Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Open Letter to 18-Year-Old Me

I can't claim this as an original idea... totally stole it from my internet buddy Kevin. But I do think it's a pretty good exercise. I wonder if 10 years from now, 38-year-old Me will want to punch 28-year-old Me in the face as much as 28-year-old me wants to do the same for the recipient of this letter.

Dear 18-year-old Lauren,

It's your senior year in high school. You're about to go to college, leave home. Embark on this crazy life. And it's gonna get weird. The next 10 years aren't going to be anything like you expect them to be. But don't freak out. I know you want to, but don't. Because they're going to be even better. Here are a few pointers and things I wish you'd known:

+ Quit trying to plan everything... especially your life. You're setting yourself up for lots of disappointments and will potentially miss out on lots of surprises. 

+ You are sooooo going to regret that cheesy senior quote in the yearbook. Please get a clue and start expanding your musical tastes now. It's for your own good. Plus you look a lot less silly tearing up over emotional songs and having crushes on singers when you're 18.

+ This is probably the last time in your life when you are absolutely sure you know what you want. Relish in that, even if what you want is kinda lame. 

+ You know how there are all these people who you really want to impress now by not being yourself? Most of them turn out to be pretty douchey. Embrace that inner dork. She's weird, but pretty cool. 

+ Start forming your own opinions. You'll need them later. 

+ Lauren, honey, you are no where near fat. You don't even weigh enough to give blood at the school blood drive, for the love of God. So embrace that metabolism. Your future self will thank you if you start appreciating exercise now, though. Oh, and steer clear of Big Blue Bagel freshman year in college. The honey mustard is NOT worth it.

+ There's nothing wrong with aspiring to be a wife and mother, but it would be pretty cool (and very convenient a few years later when you don't have a husband/baby daddy lined up) to have discovered real career aspirations earlier in life. So start really thinking about that. (PS: You want to be a librarian. Or an English teacher.)

+ PUT DOWN THE DANIELLE STEELE. Sure, you do read books that are worthwhile and all, but really? You're going to stay up until 2am on a school night reading something with a Fabio cover and then bitch in English the next day about how much you hated Heart of Darkness? Oh, wait. That's not gonna change. That book sucks. But seriously - I know your boyfriend is away at college, and you're sad and need a romance pick-me-up happy-ending novel, but try some Jane Austen instead.

And you know what? You're pretty cute. And have pretty great skin. Work it, sister.

Love,
You at 28

1 comment:

Laurel said...

LOVE this.

so so so well written!