Thanks to social media, we share so much of our lives with friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and even complete strangers. Thanks to apps like Timehop and Facebook, we can get reminders of things that we’ve shared with the world on any day in history. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s embarrassing! I for one am grateful that most of my formative years…and most of my mistakes… occurred before the invention of social media.
The other day I was looking at my Facebook memories and it made me cringe! Oh how I wish I could go back to twenty-eight year old Jess and grab her by the shoulders and take the phone out of her hand before sharing the dirty laundry from her failing marriage!! Which got me thinking, after thirty-seven years on the earth, surely I have some advice that I could give my former/younger/dumber/more naive self!
To elementary school Jess, I would say…
- Don’t hide bad test scores in the back of your desk. Take them home and face the consequence of the grade, it will be easier than the consequence of the grade AND hiding it!
- Be proud of who you are and NEVER lie to make yourself something you aren’t.
- Just because you grow up in a home where your parents butcher their own meat, doesn’t mean you are poor.
To middle school Jess, I would say…
- Girl, embrace the budding bosom! Boys can’t help but talk about boobs. They are immature. That says more about them than it does you.
- Middle school is a change, but you can handle it! Don’t let this new anxiety keep you from being your best you!
- Don’t let one bad haircut, or all of the bad haircuts, ruin your life! It’s just hair, baby girl, it will grow back!
To high school Jess, this is where it gets tough, I would say…
- Ease up on the boy craziness, seriously! It’s going to get you into a LOT of trouble. I know that deep down your heart is burning for a boy’s affection. It will come when the time is right. Be grateful most of the boys you like don’t like you back. You don’t need to kiss every boy that wants to kiss you. This is a terrible idea. Also, don’t flash your boobs to any boys! It’s trashy and gross, and attracts the wrong kind of boys.
- Don’t be someone you aren’t just to fit it or to get a boy to like you! Don’t smoke pot or have sex or any other thing that you aren’t ready to do! It’s not worth it. You will feel like your world is falling apart in the aftermath.
- Bully’s are the worst. The things they say and do are terrible, but it doesn’t have to define you. You will rise up out of the wreckage. Hold your head high. (But also, if you avoid the above the bullying won’t be quite as terrible and earth shattering!)
- You are a pretty girl, and your size 6 body is perfect just the way it is, even if it isn’t a size 2 like your peers. I see you looking in the mirror, pinching your stomach, and contemplating how to get rid of your lunch. Please don’t. Your body does and will do amazing things. If you go down that road you will develop an unhealthy relationship with food that will haunt you for the rest of your life.
- Accept now that you will never have the relationship that you are looking for from your mother. It will never be the same as your friends’ relationships with their moms. You are two very different people, who see the world in two very different ways, and that is okay. It will save you money and tears in therapy!
- Pursue your interests and hobbies, don’t spend ALL of your free time working!! I see that you really enjoy crafts, taking pictures, writing stories, and making pretty things. These are not silly. These are fun and promote creativity. It’s important to have hobbies! When you try out for the girls basketball team and make it, JOIN! Stand up for yourself when trying to convince your parents that this is a good opportunity! Because IT IS a good opportunity! By working all the time, you will be missing out on making memories with friends! You don’t want to be the girl who’s senior quote in the yearbook is “I can’t, I have to work!”
I know that a lot of the mistakes that I made as an adolescent and teen helped to mold me into who I am today, but deep down I could have done without some of the unnecessary pain and heartache! Stay tuned for the next installment where I give advice to twenty something Jess! What advice would YOU share with your younger self? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Until Next Time: Peace, Love & Adventures