What advice would you give to your teenage self?
This Daily Prompt came out in April if I remember right. I see no rules saying a prompt must be answered on the day it’s posted. I don’t mean to fill my blog with prompts and an occasional Wordless Wednesday, but this way, you know I’m still kicking. I’m writing and putting most of my thought processes there.
Advice to my teenage self
If I knew then what I know now, the first thing I’d say to my teenage self is: You’re ENOUGH.
It took until many, many years into adulthood before I could admit: “I’m enough.” If I had known then what I know now, I’d be a teenage leader instead of a follower. I’d say to her: Be the individual you’re meant to be.
I’d tell my teen self: You’re smarter than you think you are. Sit in the front row in class. Oh, and: stay away from coloring her own hair in middle and high school. You won’t like the orange instead of the pretty blonde color on the box. Leave it to the pros. Wait. There’s more. Never get that perm when you’re fifteen, two days before school pictures. Or EVER.
Middle school, and home life, during those years were the worst years of my life. I wasted a lot of time by taking the wrong direction too many times because I didn’t think enough of myself to stay on the right path.
Another thing I’d tell my teenage self: Fifteen-year-old boys do kiss and tell.
Parents are right most of the time. I wish I could take back some of the arguments with my mom. In addition, I’d advise: Go easier on our mother. She has her own situations to deal with and doesn’t need a mouthy teen to make it worse. On the flip side, I’d tell my teen self: Continue to protect Mom. It’ll make you stronger too.
The last few things I’d tell a teenage me is: Don’t hide and enable our baby brother’s drinking, at age fifteen and onward, from our parents. Speak up when you’re accused of stealing alcohol from our dad when it was our brother stealing it all along.
You need to hear this as well, teenage self… First take a deep breath. Exhale… Do it again. Again. Now, clear your mind.
I’ve saved this for last. Listen up to save yourself:
Don’t loan our baby brother your car when he comes home on Military leave. I know you have a mind of your own by the time you turn nineteen. You also have a soft spot in your heart for him. So if you do loan it to him, which your stubborn self will, because you hope he’s changed, please don’t throw his six-pack of beer out the window and smash all the bottles when you find him in the wee hour in your wrecked car.
Separating an alcoholic from his beer, can leave lasting memories. And whatever you do, don’t chase his friends away at that moment. You’ll need them. The Army made our little brother stronger… I think you, my young self, can read between the lines. Be smart. Stay strong. Life gets BETTER.
Talk about taking a deep breath… Prompts do have a way of pulling things from our memories. Don’t they?
No matter what happened in my previous life, I love my baby brother who now is the one who needs help. Years ago he stopped drinking, but a lot of damage had been done to him, both mentally and physically, and to those who love him. Little brother recently entered long-term nursing care. I don’t know if he remembers those days, but he’s good at remembering the past now more than the present. I’ve prayed for him for as long as I can remember, and it’s the only thing I can do for him today.
Thanks for reading the Daily Prompt.
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