Monday, September 6, 2010

Email to 15-Year-Old Me

                                                                      Dear 15-Year-Old Sue,
I know you think that the way you're acting is okay. You think that no one notices you, and you act out for attention. The thing is, it's not okay, and it won't ever work. The only thing you'll ever do is attract attention from people that will be bad for you in the end. The best thing to do? Work up the confidence to find friends, instead of waiting for them to find you. You'll have more control over the situation, which will you give you the confidence you need to be yourself. You're a pretty cool chick, if you just let it show through honestly. 

While we're talking about confidence... I know you hate to be told to lose weight. It's frustrating when your family, who are all overweight and who also prepare most of your meals, tell you that you're too "fat." The thing is - your weight keeps you from feeling good about yourself. My advice? Lose it now, while it's easier. It will be tougher as you get older. Not to mention, your self-esteem is taking a big hit, and this will be a problem down the road. 

Regarding boys: They're a problem, and they will continue to be a problem. You're attracted to the sort that are rough around the edges. Bad boys, who Dad will hate. The irony? You don't want to disappoint Dad, so you hide your boyfriends from him. A hint: Dad's an awesome guy. You could do worse than to find a guy just like him. Good rule: If you're doing something you need to hide - it's probably something you shouldn't be doing. You will make some mistakes anyway - some lessons just have to be learned. One thing I ask: When Jim asks you out at 19, please say no? He's going to be awful, and hurtful and abusive. You don't deserve it, and the scars won't ever totally go away.  

Speaking of Dad - talk to him a little, okay? He really is a very cool guy. You'll find out later what it feels like to have your heart stomped on by the one person you thought never would. Then you'll understand why Dad stays so closed off from people. But he doesn't mean it towards you, and he really is proud of who you are. It's best if you know that now. 

Listen - in a few years, you and Marlena are going to have a falling out. Don't let it sit. You'll both be with men who are happy to let you stay away from family and friends, and they won't help the situation. I think some others are probably working against it too - people don't like how close you two really are. The thing is, she's a great friend and she's going to help you through the toughest time in your life. So, even if you do lose touch, don't ever judge her, or let her think you don't care. She deserves better. You'll see what I mean. 

There's not much I would change, but I would encourage you to go away to college. In addition to probably solving that whole Jim-thing I mentioned, it'll do you a world of good. Dad won't mind. He'll be sad when you leave, but he's prepared for it - I promise. You need to learn early-on that you can take care of yourself and that it's okay to be alone. Men, friends - even family - are going to come and go. You and me, we're going to be together forever. It's best if we learn to get along now. So, please stop avoiding it, okay?

Life is going to be hard at times, but you're going to do fine. When you feel like you're lost and you really don't have any push left - just give it one more, please? You're going to find out what it really means to be happy. It will make all the lessons you have to learn the hard way so worth the trouble - that I can promise.

The bottom line? Smile more and worry less. Life will come at it's own pace. Stop rushing to the next thing and enjoy where you are and the people you're with. In the end, that will make all the difference. 

36-Year-Old Sue

PS. Cut your hair. That 80's look is done, and I'm sick of buying all that hairspray. 

1 comment:

  1. I love it!!! It's all soooo true:-) I would like to add one thought...
    Dear 15-year-old Sue-
    You are an amazing person now, and will continue to be at 36. Stay true to who you are, never let anyone knock you down or take advantage of you. You are beautiful, funny and an amazing writer....never stop writing and share it with the world!!!