You should know the drill by now. For five days straight (this being day three), I am writing a letter to my younger self as a way to reflect, regret, and admire the person I was and am now. You can read my 6 year old self and pre-teen self at those links.
Today I bring you 16 and all of its awkward and downright depressing moments:
Dear Michelle at 16,
Congrats! You’ve learned how to drive. Dont get used to this glory. About three weeks after getting your license, you will bump into a car while making a left out of a Subway. A year after that, an asshole you went to grade school with will t-bone his truck (equipped with extremely faulty breaks) in to your poor, little Sunfire’s driver’s side. It will total the car beyond belief.
Of course, dad will fix it.
But all the green paint, new wheels, and entire back seat and trunk replacement will not be able to repair the memory of that morning. Even to this day, you will shake when you think about your sister screaming upon impact. You will clam up when someone else is being even just a bit reckless while driving you. And blind left turns, well, you will avoid them at all costs from now on. Even driving in the sun will provoke flashbacks to your car spinning on the dirt road.
At 16, you have no idea what repercussions your actions will have on your current/future self. You wouldn’t believe that the “hate list” you began to write with SA would lose you countless of friends and paralyze your ability to walk the halls without judging yourself. You will begin dismissing your warranted anger…
Anger that is typically directed at the boys in your life. Just like at 6, they are as flighty as they come. From the boys you have crushes on, to the ones you actually get to date (oh, you get to date)… they will treat you as if your emotions are invalid or worthless. Remember how everyone says they are after only one thing? No, seriously, remember that. It will come in handy.
Only one will boy will prove his merit and be in your life for more than a year. In fact, he will be in your life for 8. He will be a best friend to you, and he will inspire you to make your boldest leap yet. After a year of knowing him, I’m sure you can figure out who I am talking about as you already sense his importance. Take good care of him. He will need you more than he needs you.
What doesn’t need to be fixed is your initiative and ambition. At this point, you could take over the world with that head-strong gumption. You WILL get in to college. You WILL be one of the top students in school. You WILL go to sectionals in oratory and eventually qualify for SCOTTIE. And you WILL go to Europe. Screw the idea of a community college, taking 2nd at Reed Custer behind white pants-mcgee, or staying at home to work for another summer. You are 16 now, and damnit, you are going to get what you always wanted.
You did get it- and more. Your dreams of living independently in the city, a girl with a degree and a plan for her future, couldn’t be more true. And it’s all because you are determined, excited, and motivated now. Even with a year of pain and disappointment, you will create the building blocks to near perfection.
But one word of advice, when the Christian boy you are madly in love with invites you to Bible study, it’s because they need new members, not because he wants to sing sexually suggestive songs about Jesus dying to you. Sorry to blow that.