Dear Teen Me

Letter to my high school self.
(Copied from Marty). (Who stole it from RA).

Part One.

Dear You. I mean Me. Dear Younger Me,

Man were you excited to be a grown up! Remember that? I guess for you, reading this way back in time, it’s not something to remember, but something that is happening, you know, in the present. Your present, not my present. These time travel things really confuse me. And I remember they always confused you too, so I guess I will start off by saying that although I am much more mature and knowledgable in some ways, being really super dumb about time travel is something that still remains the same. I know that of all the things that you’re wondering about Adult You, time travel acumen is probably not at the top of your list so I shall stop talking about that, as I don’t really know why I opened with it anyway. As an addendum to this captivating account so far, this first paragraph illustrates that your capacity for blabbing is something that shall stay with you for years to come.

So, to recap. Time travel- still confuses me. Blabbing- still happening.

So being an adult? It turned out fan-frickin-tastic. I am so glad that I can say that to you, because I know you had really high hopes of taking over the world with your wit and your charm and suchlike. However, there are a few things that turned out differently than you had planned or dreamed of…ok maybe a lot of things. Most things. All things?

First of all, I know you always thought that you would be living in a big city, and because most of your experiences with big cities were related to Chicago or New York, you always pictured yourself there. The bad news is that you didn’t end up in either of those two places, at least long term. The good news is that you did end up in a fabulous city. Seattle! Ta da!

Don’t look at me like that, Younger Self. I know that in your mind, Seattle is a kind of outback no-brown-folks grunge forest where people wear bad lumberjack fashion, but really, it’s a city. A pretty big, pretty diverse one. Well, maybe it’s not that big back when you/I were in high school, but now, it totally is. Really. We have skyscrapers and you aren’t the only brown person on your block and everything. I see you are skeptical so let’s move on.

Also, you are not single and living with your best friends in some sort of funky communal artist tenement, being all arty by day and dating it up at night. See, um, the thing is, although you do have a super terrific group of funky friends, many of whom are actually artist-types, you don’t live with them. You live with a dude. Like, a partner-type dude. All hetero-domestic-bourgie style. With a mortgage and everything. And the dude is someone that makes you feel goopy and giddy and you don’t want to date anyone but him.

Wait! Don’t stop reading this! I promise you- it is awesome. Like, you didn’t think boys like this existed sort of awesome. I know you totally don’t believe me on this, because all the guys in your high school (barring the gay ones) are total dickwads who you don’t mind making out with and stuff, but living with one of those clowns? Unacceptable. And yes, I have to agree with you on that. But those boys are not all that’s out there. You’re going to date some really nice ones along the way when you’re an adult (and a couple of those dickwads too, I hate to tell you), and then you’ll find that your best friend is the Ridonkulously Awesome one that you really want to be with and it will rock. And you know what else? He’s not the only awesome dude you know. You know lots of awesome dudes now who will not at all compromise your feminism. Dickish dudes are not as all-encompassing as you thought. Rare, yes. But a nice dude is not as unicorny as you think.

Am I totally blowing your mind?

Also, as long as we are on the subject of boiz, may I offer a word of advice? I know you have a checklist of Things That a Boy Must Have in Order to Be Worthy of YOU. You have it all figured out, I know. They have to have the right politics, and the right opinions about things, and a cool career that doesn’t sell, buy, or process anything a la Lloyd Dobler, and all like that. Listen, I am not dumping on the idea of standards. You deserve what you want in the romance department and I am not telling you to throw the list out. But the main thing on your list? Should be that the boy should be nice. Someone who is kind and makes you laugh and is unconditional and just helps you to be more and more who you are. Not someone that you feel like you have to measure up to. The bad news is that you’re going to go through a phase where you don’t get this. The really, really good news is that the phase is very, extremely short. Because really? A dude isn’t a badge that you wear. And you’re not a badge for him to wear either.

Boy, did I get tiresome in my old age or WHAT?

Well hold on sister, because I ain’t done yet. So, your job. You are, right now, one of the most overly trained young ladies that you know, and guess what? You won’t be making any money doing what you were trained for! Instead? You…are a librarian. Like, that’s your job! I don’t even know HOW to explain that one to you, so I will just let you sit with it. Just trust me on this, you’ll really like your job. And actually, being a librarian turns out to be regarded as a pretty cool thing to be, and people will actually be jealous of you for getting to do this.

So far, you think I am full of shit, don’t you?

Let me change gears for a second and compliment you on your hair. You never gave in to the big hair craze of the 80s and early 90s and honey, GOD BLESS YOU. The decision to not have bangs that you Aussie Scrunch Spray to high heaven was grand foresight on your part. As an adult you will be able to look back at photos and laugh at all your friends’ hair and feel smugly satisfied with yourself. You were certainly gripped by other fashion afflictions so I am not quite sure why you held out on the hair thing, but good job, my dear. Good job.

Now, for something blunt. If I recall you were an unusually blunt young lady so I know you will appreciate this. I need to compliment you on your balls. Dang you have huge ones! In hindsight (ballsight?) I really do look back and marvel. You have set a high standard for my lifetime ballsiness levels and I gotta tell you that I am nowhere near where you were, although I still try. I don’t know why but I really mellowed out somewhere along the road (actually I know right when it happened- I was twenty-three) and although I enjoy the mellow quite nicely, I do miss how open and expressive and unafraid you always were. So yeah. Kudos on the ballage.

Those are a few things that have changed over the years. Next time I might tell you about somet things that have remained the same. I feel I must stop now because you just might be catatonic with shock at what has been revealed here.

Sorry about that.

Ok, one more. New Kids on the Block are still popular.

Hello? You ok? Hello?

I might have gone too far with that last one.

I’m out,
Librarian Girl


  1. i wish more teens were complimented on how much they wanted to be true to themselves. so many give in to the pressure to do ridiculous things like getting a perm. (which i’m now thankful my mother never let me do).

  2. This was a FANTASTIC post – how many times do we think that if our younger self was in a room with our present self, they would totally kick our ass?p.s. My daughter went to see NKOTB a few weeks ago – she said they were even better than the Backstreet Boys. *rolling eyes* All I could tell her was that if Donnie’s hot brother was there, give him my number.

  3. What a great post!I was waiting at to get my legs waxed and picked up a cosmo to read before my appointment and one of the key points is to date nice guys but not to TELL them they are nice guys – apparently that is bad for their egos?

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