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If I could give 13 year old me some advice it would be:

Slow down - even if everybody has seen that movie/tried smoking/made out in the bathroom/ we all have different experiences. It's all cool. You've been on an airplane for 20 hours. Not everyone in your class can say that! Enjoy getting to know things in your own way, so what if Amy paints beautifully, keep putting that brush onto canvas. You see things your own way. 

You are beautiful - yes Nick Mulligan doesn't think so, but he is a pimply boy whose parents just split up. Do not look for acceptance in the eyes of others, just accept the eyes looking back at you in the mirror as your own glorious self. 

Not everyone hates you - even though it might feel like it somedays. Even now when someone cuts me off I have to remember, everyone has their own shit going on.  After that bitch Alison Kendall hit you with a ruler and some how you screwed up enough courage to punch her but still no one wanted to talk to you as though you were tainted by the scandal. It felt lonely and you were filled with the rage of injustice. Alison was just a messed up kid who will serve you coffee later in life but with eyes so sad that you will resist feeling superior.

Your parents are doing the best with what they have been given - they don't hate you and if they had more to give I believe they would have. Be aware and thankful of the surroundings they created for you to grow up in.

Brothers and sisters matter most - they do. You will all grow up in different versions of this childhood with different memories. Getting together to string them all together is like stitching together a modern family history quilt - it keeps you warm and you can pass it down to your children. Yup you will have children.

Be proud of your brain power - don't mess it up with drugs or skip classes and opportunities to allow it to grow. Learn new words. Fight to get it right, don't accept 'getting by'. Push yourself in maths, absorb science. Learn how to study.

 

Ask for help - if you don't get the help you need, ask again. Don't shut up. You deserve help. You would be surprised how many people want to help you but you must humble yourself to open up. Smartass or dumbass, it doesn't make much difference; they are both asses. Listen to people who try to help you. 

Choose good over bad - you will become your actions. You don't believe in cheating? Then don't cheat. Don't believe in being two faced? Be genuine with your words. Not every thought needs to be published with your mouth. Those words are just the product of those thoughts at that one moment of the day. Don't mirror others to fit in by echoing their words. You have your own mind and your own thoughts.

Now having read through the list I can see that I am still working on most of these at 40 years of age.

What would you say to your 13 year old self?  

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