6.13.2011

The Post About Writing To My 16-Year-Old Self

My travel agent has a really impressive 16-year-old daughter. There's a laundry list of descriptors you could use in assessing her: smart, thoughtful, funny, talented. 

 
Recently, she retweeted a friend's "biggest fear."

My initial thoughts were:
But can I tell you a secret?

Sixteen-year-old Jamie would have tweeted the same thing. Verbatim.

Pair that insight with the discovery of the book Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self and I had inspiration. Dear Me includes notes celebrities wrote to their younger selves which are silly and stirring.


Let me introduce you to my 1992 self.
Hey You.

I know your first reaction is to discard the content of this letter because I'm a 30-something, therefore irrelevant in your four eyes. But try and pay attention. Which I also know is difficult since your ADD hasn't been officially diagnosed yet.

One thing that hasn't changed is your affection for lists, so let's do that shall we? Spoiler alert.
Some Good News:
1. That perm will grow out.
2. You'll buy the most adorable house.
3. There is cheese beyond Kraft singles.
4. You will have more than one dream job.
5. The perfect mascara is coming.

Some Not So Good News:
1. Daddy's white hair will be your white hair.
2. That adorable house will make you want to move to a condo.
3. Your love for cheese will manifest itself in what's called a muffin top.
2. None of your dream jobs will be math professor.
5. You and your eyelashes are only going to get shorter.

In the next several years, you're going to try with all your might to be all these things you're not. In attempts to fit in. In attempts to be unique. 

Know this. I'm serious Jamie Beth. Write this sentence in the margins of every moment of every day. 

You are enough.

The television will argue with you on this point. As will teachers, coworkers, strangers, friends, the back of the Special K box. They will all ask you to be more - more than you were created to be. 

Remember how much you love David, the Old Testament royal screw-up? Let his conversation with God in Psalm 139 be yours.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


Know it full well. You are enough.
Jamie

P.S. Don't let your biggest fear be not finding the perfect guy. There's all kinds of uglier junk that can happen. Think: gall stones. 

What would you say to your own teen self?

{image: Jamie}