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A Letter to my Teenage Self
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
I realize that you think you know everything about now. You think your parents are out of touch with what is really important to you. Your friends are everything, and you hang on their words before making your decisions, so you can be popular. If they slight you, you feel bad. When they rally around you like you are a diva, you are happy.
What Do Brothers Know Anyway?
You have a big brother that is nearly perfect in every way (especially to your parents). He tries to give you suggestions as to what is right and wrong, but you are stubborn. You don't want to be like your brother mostly out of jealousy. You try your best at school, but it is never good enough, so why try?
You were raised in a typical 60s family, where the father was the breadwinner, and your mother did all the cleaning, cooking and raising of the children. But, down deep inside, you feel that you can do much more than that. Because your grades are not top notch, your parents do not encourage you to go beyond high school. So, your eyes and heart turn to boys. You go boy crazy at age 13 - long before you should have even given them a glance.
You have standards about dating, modesty, morality, and media, but you like to tread on thin ice. You could have done so much better if you had followed your standards and not dated until age 16, wore appropriate clothes that did not attract attention, never kiss a boy until you were engaged - sometime in your mid 20s and stayed away from any movie or book with a PG rating.
You would have done much better if you had shown respect to your siblings and parents. Your parents wanted what was best for you. They would not steer you off the road to success and happiness. Fun is not happiness. Fun is fleeting. Fun is temporary.
Pursue Something You Can Use as a Career
You dabbled in artistic endeavors including art, dancing, typography, stenography, acting, writing and many more, but not well enough to perform or use your skills to support yourself. Oh, I realize you were very good at shorthand and typing, but both are obsolete as a career now. Choose one thing you like and learn to do it well! Even better, get educated in many different subjects, and you will have something to fall back on if you need to. Otherwise, there will come a time in your life when you feel a void. Like you did when you found yourself surrounded by college graduates with teaching careers along with raising large families.
Stay True to Yourself
You know the difference between right and wrong. Be strong and choose the right. You will only bring sadness and sorry into your life if you experiment with smoking, drugs, and alcohol. Stay far, far away from these.
Choose friends who value the same things you do. They will influence you for good and be there if you need help. The other so-called friends will only laugh at your failings. Life is not easy, but with a goal and good friends, you cannot go wrong.
Find your voice and stay do not become consumed with what other people think. Be enthusiastic about your life and seek out people who motivate you positively. Don't waste your time on boys! Be a friend to them, but no more than that. Keep focused on improving your life and eventually the right man will present himself.
Keep Busy Doing Good
Reach out to others. Find ways to help and serve others. There are so many opportunities to lift another person. You need to learn to love yourself for your uniqueness.
You didn't turn out too bad, but you took many detours on the way. I sincerely hope that you find true happiness. Part of that is forgiving yourself and enduring well to the end.
I love Whitney Houston and was sad when her life took a tragic turn. I know the words of this song can help you avoid disaster.
© 2014 Elayne