I know that it is technically the start of week 18, but I got a little lazy with the schedule, so I am catching up today.
Today when I spent a good portion of the day on my feet, feeling tired and resentful. I’ve been working with a girl who thinks she is the queen of the tutoring centre, and today she complained that her throat felt sore and she shouldn’t have to manage a group of kids. There were two other people in the centre: me, who has been dead on her feet for the past week, and another woman. Now, this woman just came back after suffering a devastating loss, a loss that she cannot tell anyone about…a loss that would have flattened me. She did not complain about being in the centre, did not complain about the work that we needed to do, and volunteered to work a zone and be with the kids. I took the kiddos so she didn’t have to, but she was more than willing. This was the second shift in a row that the first girl passed the work to everyone before even thinking of doing anything.
Off topic, but it made me really cranky, and much as I am trying to make myself better, as much as I am trying to break old habits, when I am cranky, I revert right back to the negative mindset I am most comfortable in.
Maybe a focus on this will help me. The task for week 17 is to write a letter to my teenage self. So here goes:
Dear Teenage Kim,
Believe it or not, you did not have a heart attack in your your teenage years. You actually make it to adulthood. For the most part you make pretty good life choices, but there a few things that you should know:
- Stop worrying about every little thing. The world is not going to end if you fail a class, or a test (in fact, you do that later in life, and nothing bad happens to you), and no one is going to think less of you.
- Take swimming seriously. You are going to slack off, but that is such a bad idea. You were in good shape, you weren’t horrible, and it is way better than trying to be a runner.
- The people you are friends with now, the ones you think you’ll be friends with forever, will not be your friends in ten years. If you really want to keep some of them, you are going to have to work really hard and be prepared to be disappointed, a lot.
- In fact, you are going to feel disappointed in people a lot, sometimes in the ones that matter the most, but mostly in the ones who don’t live up to your expectations.
- Also, you are going to have drop those expectations. No one, and very few things ever meet them. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache if you let that shit go.
- Go to therapy. You don’t go until almost a decade later, and trust me, you wasted a lot of time being depressed.
- Don’t worry about your virgin status. It will be worth it to wait, and even though you will make some bad choices, you don’t get pregnant, you aren’t gossip for anyone, and you’ve never had an STD. A lot of your friends cannot say the same.
- Don’t ignore your wanderlust. You turn down a year of studying abroad, a year of teaching English in another country because you are afraid that people will forget you, afraid of what will happen if you leave, but trust me, when you are travelling, you are alive and happy.
- You’ll be 26 before you are comfortable with yourself. It is a really long learning process, but take it as it comes
- You age like a fine wine. You are way better looking now that you wear more than jeans and a hoodie. Guys tell you that you are hot. They walk through restaurants in Spain to check you out. It is fun. Enjoy it.
- You will get hurt a lot when you are out of your teens. A lot. Devastatingly painful hurt that you are completely unprepared for. I can tell you that there are days you don’t get out of bed and you have no idea how you are going to keep going, but you do keep going, and in the end, that is all that matters.
- You eventually figure out how to let people past the snark and sarcasm. This leads to you crying. A lot. You also become a really ugly crier, so make sure that you bring tissues with you to meetings or other situations that you think might make you cry. Seriously. The amount of snot you produce is insane.
- Skip school once in awhile. No one will care that you never missed a day of school when you are 29.
Bad things are going to happen to you. Bad things that came from choices that you made as a teen. I wish I could tell you to make different choices, save you from the hurt. But it wouldn’t be right. You will learn a lot from some of that hurt, and it will lead you to some really good people and some really great experiences. When you are 25 you will make the best decision of your life. At 28, you will do it again. Trust those. Those choices will make you happier than anything else you’ve ever done (including flying…yes, you get to fly, and then you almost puke in front of a really cute guy….not you at your best) and even on the bad days (and there will be a lot of those, sorry), you will be happy, and genuine and be surrounded by people that understand you, people that actually like you for your weirdness and your wanderlust, and that, teenage Kim, makes everything you will do from then to me worth it.
With sass and snark,
29 year old Kim