns about not having sex.  You'll be so glad you didn't sleep around in high school.
  • Spend time with your grandparents and with your friend who isn't well.  You're going to miss them when they're gone.
  • Keep writing.  You're good at it.  Start a blog in college!
  • Wear sunscreen and do not lay out so often.  You're prone to skin cancer and will regret it later.
  • And finally... when you're 25, you'll meet someone who thinks you are amazing and suddenly all of your other relationships will look ridiculous because this one is so easy.  He will want to marry you, and at 27 you will be happier than you ever thought you would be.  Stay optimistic and trust that things will happen when you're ready.  
27 Year Old Me

Add your own letter to you with the linky tool below:


  1. Omg, I love this. Love your post, the entire idea. All of it. I'm slammed tomorrow but I'm hoping to find time to write this post....hopefully? Probably not. But Sat I turn this seems like a good time to write a post like this!

  2. @ Danielle - There's no rush! I think it's more about the writing exercise than the linky traffic :) Happy Early Birthday!

  3. I wrote one of these awhile back (to my 20-year-old self), so I linked to that one. It's a fun writing exercise though ... and definitely thought-provoking.

  4. I actually like when style blogs get personal on occasion instead of just marketing products, so thank you!

  5. love this!! i think i would say much of the same to my own 16 year old self.

    also, that youtube video makes me cry every time i watch it. now let me go find my sunscreen...

  6. Love this and love your blog! I wonder what my 16 year old self would write to me now... My soon to be 28 year old self!

  7. I love this, and liked writing mine. Great idea!

  8. This is a great idea! I totally agree with all of it, especially the bullet points about parents (I wish I would have cherished the times we spent together more now that I see them only a few times a year), waiting to have sex, and blogging :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. How great. So true about grandparents, friends, high school and being nice to your parents. (And, yes, sunscreen. One of my biggest regrets in life.



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