Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I Wish I Had Known at 17

Isn’t it funny how sometimes, during a routine conversation with a friend, something will be said that just spurs a long, multi-day thought trail in my whacky brain.

I really would be afraid to be in my head sometimes because ideas and thoughts and longings and craziness just reign supreme in there. Enter at your own peril should be tacked up in big bold letters. I mean if I can come up with thoughts like, “Do whales sleep” while zipping down the highway in Hawaii then you never know what might happen.

But I digress.

I was having lunch with a friend last week and we were talking about teenagers, which both of us have had or have currently. Teenage/high school years are a wilderness. A wasteland. A desert in which we all must wander.

I actually spelled that dessert at first. Wishful thinking on my part perhaps.

But I digress again.

It is gloomy and rainy here today and that got me to thinking about what I wish I could have told my 17 year old self. Those words of wisdom that I would probably not have believed if I had told them to myself with the wisdom of 50 years of living. Did that sentence make sense? Oh well. This is what I wish that I could tell every 17 year old.

1. Be who you are ALL the time. That way you don’t have to remember what you are supposed to be like with different groups of people.

2. Startlingly blue eye shadow is never a good look. Never.

3. Don’t aim to be at the top of the heap socially. That is a really hard place to be (not that I would know cuz I wouldn’t) and the higher you are the farther you can fall. Aim for the middle. Those kids are nice.

4. Get off Facebook and go READ a book. Your mind will thank you. That goes for txting too.

5. Teenage boys are like good cheese. They will be stinky for a while but will eventually be wonderful. You just have to let them sit for a bit….like about 10 years. Ignore them and let them age.

6. That studly athlete is going to be balding and paunchy in about 20 years. Life is like that.

7. Laugh A LOT and not at other people. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with your friends. Laugh with your family.

8. Buy red high top tennis shoes. They will make you happy.

9. Ignore Hollywood. They are clueless.

10. Know what you believe politically and VOTE. Do not just vote for someone because it “feels good”. Be able to tell someone why you believe what you do. “I dunno” isn’t a valid argument.

11. Never say never. You may have to eat those words.

12. No everyone doesn’t hate you.

13. Yes we do understand what you are going through. We didn’t just go from 10 to 50 you know.

14. Every teenage girl starts a journal. Don’t stop writing. Keep on. And don’t just write in it. Stick in pictures and cards and notes and movie tickets. You will want to look back. We all need a good laugh from time to time.

15. Find humor in everything that you can.

16. Yes, have an extra cookie. Just don’t have 10.

17. Be creative. Creative is OK.

18. That girl who looks like she is always confident is just as much a mess inside as you are.

19. It is just fine to have less that perfect hair and no make up on. Be bold, don’t shower today.

20. Learn to appreciate different styles of music. There is a reason that Beethoven is still being played and no one remembers who Chairmen of the Board were.

OK, I am done now. Like I said, my head is a scary place to be at times.

Please don’t leave me running screaming into the night.


  1. I love your list and what a fun thing to think about. I may have to borrow this idea sometime...but I'll be sure to give you credit!

  2. "Give me just a little more time"....I can still hear the brrrr like sound that guys voice made when he sang. Guess the Chairmen stayed around a little while. :)

    Good list!

  3. I wish I'd known I'd never get pregnant. I would have been much more myself!

  4. I just had my daughter read this. When I commented that it's not just me that says this sort of stuff, she half grunted/half moaned/half laughed. (Wait, that doesn't add up.) But it was a *positive* grunt/moan/laugh.

    (I have learned to interpret "teeanager.")

  5. Are you certain about the blue eye-shadow?

  6. You're probably too young to remember Revlon's hot-pink lipstick of the early 1960s. EVERY girl wore it!

    And, hey, my verification word for this comment is "butdrop".

  7. I LOVE your list! It's so true that we probably wouldn't have listened to ourselves if we had told ourselves these things with the wisdom that we have now (ahem!). :)

  8. The list is even good for this 46 year old. Maybe I will just go buy those red high tops....and read a book instead of spending so much time on facebook!


Thank you SOOO much for commenting. We bloggers, of which I am such a minnow in such a big pond, live for our comments.