23 September 2013

Dear Sixteen Year Old Mandy,

Mandy/Manders/Mandolin (and whatever other nicknames you have),

You're Sixteen Years Old and I've got a few things to say but I will keep it somewhat short. Let's just start off being blunt & obvious. You are not the center of the universe. Shocking, right? As a teenager, you believe that every single little bit of drama is life altering. But, it's not, so get over it. Yes it is true that everything that happens in your life "shapes" you into the person you will one day become, but what really matters, is how you view yourself. I wish you wouldn't have gotten so wrapped up in the need to "fit in" because the truth is, you probably never will. But what you need to realize, is that it's OK to do your own thing, follow your own passions & dreams.

I wish I could go back in time, and tell you that you are worth much more than the way people treated you. People in High School are caddy and build themselves up by knocking others' down, and you certainly spent your share of time on the floor. But you know what? You dished it out sometimes, and for that, I'm ashamed of you. I know, I know, that's what teenage girls do, but that is not an excuse! Respecting your classmates, your teachers, your friends, and yes... even your enemies, is what makes you classy. Not the fact that you were "cool enough" to make it onto the Dance/Drill Team. Because you weren't that cool, sorry to break it to you.

But while we're on the topic, here's another thing. Quitting your competitive dance team your Junior year to join the High School Drill Team was probably the biggest mistake you made in your teenage years. Making that choice, led you to completely derail. Your academics, your self worth, and your potential, all suffered greatly because of it. You spent too much time being caught up in things that ultimately will never matter in your life, rather than paying attention to important stuff. I won't dwell too much on this, but girl, that was a dumb decision because you loved dancing so much, and were a much happier person because of it. And I promise you, you will regret that choice later. Like, a lot. So there's that.

But you know what? There's not a lot more I really even wanna say to you except this: Here's the most important thing, so listen up Sixteen Year Old Mandy. When you are older, unlike in high school, you will understand that life isn't about how people view you. It's not about appearances, or the things you own, the guy you're dating or the friends you have. It's about who you are, and who you want to become. You will meet people that understand you, and have the same beliefs as you. And THOSE people are the ones you want to keep in your life. You will be blessed with a loving Husband and adorable little children, and you will look back on your teenage years, and even your early twenties, and shake your head at how ridiculous you were. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing...please use your teenage years as a reminder as to what life SHOULD NOT be about. Maintain your integrity, be humble, be righteous, and love your family.

And that's it. It's actually pretty simple.

And because we're talking about ourselves as teenagers, I couldn't post this without showing y'all some pictures of me back in the day. Your welcome.
(My teenage self! I'm the one on the left)
(And I'm happy to report that yes, I am still this strange)

Linking up with Becky @ From Mrs. To Mama.

What are some things you would tell your 16 Year Old Self??

12 comments:

Kristin said...

I just found your blog through the link up! I love your letter! How true is ALL of it?!?! Oh the Drama of 16 year olds! I'm dreading the day my kids hit that stage!

Love your blog! New follower!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I like this, Mandy! We were just talking at the supper table last night it was me, my husband, his baby sister & her husband and our friend who's 30ish. We were talking how it's so awesome to be a kid, but you don't appreciate it and that if my husband could go back in time he'd smack his teenage self for not enjoying family vacations more and appreciating all that goes into organizing them and being grateful to your parents for all the things they do!

Amanda M. said...

I love this! I actually wrote a letter to my 16 year old self a few years ago....and it still holds true today. (:
http://www.amaddoxfamily.com/2011/05/letter-to-16-year-old-me.html

Rachel said...

It seems like so much learning happens AFTER our teen years or late into them...

Krista said...

What an awesome idea--I'd love to write a letter to my 16 year old self. I'd tell me not to be so hard on me and to try to enjoy HS. Lord knows I didn't. Great letter!

Deanna H said...

Loved this Mandy! Everything is spot on and something I think we can all relate to even with different circumstances.

Lauren Davison said...

oh if we could go back how diff it would all be :p
first off, I would never stop exercising, bc "how fat" I was back then was actually underweight skinny, seriously college lauren put down the cheese. oh and all those ppl you/I/we were trying to impress back then?! who cares.

Mandey Ejiasi said...

This is great. I love kind of getting a peek into where people used to be way back when. (I'm going to link up too!)

Jannatul Rahamoni said...

time flies really fast

Nikki @ WishUponAShootingStar said...

Love this! If someone told me when I was 16 that my life would be like this ten years later, I would think they were crazy! I look back and see how so many people that I spent so much time trying to impress were actually toxic to me. My life would have been much easier if I let those people go back then and focused more on the things that mattered. Great post!

Kiara Buechler said...

Awww, this made me tear up. On one hand I am sad you had to go through all that during your youth, but at the same time it has shaped you into the wonderful woman and friend you are today.

Carly Fisher said...

I love this Mandolin! Not only because I knew and loved your 16 yo self (as bad as our priorities may have been), but because I feel the same way when I look back. Life is GOOD once you get it all figured out.