Here I’m posing for Grandma (aka ‘Binky’) after a back to school shopping spree at The Limited. I was too cool to smile with braces.
20 years ago I had just turned 13 and officially became a woman! I thought I was so mature at the time – I could never have imagined myself two decades later writing this. Looking back I realize how incredibly young I was. If I could go back in time and live my teen years all over again, here is what I would tell myself…
I was calm and quiet on the exterior – however I was a nervous wreck on the inside. I often would have irrational thoughts and troubling day dreams about something terrible happening to me. Like coming home and finding my mom dead or someone trying to kidnap me. I still have them 20 years later but now I’m more equipped to deal with them if something terrible really did happen. But, I wasted too much time worrying as a 13 year old.
Stop Caring What Everyone Else Thinks
On top of being a worry wart I also was overly concerned with what other people thought of me. I know this is pretty normal for a teenager, but I wish I had the confidence then that I have now. Back then if someone said something mean to me I would have crumbled into a million pieces and never stopped thinking about it. I wish I had the confidence at 13 to let things roll off my back.
Save your Money
This little golden nugget I’ve only learned recently 🙁 As a young teen I had no money so I didn’t have much to save, other than the occasional few bucks from a babysitting job or birthday gift. Throughout my late teens and twenties I spent money like I was a Kardashian. $80 on jeans was chump change because I thought it was ok to spend all of my money. What I’ve learned now is just because I have it, I don’t have to spend it. If I had been really saving hard all of these years I would be so much better off now.
Keep Being Creative
From a very young age I found a way to be creative in just about anything. At 13 when I entered junior high I was taking art classes like pottery, ceramics and photography. To me arts and crafts was an easy ‘A’ and a creative outlet! I had no idea it would be a permanent part of my life and I would be able to make a career out of it.
You Will Meet Your Dream Man
By age 13 my friends were starting to have boyfriends or guys they were “going out with”. I had crushes of course, but never had a steady or long term boyfriend. As a young teen I started to feel like there was something wrong with me that I didn’t have a boyfriend. Little did I know that in five years I would meet not only the person I was the most attracted to in my life, but the man that I would marry!
You Are Not Ugly
I had very low self esteem as a 13 year old. I had braces, didn’t know how to wear makeup, thought my clothes and hair were ugly, hated my voice, my smile – everything! It didn’t help that my mother would show me how to wear makeup and then make fun of me before I left for school and tell me I looked like a clown, or make fun of my braces, or my non-developed breasts, or my untweezed eyebrows. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself then – I didn’t know what I had going for me like I was naturally blonde, tall and slender and had beautiful clear skin.
This was an exercise I had a lot of fun doing – but it also made me a little sad. I can’t believe how fast life goes by – and how much can change in 20 years. I’m excited to see what life brings me in the next 20 years!
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