Letter to Teen Me

Dear Courtney,

How are you? Well, that’s a dumb question, considering I am you. You know, from the future. You’re having fun with your friends, right now, and that’s fine. I’ll try not to take too long.

I want to start by saying, you’re doing good. Don’t change a whole lot, even your mistakes, because they will mold you. They will be valuable life lessons.

You’re probably just picking that cigarette up. That’ll be a huge regret. I’m not worried about you drinking. You won’t go overboard. Most teens are gonna drink, so I won’t tell you to just not do it.

You’ll lose a lot of friends. That’s okay, though. Brit will be still be there. You two may fight, a couple of times, too. True friendships won’t die.

Don’t worry so much about your sisters, they’ll be fine. You’ll even be an aunt in roughly 10 years. You’ll be proud of your niece’s name. You’ll cry, too.

Mama will start getting sick, but just remember to pray. I promise, it works. There will be times when you want to stop talking to her, but you won’t. She’ll come around, eventually.

Spend some more time at Mamaw Bobby’s. She won’t be around, much longer. You will see her in pain for a few hours, and it will burn in your memories. She won’t go until after you leave, though. Papaw will get you out of there. Be prepared. Uncle Ed will go a few years, later, but you’ll visit him a couple of times, before he does. He might not remember you at first, but just remind him.

The relationships you’re in? The ones you thought would last forever? They won’t. Young love is beautiful, but “young” and “love” don’t mix. You’ll learn from them. The tears you shed won’t mean much.

You see that guy standing by the Coke machines? The one who thinks he’s too cool to hang out with anybody? He’s in your Spanish class. You’ll make better grades than him, in that class. I want you to rub it in his face, too.

I’m kidding, you’ll do that anyway. I will tell you to be prepared to hang out with him. You won’t know what to think, really. Your first date will be Sonic Drive-In. It won’t be much, but it’ll be fun. He will spend a lot of time at your house, even if he’s the last person you ever thought would come around, but both of you will enjoy each other’s company. He’s sweet, once you get to know him. A real gentleman. Mamaw will love him. Mamaw Bobby would love him, too, if she were still here.

Do you know who I’m talking about? You’ll never be able to guess, but you’ve been classmates since kindergarten.

Dillon.

Surprised? I was.

Your crush on him will start once he shows you his sweet and soft side. He will open up to you. He will embarrass himself in front of his family just so he can see you for a little while.

Remember, how you said, “I will never get married”? Tough luck, kiddo. Dillon pops the question a couple of years, later. The first couple of years will be rocky, but the foundation will grow stronger.

Oh, can’t forget the many times you said, “I will never ever ever ever ever have kids!”

Three. You have three.

They’re so beautiful. You definitely won’t regret it. They will each be different. Like morning, noon, and night. Motherhood will be hard, but you will survive. You’ll be terrified when you give birth, each time being scarier than the last, but each time will be so much quicker and easier than the last. You can do it. Dillon will be by your side, every time. He’s not much of a loner, anymore.

You’ll cry a lot. I mean, a lot. Anxiety will be your number one fan, no matter how bad you don’t want it to be. You’ll have some pretty scary experiences. Don’t be afraid. It’s only anxiety. Every panic attack, every feeling of loneliness, every sense of guilt, it will all be anxiety. Sometimes, you’ll feel like you’re smothering. Have, at least, five bottles of ibuprofen ready for your random aches and pains. You will be nowhere near the Golden Years, but you’ll feel like it, sometimes.

There will be many doctor’s visits, ER visits, pills, techniques, and anything that may help you. Be strong. This is just a part of life. Everyone has stress, just different levels of it. Learning more about it will help.

Eventually, you will want to help others when they need someone. You will help a few, between then and now. We will still strive to grow, and help others grow.

You will juggle marriage, parenthood, family, friends, money, health, home, and so much more. It seems overwhelming, and if I know you (I should) then I know you’re saying “me? I will never be able to do all of that!” But you will. You are so much stronger than you ever thought possible.

You can do this. Your life hasn’t even begun, yet.

I won’t keep you, anymore, so I’ll just wrap up. You’ve got plans, tonight, after all.

I guess, my advice to you is keep your faith, keep your passion, and keep your love for others. You’ll need their love, too.

Take care of your mind and your body.

Love,
Courtney

P.S: For the love of Pete, PLEASE do something about your IBS. That crap hurts. Pun intended.

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