It’s January, and so begins the #Bloganuary Challenge from WordPress, where participants are given a daily prompt for blogging inspiration. Today’s prompt: What advice would you give to your teenage self? So here goes.
Dear Teenage Me:
Look at you! So young, I hardly recognize you – er, me. I know, you think it’s odd that an old fart like me is addressing you. You work so hard to stay invisible, and yet I see you. It’s not easy for me, either. I tend to avoid people, especially teenagers. You kids are very intimidating at that age. And, well, I try to stay invisible, too. Still.
You have a long row ahead of you (that’s a good thing so keep going), so here are some pointers to get you through a bit easier than I had it.
- When you get your wisdom teeth pulled in your twenties, do NOT use tequila as a pain killer. The side effects are not worth it. You will wake up wishing you could get more teeth pulled just to take your mind off the hangover.
- Nurture your artistic self. You don’t have to excel at art or music or writing or photography or stained glass or anything else in order to validate your interest and participation. If it feeds your soul, it’s worth doing.
- Don’t dance like nobody’s watching. Dance like you don’t give a flying leap whether they’re watching or not. That will come in handy when your second grader pulls you out on the floor during the school music program to dance the macarena with her.
- You’ll be a better parent than you think you can be. Listen to your kids. They’ll let you know how you’re doing. But maybe don’t let your children write their own absentee excuse notes for school. When you actually write one yourself, the school will think it’s fake because the signatures don’t match.
- Don’t despair. When you think you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go: up.
Well, that’s about the extent of my garnered wisdom. Check back in another twenty years, and I can advise you on how to get through your midlife crises. By then, however, you’ll realize that you don’t need other people’s voices in your head, you just need to trust your own.
Wishing you many, many joy-filled years to come.
Your older and wiser self