In honor of my 30-year high school reunion, I have some thoughts to share with my 18-year-old self:
1. You will not always be thin, so stop saying you’re fat. Around the age of 30 or so, you’ll be shooting your younger self a pudgy bird as you wipe queso from the corners of your mouth. Enjoy your perky, tight figure and take it easy on the carbs.
2. Stop slathering yourself with baby oil and laying out in the sun. In fact, you have got to start wearing sunscreen. In 30 years, your dermatologist will use you as a poster model for What Never To Do, meanwhile your twice-yearly laser therapy appointments will fund summer trips to Bali for his wife and kids, AND new boobs for his girlfriend.
3. You should put yourself “out there” more. Be more confident in your abilities. You’re just so damn insecure, and it’s obnoxious and painful to watch.
4. You are not going to marry that guy. And it’s going to be ok. There’s someone just right for you that’s going to give you way more than what you’re dreaming of right now, you just have to trust. It’s not gonna be that next guy, either, even though you’ll feel sure you’ve met your match in a fun-loving personality. Nope - he’s going to cheat on you by proposing to someone else, and it’s going to knock the breath right out of you. It’s not going to be that next one, either. You’ll be absolutely sure he’s The One, but: not even close. After he goes off the rails and you throw your hands up, saying, “I’m done, I’m done,” you’ll meet a real man - the one you’ll marry and it’ll be completely unexpected and he’ll breathe life right back into you and you’ll have fights and you’ll have babies, and you’ll grow and change - sometimes together and sometimes apart - and you’ll be married for at least 23 years, as of this writing. So yeah… it’ll be pretty awesome.
5. Cool it on the eyebrow tweezing.
6. You’re not going to be a mother to girls. There. I said it. There won’t be day-long spa days with “your girls” or cheer practice or cheetah print. So just get that out of your head.
7. You’ll join in on the new craze that your friends are talking about: thong underwear. Be real cautious that you’re sticking your legs through the right holes because if one of the side-seams ends up rubbing your bunny all day, you’ll feel like a fire's breaking out between your legs and you’ll question what it is that all these other girls see in these tiny, innocent-looking unmentionables.
8. You really have GOT to stop worrying so much about what others think about you. You’re funny. You’re kind to others. You have a good heart. When high school is over, nobody gives a shit about the brand your jeans are, or who you dated, or where you get your hair cut. Trust me when I say that it’s just not that serious.
9. You really should move to Corpus Christi. You’ll have that opportunity in a few years and the pull to live near the healing waters of the beach is going to be incredibly strong, but you’ll feel almost trapped into staying “close to home.” Don’t let it pass you by. It’s something you’ll think of for the rest of your life as an opportunity lost. You’re at the age when you shouldn’t be so uptight - you should spread your arms and scoop up all the independence of being truly on your own.
10. Take school more seriously, for the love of Pete. Nobody really gives a crap about GPA, but - good Lord - take pride in your work for yourself. You can do better.
11. Sometimes we have strong, deep friendships that over time grow apart as we evolve into adulthood and even throughout the different phases of adulthood. Some - many - will even slip away. Sometimes it’s a relief to see these relationships come to a close. Sometimes it’s sad and painful. This is all part of growing up. Be choosy about who you surround yourself with. You don’t have to share your life with people who drain you or who don’t share your same values. You get to decide who gets in.
12. Listen to Mom and Dad. Even though their nagging makes you want to boil your ears off your head, they really do want what’s best for you, and since they’ve already been through most of the growing pains you’re going through, they might actually know what’s best for you, too.