Letter to a Teenaged Me

November 14, 2011

While getting ready this morning I took a good look at my skin and thought, “Oh the things I wish I could have told myself 15 years ago.”

While I am overall happy with the way I have turned out, there are a few things I know now I wish I would have known, or could have comprehended then. So here is it. A letter for my 14-year-old self.

Dear 14-year-old me,

I would tell you to take a good look in the mirror, but I know you already spend a lot of time there, or at least you will once those braces come off. You are constantly wanting to make changes and obsessing over imperfections. For this reason, you are about to embark on some lousy decision making in the name of so-called fashion and trying to fit in.

I know Umpa Lumpa tanned skin is seen as desirable right now. Not only is tanning not healthy, but overly tanned skin is not attractive. You will regret it, looking back at pictures, and the sun spots forming on your nose and cheeks. Please have enough foresight to listen to your mother and stay out of tanning beds and put on some sunscreen. 

Some of the things you hate most about yourself are your best features. Pencil thin eyebrows are all the rave right now, but this has got to be one of the biggest fashion mistakes in all of history; especially for you. Your eyebrows are big. They are full. They are dark. You were not meant to have pencil thin eyebrows. They will look awful on you. Please study photos of notable beauty icons, like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner (to name a few) for reassurance that a classic naturally shaped brow is much more appealing.

Don’t waste your money on padded bras. You aren’t fooling anyone. Embrace your flat-chested-ness. Once you have children, you will miss your mosquito bites. Take it from me, a larger chest only gets in the way and makes you feel heavier than you actually are. 

While you are taking a good look at yourself, try to see past the image in the mirror. Overly tanned skin and barely there brows are not the only mistakes you are about to make.

Stop worrying so much about what everyone thinks about you. It doesn’t matter. The only opinion of you that matters is your own. You will never make everyone happy. Do what you enjoy. Learn about what you love. Do it all without worrying if your peers would approve. 

Pay more attention in school. Instead of copying the answers to your homework, right before class begins, actually do it. Read the book and do the worksheets yourself. You’ll be surprised to find that you are not only good at it, but you actually enjoy it. 

Take care of yourself and stop eating that processed garbage. Your digestive system with thank you for it.

As of right now, you are still naive and innocent. As you go through high school, all of that will change. Have fun, enjoy yourself, but be ready to suffer the consequences of your choices.

You are about to go through some rough times, both physically and emotionally. I would tell you what to do in order to avoid the trauma, but you need it. When you get your wake-up call, and trust me, you won’t be able to miss it, it hits you pretty hard, your priorities will become much clearer. And, though it is cliche, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. You will be a stronger person for it.

I urge you to always keep that desire to want to make changes and improvements to yourself, but keep in mind, the changes you need to make are not changes you can observe in the mirror. Fashion trends come and go, with or without you. Don’t feel the need to follow. Find what works for you. Have faith in yourself. Don’t let anyone make you feel stupid. If you don’t know the answer, find it. You are good at that.

In all sincerity,  


P.S., On the day you get your driver’s permit, watch out for the fish tank in the driveway. You’ll never live that one down.


4 Responses to “Letter to a Teenaged Me”

  1. Jennifer L. Zeller Says:

    Love this Emily! Thoughtful & funny.. wow, makes you really start to think what you would include if you could actually write a letter to ones’ younger self .

  2. AJ Says:

    Hehe, Emily this was sooo good! You should make your kids read this some day!!!

  3. EmilyM Says:

    I have saved all of my old journals JUST so my kids can read them and realize everyone goes through what they are going through, even their dear old mommy!

  4. formerteach Says:

    This makes your Mommy proud!! You have turned into such a lovely lady! My friends all loved it too!

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