Dear Teenage Me

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I got this idea from another blogger and totally liked it. If you blog, tag! You gotta do it too!

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A Letter to my Teenage Self

Dear Abet,

You’re 18 now and living on your own in a boarding house near your university campus. It’s been years for me, but I do remember how you’re feeling a bit scared, like you’re about to take a major exam that will determine the rest of your life for you. But I also remember how excited you are. And how much you’re loving life right now.

So you might think you don’t need this letter, or the pieces of advice I’m sending you. But hear me out, after all, hindsight is really better than foresight. Plus, you might find something to interest you. I’m not going to give you too many details, though. I don’t think it’ll work to warn you too much. After all, you’ll find out later that you did learn from a lot of your mistakes.

Mistakes–you’ll specialize in them. You will make a lot, like for example, when you liked that boy—oopppss. I can’t talk about that. But I’ll say this–it was one of the best mistakes you ever made, only because you grew so much from it.

So anyway, I’m going to start…

Don’t sweat the music you listen to. Really. You’re going to walk into a lot of arguments about how many of the songs you listen to belong to the devil. You’re going to feel confused, frustrated and lose a lot of sleep over it. But you’ll soon come to understand that music—art, can always lead you to the One who created it all.

Don’t stop reading. As if, you say? Don’t snort at me, you will at some point stop because you’ll get too busy. But the days will come when you’ll find yourself in situations where you have no inkling whatsoever how to act, and you’ll fall back on those characters who inspire you now. And you know that guilt you have because you read more fiction than anything else? It serves a purpose. Don’t neglect your Bible, and non-fiction books can turn out to be aesthetic reading too.

Also, you should know that your friendships now will follow you well into your future life. So keep them close. Although I have to warn you, some will disappear. If you can, find a way to keep in touch. You’re going to wake up some days and miss certain people, and you won’t know how to reach them.

Body issues. You’re gonna think I’m joking but you’re comparatively skinny right now. So enjoy it. Most times I know you feel like you’re overweight, but you’ll understand what that means after you have two kids and retain the appetite you had while you were pregnant with them.  You’ll be looking back to these days and wishing…so wear those sleeveless shirts, jump into those shorts and slide your feet into some comfy sandals. It really is ok. Plus, you know how you’ve always felt that comfort should come before fashion. You’ll be proven right.

Heart matters. You think your heart’s breaking now? You’ve no idea. In the future, your heart will break a lot of times, but it will be over more significant things. You’ll cry over babies dying of hunger, women catching AIDS from their unfaithful husbands, men dying in hopeless wars. These are the kinds of heartbreak that won’t go away just because you find someone new to like.

Remember that dream you had where you were pregnant and on a roller coaster? Remember how your arms were wrapped protectively around your belly and when you got to the end of the ride, you gave birth to a son? Well, you’re going to have a son, twice, and most of the time you’ll love the adventure. And you’ll think there’s nothing quite like raising boys.

Oh, and back to heart matters. You’ll end up marrying the kind of person you never expected you’d end up with. And you’ll be grateful you did. Right now you’re thinking you know exactly how Mr. Right looks like. Well, you’ll find that—on second thought, I’ll leave you to find out for yourself.

Here’s something comforting. You know how you hate doing the laundry? And how you don’t enjoy cooking and all that. Well, once you get married, you’ll never have to do the laundry again. I’m serious! But you’ll be doing the ironing. So start liking that. And you’ll have to learn to cook, because eventually everyone gets tired of scrambled eggs. Even, you’ll find out,  self-confessed egg-lovers like your second son.

Lastly, I know you don’t have your future all mapped out. I also know you’re not really too worried about what’s gonna happen five years from now, much less twenty years later. So, I’m not going to say anything more except this: you’ll have a good life. You’ll struggle (who doesn’t?) but you’ll see that the God you trust now will be there with you every step of the way. That should be enough to let you know you’ll be fine.

Now it’s time to go to bed. I know you have math tomorrow at 7:00 am. Try to wake up in time for that one or you’ll spend next summer in a stiflingly hot classroom trying to learn those algebraic equations. But I’ve said too much already!

Goodnight!

-your grown-up self

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