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In which i discuss my 16-year-old self

I was talking to another blogger yesterday and we were discussing all sorts of random things when I brought up a hashmark tag I had seen earlier this year on Twitter.  It came to mind because a blogger had put up a list of her favorite posts of the year and one of those posts was along the lines of “things I would tell my 16 year old self.”  This was a trending tag sometime around the beginnings of my life as a blogger and while I saw it at the time, I really hadn’t given it much thought.

I have now, and here’s what I have to say.  “So Lynn, what would you tell your 16 year old self?”  Here’s the answer:  NOT ONE DAMN THING.  And here’s why:

When I was 16, I was moody, irritating, brilliant, stupid, sullen, happy, misinformed, kooky, mean, giving, loving and selfish.  But most of all, I KNEW EVERYTHING!  There wasn’t anything that anyone had to tell me that I didn’t already know or that I couldn’t figure out by myself.  Why?  Because I was 16 and I have NEVER met a 16 year old girl who was the least bit interested in anybody else’s opinion, unless that other person was also 16.  Trying to talk to a 16 year old is like trying to squeeze into lingerie at age 51, it just ain’t happening!  So WHY would I waste my time trying to tell myself that this too shall pass, that the person I was at 16 won’t be the person I will become, that I will “grow into” my looks, that someday, someone WILL want to date me, that people’s expectations of me won’t define me but my own expectations of myself will?

Why would I tell myself that the painful lessons are the most necessary lessons, that without heartbreak, it’s difficult to understand true love, that relationships are based on mutual respect and friendship?  Why would I try to beat this into my 16 year old brain?  Truth is… I wouldn’t.  Because as tough a road as it’s been at times, I like the endgame and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Sometimes, the journey is painful but the destination –  your life, your family – is worth it.  Sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.

I’m just saying…

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18 Comments

  1. Abby
    January 24, 2011

    I’m like you: I wouldn’t tell my 16 year old self anything. I was and am too stubborn to listen, much like you. But every time I disrespected my mother at 16 I would have smacked myself.

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      Back in the day when I was 16, my mother would slap me across the face! By the time I was 19, I gave my mom migraines. Oh, I was such a pain in the ass! You crack me up…slap yourself in the face.

  2. Kimberly
    January 24, 2011

    I’m pretty sure that we behave that way at 16 so that our parents are so sick of us by 18 that they all but toss us out of the car as they drive by the college.

    I don’t even want to reminisce about being 16 because I was such a bitch to everyone (except my friends). It’s kind of a miracle that my family still loves me.

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      It’s such a hard age to be a girl…and I got worse!! But eventually, I was better so it was all good in the long run. My girls aren’t as bad as I was.

  3. Lady Estrogen
    January 24, 2011

    Love it.
    The only thing I wish I could tell my 16 yr old self is to have been a little more braver – I could have landed a few extra hotties if I had just stepped it up a notch or two. HAHA.

    adventuresinestrogen.blogspot.com

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      Hahaha…I wasn’t landing any hotties when I was 16.

  4. Hajra
    January 24, 2011

    Not true for me…As a 16 year old I was way too lazy…put on weight, had a terribly low self esteem and had poor poor social skills, if I had a chance I would like to change things…but then I am pretty happy now…so why go through the trouble!!

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      oh, i had issues too. I just don’t think i would have actually LISTENED to anybody telling me what they thought. I was just really, really stubborn at that age. I’m glad you’re happier now!

  5. Gloria
    January 24, 2011

    Hmmm….What would I say to my 16 year-old self? “Life sucks” would be forbidden, as I would discourage a very optimistic and positive girl, who loved insanely the same person for four years, had faith on her friends who betrayed her multiple times, thought she would be a fabulous journalist, wanted to become famous and listened to cheesy disco tunes of the 80’s like it was the best thing in the world!
    The disco songs have all now been covered by artists like Britney and X-factor hopefuls, the fame story died before it began, the journalism was the cruelest and most unrewarding profession, the friends have vanished into oblivion (thankfully) and the boy now lives far far away…
    So the best advice I would give to myself at 16 would be “do what you do and take in every minute of your fabulous teenage years” – which was what I did without anyone telling me…
    Oh, God! I’m getting all weepy now… Great subject!!!

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      Wow…sounds like maybe those were the glory years for you. Don’t cry…it’s going to be ok! We all had big dreams didn’t we?

  6. Jackie
    January 24, 2011

    You know… that’s a really good point! When I look back there were so many mistakes that I made, big ones and little ones. Some that were life changing. And as hard as it all was I’m in a pretty good place right now and love my family. Without those mistakes I wouldn’t be here.

    • Lynn
      January 24, 2011

      Thanks for agreeing. I suffered through plenty of crap but I appreciate where I’m at all the more!

  7. Morgan B.
    January 25, 2011

    So right on! I had a similar conversation with a friend who wanted to talk her best friend out of an engagement. I asked her, “Would you have called off your wedding if someone had tried to talk you out of it? Probably not.” People have to learn from mistakes, and believe me, I made many when I was 16. It’s part of growing up. We are all better for it.

    ps
    I LOVE the disclosure at the top of your header. Hilarious.

    • Lynn
      January 25, 2011

      Thanks for the comment! I think the adversity is what forms us in life. Yeah, my disclaimer is basically YOU WERE WARNED! Don’t blame me!

  8. Name *
    January 30, 2011

    There would be so many thing that I would tell my 16 year old self, but your point is a great one in that I know for a fact I would hear everything and listen to nothing! Loved the read…
    Thanx!

    • Lynn
      January 30, 2011

      thanks…i appreciate the comment. hope to see you again!

  9. Mommylebron
    February 2, 2011

    I remember doing this waaay back in the beginning of my blogging (um, last summer). I did have a bit to say to myself, mostly because I was naive about somethings and let other people push me around.

    • Lynn
      February 2, 2011

      Yeah, I saw a lot of people telling themselves things but I KNOW, that as a 16 year old, I wouldn’t have listened. I never did.

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