Dearest 16 year old self

  1. Eat bread. Bacon. Chocolate. Take ample portions. Your body will eventually tire of burning fat. But not yet.
  2. Wear leather, the bicycle shorts, your teeny bikini. “Put it on until you’re 34 ~Nora Ephron” Yes now, when you’re still a sylph.
  3. Burn the phone lines, you’ll never have that same abundance of time doing nothing.
  4. Be friendly with the boys. One day, all they will think about is getting you in bed. But today, they think you’re a goddess paying them heed, giving them goose-bumps.
  5. Play that game with your little brother. Even if he chopped off Barbie’s hair.
  6. Delight in having your mom at the breakfast table, and your family complete.
  7. Don’t settle on Legal Management for your Bachelor’s Degree. Take literature or Philosophy instead.
  8. The friends and the memories stay. They will lift you through toil and trouble, or help you die laughing.
  9. Dance on stage, at every party, on that ledge, at every turn.
  10. We won’t have flying cars by 2000. Don’t sell the Combi.
  11. You’re still going to remember every word of that song 25 years later. (Don’t throw out the vinyl either.)
  12. No one keeps their heart in one piece, love anyway.
  13. You’re going to be besotted with your children. And you’re going to doll them up in pink. I swear by it.
  14. Love recklessly. It’s the whirlwind way to undergo the full brunt of life’s colors and darkness. It’s harrowing, it’s daunting, it’s blissful, it’s exquisite, and you’ll be beside yourself with joy.  And here’s a little secret: a broken heart actually swells.
  15. Boobs are overrated.
  16. Don’t worry now about being skinny. Trust me.
  17. The clothes will still matter someday. The mania doesn’t end in high school.
  18. Try not to hurry. You’ll work that 8 hour shift someday. Not yet. Today, sit in the hut. Hang out at the parking lot. Laugh till your sides hurt. Drink Bartles and James. Light the fire.
  19. You may obsess about what to wear and cheering practice. Saving the world will never be as easy as it is today.
  20. Pay no heed to what anyone says about your mother. Or you. It doesn’t add up to or portend anything unless you make it so.
  21. Some Kind of Wonderful doesn’t cut it in real life. Try Goonies instead.
  22. Being in that infamous group, standing out, writing that controversial article, or watching a movie in your uniform, won’t spell the end of it for you. Even if your mother was called to the Disciplinarian’s office twice.  Instead, it will set the course of your life. Have faith.
  23. Invest in a company called Apple.
  24. You don’t have to blend in. Be the lone nut dancing in the room. If you dance it well, someone will follow.
  25. Love- that corny thing -is actually hot.
  26. It’s all right to miss a Kundirana concert.
  27. You can’t have enough books.
  28. Don’t bother learning how to find a book in the library. Don’t buy an encyclopedia. Everything will be up in the Cloud. I’m not kidding.
  29. Listen to your gut. That hairstyle and spray net are bad for you.
  30. Be fearless about dispensing kindness. The well never runs out.
  31. You will have a voice. Speak your truth. It matters to some, it makes a difference to you.
  32. You’ll treasure the dark bits and shadowy times. These will be your badges of honor. And stories to tell.
  33. They’re often not the man of your dreams. But they will be your teachers.
  34. Take that road and find your own way. You don’t need to drag anyone there. Except you won’t be alone. You will meet fellow travelers. Companions too.
  35. And perhaps just this, life is always too short.

“Non, je ne regrette rien.” –Edith Pilaf

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