Dear Teenage Self

by Jeni Lee about a year ago in self help

Evidently the Best and Worst of Times

Dear Teenage Self

Dear Teenage Self,

You are almost eighteen now. It is a great time to reflect how much you have changed as a person, as a teen.

Through depression and injuries (ankle fractures, bruised ankle bones, pneumonia, chipped teeth) you have somehow managed to make it out ok.

You wish you had known so much more going in.

You wish you had had a rock to support you no matter what, but you are slowly learning to trust yourself as that rock.

You haven't had too many people in your life that you can trust, which sometimes makes it hard to open up to people and let them in. You don't want to be dumped like you seem to be by all your other friends. You don't want to be that backup friend or the one you pity. But sometimes you can't help but feel that way.

Dear Teenage Self,

You should really go watch some soap operas like Dynasty starring Elizabeth Gillies and James Mackay. I'm not saying your life will be like that, but actually it will. With those highs and lows, ups and downs, twists and turns. You will hardly be able to stop the world from roaring past.

In Dynasty, you really admire Fallon Carrington. Which is ironic because she is sort of a bad guy. Actually I guess, everybody is sort of bad in the TV show, there are really no good guys. What you admire about her is her ability to be aggressive and really put herself out there to get what she wants. In reality, you feel that Cristal Flores would be more successful in real life. The only thing bad/negative about Cristal is her past which she can't really control. It is amazing that you always seem to be drawn to the bad characters. Or the ones people can't help but hate.

It reminds you of the time that you like Sharpay Evans from High School Musical. She is a little over the top ridiculous and spunky, but you also kind of admire her willingness to put herself out there, even if she gets hit by the backlash. That freedom to be different, to be unconventional. Somehow you are afraid of coming off spoiled because everyone in your family thinks you are that way.

It also reminds you of Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. When you told dad you liked Cersei he was in shock. He thinks Cersei is evil, but in reality everyone in Game of Thrones is a little f*cked up. I mean you sort of have to be to survive in a kingdom like that.

Speaking of dad you didn't tell your sister the real reason why you are having such a hard time forgiving dad. It is because he rejected who you are. You felt like you have always wanted to gain his approval only to be bashed down by him. No matter what subject, personal finance, science, math, every decision you make seems to be the wrong one to him. Which makes it all the harder for you to want to form a bond. At the most it is easiest to slip into a formal business manner, talking about things that aren't really that heartfelt. That is how you got his attention as a child, wanting to talk about science and all that, or sports. I mean you and your sister both have never really felt a bond with your dad. It is hard for you to forgive him and more on, well, harder than for your sister anyways. You just feel weird being all emotional and sentimental and bond/lovey with a guy who has barely been there for you. It is much easier for you to see the teachers at school you have formed a bond with as a parent, not your father. At least they have helped you grow and developed, cheered you on, and been there for you. I mean they were paid to do it, but still. Too bad your dad wasn't paid to be a father figure, because if he was, damn, he would have been a great one.

I was also talking to Mom about how I always look for getting something palpable out of a relationship, whether it is company, status, money, recognition or something. It seems terrible and bad, but it is true. Literally every aspect of my life I have tuned towards success. It is also incredibly sad too. It just seems pathetic. And conniving. Part of the reason why people hate Sharpay, Cersei, and Fallon. Because they are step-on-people ambitious and will do anything to get what they want. It is admirable and terrible at the same point.

Dear Teenage Self,

Stop doubting yourself, your height, weight, grades, courses. It seems like everything you do just can't be good enough, but it has to be. It's your life, you should have a little more pride and ownership of it. You don't have to be the next child genius, basketball star, popular mean girl, or CEO to be happy. You should enjoy the life you live now, with all the benefits and perks. Stop worrying about being better, and start to appreciate all you have. You are the only one who can control your happiness.

Dear Teenage Self,

It's hard not to let those regrets pile up, the friends you could have made, the grades you could have gotten, the fun you could have had. High school is already over, and socially you feel unsatisfied. You wish you could have made those meaningful friendships, but too focused on school, you hardly had any energy left to spare. Plus you thought that friendships were overrated, noting that they didn't contribute enough to your future. Friendships are fun and enjoyable and necessary for maintaining balance in your life—you should work to invest more in them.

Dear Teenage Self,

Go write your damn college essays! That way you can take Christmas/December off.

self help
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Jeni Lee

A passionate writer looking to spread her story.

See all posts by Jeni Lee