The One With the Advice to My 16 Year Old Self

A friend of mine posted this to Face Book last week. The responses were thoughtful and entertaining. I of course couldn’t come up with only four words. I’m not sure if it’s because I talk to much or because my 16 year old self needed a LOT of advice!

As I was reading through all of the responses, I couldn’t decide which would have been most pertinent to myself at 16. Or to my child, who is not too far off from sixteen (hold me Jesus). Admittedly, he’s a boy and girls have oh so many more issues I believe than boys, but still a lot of the advice holds.

Since I couldn’t come up with only 4 words,  I did narrow it down to 4 pieces of advice, which I’m offering up here. I will be stealing some of the advice posted to the Face Book comments. For example, the friend who posted it said, “He isn’t worth it.” I love that tip, except there’s more to it than four words. So here we go.

  1. He’s not worth it. Mostly, this is probably true. Odds are this is not the person you will probably spend the rest of your life. Should you make sure you maintain your female friendships and nurture those more than your romantic relationships? Absolutely. But… I don’t regret my “He”. He helped make me who I am. I learned a lot from my “He”. I learned about relationships; I learned about what I wanted and/or needed from a relationship. I learned not to be so codependent. I now have the luxury of hindsight, and even a friendship with my “he” (“He” even sometimes read this, so Hi!) and I am thankful that he was in my life for a season. I’m not sure that I would have the life or marriage I have now if I hadn’t traveled that road first. I also learned that God knows better than I do what I need. And while I am so terrified of the day my child has his heart broken, I also don’t think it’s a bad thing to love someone so much that when they leave you actually feel your heart break. Hearts are like any other organs or bones, where they scar, they are stronger, and can hold more. Oh, and I learned to appreciate the Beatles and football.
  2. You are not fat. This was also mentioned on the Facebook  post. I don’t have much more to add to this. Except if someone could have told me this everyday I’m not sure it still would’ve helped. Actually, I would like to say this everyday to my 40 year old self too.
  3. Don’t worry about what everyone thinks of you. This has been my favorite thing about turning 40. I no longer worry so much if people come to my house and it isn’t clean. I will wear shorts that may show some cellulite. I may post a blog that is unpopular and nobody reads. If only I could’ve learned this at sixteen…. People will judge you. People will make fun of you. People will talk about you behind their back. But whatever man. You do the thing God wants you to do.
  4. Enjoy every minute. I realize right now I sound so old and so cliche. But high school is over in a blink. And then college. While you’re in the midst, you just want it to be done. You think that boy is “The One’ and if you fail that final it will shatter every dream you’ve ever had. You think your prom dress and your prom date and if you make the cheerleading squad are the most important things in life. Enjoy that time. I don’t want to minimize your “problems” but someday you will look back and wish the most stress you had was a final exam. High school is not easy. Being a teenager is not easy. You are growing and learning so much. But you will get through…just hold on and enjoy the ride my dear
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