Saturday, February 02, 2013

Dear 16-Year-Old Me

My fellow ISU alum Desiree did this post to her sixteen-year-old self and I figured I might as well too.....because it is like negative twenty degrees here right now so we aren't doing much worth telling about.

Dear 16-year-old Me,

You are a pretty good girl.  Could you be nicer?  Sure.  Could you work a few more hours and pay for more things yourself?  Yeah.  Could you drink a little less Coke and prevent some of that acid from stripping away the lining of your insides?  Mmhm.  But really, there's this: how about you try JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER in your classes so you don't have to graduate in the ELEVENTH PERCENTILE and NOT GET A MEDAL FOR TOP TEN.

Okay so that isn't such a big deal.

But you are going to barely miss top ten percent of your graduating class in a couple years.  And actually, it's pretty cool that you don't much care now and won't really even care then because you are more concerned with things like band and sports and friends.  School comes pretty easy and even though you are going to become a teacher someday (WHAT?!), you will still see your own schooling as a sort of hoop to jump through to get on to cooler stuff.

A teacher.  Even though you think you are going to be some psycho-social-medicinal-big-shot-counselor-doctor of some sort, you are going to be a middle school teacher (which you'll find out is basically the same thing with less schooling).  You know how much you value your favorite teacher and mentor?  You will be that to other adolescents someday.  They will really like you.  You don't need some special, elite title to matter.

Before all that though, you've got to go to college.  You'll be so determined to get out of Iowa that you won't even apply to any in-state schools.  You are like, too good for in-state or something.  That is dumb.  Even when you go to orientation at UW-Madison and they tell you how great you are because **You got in to the UW-Madision!!!** YOU ARE NOT SO GREAT.  And when you last-minute decide maybe even UW isn't good enough, you'll find out that Minneapolis is COLD and the U of M is HUGE.  Save yourself some trouble and money and go to Iowa State right away.  You'll love being in marching band and you will meet some of the best friends of your life there.

Your mom and dad are way cooler than you give them credit for.  Respect them and learn from them because one day you'll be in their shoes.  Treasure your normal life and be grateful for what you have because you'll meet a lot of kids in the future who have it pretty bad.  Stay close with your parents and your brother because family is the only thing that matters.  You'll really learn that someday.

Your aunt has told you since you were little that you should be a journalist and travel the world and not get married until you are at least 30.  (And that sounded pretty great until that one time you and your mom were at the mall and she took you to Von Maur to get an uncomfortable outfit and try out for some kid news anchor/meteorologist/journalist thing ON THE SPOT when you didn't even know east from west and certainly didn't have good enough vision to read the cue cards.)  Anyway, your journalist days are done and you are going to be a child bride.  22.  And you are NOT going to marry who you think right now.  Or the next one either.

You already know your husband.  You've known him since you were a little girl.  You know where he lives, who his friends are, even the car his mom drives.  But you have never actually talked to him.  How cool/creepy is that??  He is perfect for you and together you will have the most perfect son and live a perfectly cliché life in suburbia.  But it really will be perfect.  So don't waste much energy on the high school guys and drama.

Sixteen is pretty fun.  Drive safe and live it up.  Sixteen feels so old, doesn't it?  Mature.  But the older you get......and the more you realize you don't know that much at all.  Just wait and see.

To summarize:
1. You are not better than anyone.
2. Be grateful.
3. Marry a rich guy so you never have to work who you truly fall in love with.

27-year-old Me

P.S.  Put on more sunscreen when you are lifeguarding.  And stop tanning in the winter.  You look ridiculous.


  1. I didn't know you were in the band! I bet I saw you every Saturday!!
    And, seriously about the sunscreen and tanning! I was a lifeguard and tanned religiously in the winter.
    Love the flashback photos. :)

  2. this was amazing haha if only our 16 year old self knew what we know now...It would have saved me SO much SO MUCH haha but they are the lessons we learn from!! Great post, and blog!! :-D

    Emily @

  3. Oh, how I hear you on the sunscreen/tanning. Boo. I wish I had one of the "mean moms' who just wouldn't allow it.

    And did you grow up in IA? I am born and rasied in WI :)

    Cool letter, I liked reading it!

  4. Love love love this!!

  5. really enjoyed reading this, and laughed out loud about the tanning in the winter part at the end! :)