A few days ago, Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things posed the question "What would you tell your 13 year-old self?" This questions has stuck with me over the last few days and here is my response. I chose each of these, no matter how silly some seem, because I know by changing them it would have had a serious butterfly affect in my life:
Grow your hair long. Trust me. You hate your hair now. You will hate every single hair style until you grow it out. Start now. Put it in barrettes or pull back the top into a ponytail during the long awkward stage (and it will be long.) Growing your hair long will give you more confidence. It will fit your tendency to sleep until (and past) the very last second possible to get to school. It will solve so many problems.
Wear your contacts. I know they are new. I know that the doctor told you to wear them 1 hour today-and increase by 15 minutes each day until you can wear them 12 hours--which is an impossible feat for someone in school. Ignore him. Wear them all day. Take them out when you get home, if you must. Carry your glasses as a back-up (but you'll probably never wear them outside the house again.)
Do well in school. I know-that's what the parents say. I know you can barely do the work or study and get decent grades. But you have a brain. Use it to really excel in all classes. It will make your choices later easier. Math and science are tough, yes. But you have a brain and eventually you will see they are fascinating-even if they don't have a plot like books do.
Take Spanish-not French or German. Also, become an exchange student. Do it. You want to.
Pay attention to the world around you. The parents expect you to learn about the many career choices, life skills and street smarts at school or on your own. You need to take charge of this. Tell them what you need to learn. Make them take you to colleges to visit. Explore careers. Microbiology, Meteorology, Astronomy, Radiology, Computers, physical therapy, etc. Learn how to invest. Learn everything you can.
Talk to both parents about issues. Dad doesn't really talk to Mom much. He says things that are not really 100% true. He thinks he knows what is best for you. It isn't always. It will backfire on him..and ultimately you-so prevent it by making sure YOU talk to each parent about stuff. Don't assume that one agrees with the other just because "he or she" says so. Usually one lacks information. Decisions might not always change-but I know some will.
Exercise and eat healthy. Go to the doctor and request inhalers for your "mild" asthma. Life will be so much better. No more 3 month colds. You can breathe when you exercise. Try out for the cheerleading squad this year. You will make it.
Go to a college away from home. Ignore Dad. He only wants you to go "there" because he gets a discount. It's a great school-but you need to get away (see below) and experience college life more.
Date him. Then move on. Move on. You need more time. You need to experience life more. You need maturity. I won't lecture here-just trust me. If you do nothing else I say--do this.
Don't get involved in/with drama llamas. High school girls are awful. Don't let them in your head.
High school is not like the rest of your life.
Stay in touch with your friends.
Save money. Spend wisely. Don't get in debt.
Invest a bunch in Apple, Inc.
You are beautiful.
What would you say to your 13 year-old self?