Saturday, April 27, 2013
Dear 16 Year Old Me
I posted the question on Facebook:
If you could speak to your 16 year old self, what would you say?
And I answered:
"You are exactly who you are supposed to be. Stay the course. Don't change a thing. Unless you decide to. Embrace possibility. You can't fuck it up if you hold hope in your hand. Never let go of the power of truth. You, my dear, rock."
I was a mess at 16 years old. It is the year I got pregnant by a guy who would become a heroin user. I had an abortion. I dropped out of school. I ran away and lived in the basement of a drug house, until the police found me and made me go home. To my mother's house where I hadn't lived in three years. I moved from my father's house where I had complete and utter freedom, a father who let me go so that his latest wife could move in. A father who gave up on me, for his own disgustingly selfish needs. I ran away again. I hated so much.
At 16, I made a lot of bad decisions.
And I HURT. Immensely.
I COULD tell 16 year old me to not get pregnant and not do drugs and not shave my head into a defiant mohawk in attempt to tell the world to fuck off. But, I imagine some adult, at some point, already told me that. I want to tell the young me that it doesn't matter. We ALL make mistakes, but they do not DEFINE us. Unless we let them.
Stay the course.
Perhaps it comes from a person who has swallowed a bottle of pills and prayed to not throw them up before they took effect. A girl who has sat inside a dry bathtub and ran razor blades across her tiny, white wrists.
Stay the course.
This will not define you.
I told my husband last night that I feel closer to the girl I was then, than I ever have. Not because of the life I am living, but because of who I am on the inside. I was passionate. I was determined. I based my actions on a compass magnetized by independent thinking rather than following the path of society's norms. I was curious. I was open. I was alive. And I am, again.
Surely, my independent thinking was brand new. Surely, I made a thousand mistakes. But I stayed the course. The end result was bliss. I am happy. And I am happy being uniquely ME.
What is a teenager?
A teenager is US, before.
A teenager is our children, in the future.
Teenagers are people, caught in a moment of time. A small moment. They are listening. And learning. They just don't want to become.... as dead inside as they see some adults. And they do not have to.