Letter To My Teenage Daughter

mom and carly

Daughter,

I’m 25 years old right now. You are just an egg somewhere in my lady parts, floating about minding your own business. Hope you’re having a good time in there because it will hopefully be awhile before you come out. But for when you do finally enter the world I wanted to be prepared. So I wrote this letter in advance. It’s essentially a bunch of advice I’ve compiled over the years that I wish I could’ve told my high school self. So grab a cup of tea, a chocolate bar and some Midol, you’re going to need it.

You are reading this because you are full of angst and quickly falling down the rabbit hole of hormonal hell (I won’t show this to you if you somehow manage to be a sun-shiny ray of happiness and joy). Welcome to adolescence baby. The purpose of this letter isn’t to make you feel better or to make you like me again. Because the only cure for that is time. The purpose is to hopefully provide you with insight on the fact that everyone is feeling the same way you are in some shape or form. Your feelings are raw and real and I acknowledge them, I’ve been there darling. We’ve all been there.

I want to start by clearing up a lie that I’m sure you’ve been conditioned to believe. And that’s that high school is suppose to be the best years of your life. That’s bullshit. These years will likely contain a slurry of fun experiences and friendships, but mostly these years suck. And not because you suck, but because you’ve got some crazy shit going on with your body. Your brain is shooting all sorts of chemicals and hormones around and you are expected to function as a good student, good daughter, good friend, good athlete and good girlfriend. All of those things don’t matter to me, I want you to just focus on one; being a good person. The rest will come.

Where do I even start? Boys, I suppose. First of all, they are serious trouble so if you happen to like girls, oh hallelujah sweet child! But back to the boys… You might think that they are your whole world. The attention they give you is validating and makes you feel loved, I know. But you are a complete person without them. I hope that you experiment and date and flirt and open your heart, but please darling don’t let the attention or lack of attention from males let you think less of yourself. And speaking of your heart. Protect it. You’re probably going to fall in love, and that love will be as real as anything, but don’t let it shatter your world if it ends. It’s a part of your life experience and you will be stronger because of it. And if you need your father to kill the dude, just say the word! My best advice is to diversify your relationships- Make sure to maintain all sorts of friendships so that you don’t rely too heavily on one person, because you are going to need as many people on your side as you can get.

Let’s get back to the part about being a good person. You’ve got very little control of what’s going on with you right now. You don’t get to pick your school, you don’t even really get to pick your friends. But there is one thing that you CAN control and that’s how you treat others. Those big bad boys that are going to break your heart, well they’ve also got hearts and so do the mean girls… so be gentle sweet pea. Your compassion and grace will inspire your peers and will facilitate real meaningful friendships. Fake happiness is the next best thing to real happiness, so try your best to be a light for others and you might just find yourself feeling happy too!

Are you ready for my sex talk? No? Me neither, but here it goes. Maintain your innocence. You are a youthful vibrant soul and you don’t need to do anything that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable. There’s plenty of time in your twenties for back of the alley blow jobs and one night stands (if you so choose). There is no need to rush into it. Just follow your heart young one, not the crowd. And if your heart happens to tell you that you are ready, that’s okay too. That doesn’t make you a “slut” or “easy”. It makes you human. And that’s beautiful. You’re beautiful.

More important than anything, I want you to know that you aren’t alone in anything that you are feeling. You don’t need to talk to me about it, but talk to someone. Laugh and cry about it. Adolescence is such a minute part of your life and your world will be full of sunshine and rainbows once again, I promise. So, hang in there sweet child of mine. I need you on this earth more than you know. We all need YOU. You’ve got a purpose and a place and without you the world won’t go ’round. It’s okay to feel depressed. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you will feel deep dark sadness at some point. If you have thoughts of suicide, you need to get help as soon as you can. From absolutely anybody. Don’t fight that battle alone and don’t be afraid to talk about it. All of your pain is real, but it’s short-term. It’s going to physically hurt and you won’t want to get out of bed. But you have to. Because, beautiful girl, you’ve got a life of purpose and meaning ahead of you.

So there you have it, honey. The world is going to throw some serious punches at you, so you gotta put your gloves on and fight back with all your might. You are strong, independent, smart, beautiful and worth every ounce of space that you take up. And when you make it through all this madness you will be able to bask in the glory of just how remarkable life really is. I’ve loved you since you were only a mere thought and I will continue to be your biggest supporter.

With the deepest love,

Mama

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