Dear 15 year old me
If I met you today, I would have been overwhelmed with emotions. Your life and your outfits seem great, and how I would have given up anything to have them both. Your hopeful eyes and unwavering faith are not something I would have recognized as my own. I cannot remember the last time I was this happy as I see you right now. Maybe it was when I was still a kid; when I was 15; when I was you.
You, of course wouldn’t have recognized me. I am not the same person that you are right now. Basketball at 5 pm and cartoons thereafter are not a part of my routine anymore. I have lost all our crayons, and with them the intent, talent and time to paint. I have grown up, more emotionally than intellectually and physically. But I hope you like me when you get here.
Looking at you right now seems surreal. It feels like time has stopped; I wish it had. I have nothing much to offer other than a few words.
I wish I had known some things beforehand. I wish I had done some things differently. I wish I had someone to tell us these things when I was 15.
Don’t talk incessantly about that guy you have only seen play football in the field. You know nothing about him, and while stories are amusing, you must know when to draw the line. Don’t create scenarios in your head that are only going to pop when you come back to reality. Life doesn’t always happen how you want it to and that hurts.
I know you are struggling with school assignments and homework. I know you don’t like your Math teacher and that exam scheduled for the end of the week is not letting you sleep. But it’s okay. There is nothing to be scared of here, an exam or a class isn’t the end of the world. Seek help if need be, keep faith in yourself and take one step at a time.
I know your adrenaline is pumping and your gut is telling you to sneak out at night, or drive on your own. Or have those vodka shots you heard your cousins tried recently. But don’t. There is a reason that these things have an age bar. These activities spell trouble and that should be the last thing you should want in your life.
School is important. College is important. Knowledge, education and information are important. Don’t skip classes just for the adrenaline rush, or to seem ‘cool’. Its tough out here and there is nothing cool about ruining your chances of survival in the real world.
Don’t believe everything that that guy from music class is saying. The songs that he sends every night after 12 and the words that follow are not to melt you heart, but to give him passage into your pants. Know that there is much more to people than what they show and make your choices smartly.
And while it feels like it but no, you are not in love. Love is not those forwarded messages you’re getting on your phone or those pictures he is uploading of you. Love does not blossom when he holds your hand for the first time and it definitely doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. It is not a reason to do things that you’re not supposed to do and it definitely is not an excuse to make out. Don’t let these things unnecessarily cloud your mind.
Your parents aren’t your enemies. Even when it might not feel like it, they mean no harm. They may not be doing everything right but hey, they are trying. Handling a kid does not come with user-manuals and they are struggling too. Don’t distance yourself from them just because they are not doing everything you want them to. You’re going to regret it later.
Keep your phone aside for some time and spend time with your family. Your parents aren’t going to be here always. You might even move out in the future. You don’t know what choices life will force you to make, and whether they will include your family or not. These are people who matter, your no-matter-whats. They don’t need your time, they deserve it.
Choose your company wisely. These are people who are going to influence your life, your choices, how you see the world and yourself. Don’t hang out with people just because they are a part of the ‘in’ group at school. Don’t forget, the ones who are true will point out when you’re being unreasonable, and kick you in the butt when you act stupid. But they will also pick you up when you fall, and help you back on your feet.
Its okay if you lost that basketball match today. Or if your skin isn’t flawless. So what if you’re not the most popular girl in the school. Nobody cares if your Instagram profile has 100+ likes or not. Or if you did something adventurous or interesting today. Allow yourself some boredom and some “loserdome”. It will give you time to introspect.
I understand you have a hectic social life to maintain. But don’t choose a date, or a movie or a party over yourself. These people you are chasing right now won’t stay forever. Invest time, effort and emotions in yourself; nurture yourself. Help yourself grow. Know your worth; you should be your #1 priority. And with all this, be nice to yourself.
Cheer for yourself.
There will be ample time to ‘adult’ when life finally happens to you. It is going to be stressful, and you will always be on your knees. So why not enjoy now? You are a teenager, behave like one.
Have fun. Experience. Create memories. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Grow.
I am rooting for you. And can’t wait for you to grow up to be me.
Have an amazing journey; I will see you on the other side.
With all my love,