(Self Portrait #8)
Growing up is a tough road to haul. I'm not sure it is a journey that is ever truly finished. Maybe that is a good thing...the eternal quest. It keeps you young, if it doesn't kill ya. Where I am in life right now, I'm in limbo. On one hand I feel I'm old enough that I SHOULD know better. Yet, I'm young enough to realize I often don't...and SOMETIMES I even enjoy when that happens. It's quite the conundrum. Just when I think I might yearn for the days when I was a care-free teenager, I glance across the room at my youngest...my 14 year old daughter...and smack myself for not knowing better. If I could JUST keep my journey but trade-in the wrinkles the trek has left...THAT I could live with.
Teen-aged angst and insecurities. I've been through it once myself, two more times with Things #1 and #2, and now apparently because I couldn't get it right any of those times...I'm challenged with it again with Thing #3. Knowing what I know now, being the grown up and wise person I have some how morphed into (insert sarcasm), what pearls of wisdom would I impart on my teen-aged self to help me on my journey..if I could put time in a bottle?
1. Confidence is beautiful and so are you exactly the way you are. Of all the things in life, confidence is the thing it's okay to "fake" until you don't have to fake it anymore.
2. "SPF" does not stand for "Sun, Play, Fun". Back away from the Baby Oil as a tanning aid. You might think YOU never will mature..but your skin will!
3. Smile more. People will mistake your insecurities and lack of smile for being snobby. You are going to get wrinkles on your face anyway, so there is no reason NOT to smile. Plus, you have a pretty good sense of humor...stop hiding it. FYI, you are gonna marry a dentist, Karma baby!
4. Don't read about diseases and sicknesses in encyclopedias. You are highly susceptible to developing their symptoms. Remember that whole "lock jaw" in the children's encyclopedia incident? Plus, the computer is coming. Trust me, GOOGLE is not your friend. It is the future's equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica on steroids. I see lots of brain tumors and life threatening false self-diagnoses in your future. You better marry a very patient man....with good health insurance.
5. Don't let other people rent space in your head. You have enough voices in there of your own, trust yourself.
6. First impressions stick. In case you doubt me, I have 3 words for you: Johnny "Pick-Nose" Gillardi. Is that 4 words? Okay, math will NEVER be your strong suit.
7. Stop trying to talk your mom into letting you give up the piano. You will regret it for the rest of your life.
8. Twirling fire batons is not a life defining achievement.
9. Don't be afraid to try new things. It is a basic human right to make an ass out of yourself on occasion. And sometimes it's fun too (just make sure no one has a camera).
10. There will always be difficult people in the world. You can't change them. Just don't date them.
11. Life is unfair at times. But that is why the universe makes room for Karma.
12. Nothing you do is a waste. When you get older, if nothing else, it will give you something to blog about.
Of course, being the know-it-all teenager that I was, I never would have listened to any of this. I had to make my own mistakes along the journey. I'm still making them. I wonder what my 80 year old self would tell me today? Probably that "Confidence is beautiful" and "There is a good reason you can't find your batons". Sometimes you just need to be reminded over, and over again. Sort of like Thing #3. Yep, the journey never ends. But after looking at this photo I posted...I really should get a pair of jeans that don't get so baggy while I'm on the trip!