Dear 14-Year Old Me:
Don’t chase or even look at boys. They’re not worth the trouble. Also, they lose interest the minute they know you’re interested in them. Meanwhile, if you completely ignore them, they’ll follow you around like puppies. Freaks.
Listen to your dad when he tells you to speak Italian. Yes, the ‘Parlate Italiano’ sign on the kitchen cabinet is a little obnoxious, but he’s right about regretting not knowing how to speak it when you get older.
Stick with the piano lessons. There are few things more captivating than a woman playing the piano.
Take school more seriously. The teachers are awful and hideously dull, but if you suck it up for a few years, you’ll get to go to college. It’s way more important than you think it will be. If you don’t go, there will be a whole chapter of blank pages in your life.
Don’t fret about your little boobs. They’ll get mighty big when you have your first baby. Unfortunately, they’ll shrivel up and die shortly thereafter. Start saving $25/month for your tummy tuck and breast lift. Schedule it for the year after you have your last child, even if it feels selfish. Your husband will benefit from it at least as much as you do.
The Dorothy Hamill haircut is not for everyone. Work with your insane curls as best you can. One day a wonderful person will invent a straightening iron and it will change your life. Worship that guy.
Don’t pick at your zits. Nag your mother to take you to a dermatologist.
Don’t be afraid of dogs. They want nothing more than your touch. In return they will give you the only true unconditional love you’ll ever receive.
Participate in extra-curricular activities. Stay sporty. Get in the habit of doing some kind of physical activity every day – even if it’s just a walk. Otherwise, your upper arms will one day be the size of the thighs you now think are fat.
Don’t wear one-piece bathing suits; they’re completely unforgiving. When you get a bit older, a wonderful person will invent something called a ‘tankini’. Worship that guy.
A few years from now a smooth talker will walk into your life. His words will make you melt. They’re just words. He doesn’t love you. He lusts you. BIG difference. Also? He’s a liar. He won’t pull out.
Don’t be in a rush to get married. It’s nothing like you think it’s going to be. It’s usually more good than bad, but it’s no picnic. It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience. And, let’s face it, you’re lazy and have about as much patience as a grasshopper. Don’t have a relationship timetable. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Don’t let a man’s presence in your life define you.
Take your time with babies. Do NOT have one at 18. You’ll break her heart and she’ll break yours. Get a puppy instead. Hold off on babies until you’re 30. You’ll be better equipped mentally, emotionally and financially at that point. Also, in the name of all that is holy, make sure you’re in a committed relationship with a good man before you even think about motherhood. You won’t need a man to define you, but you’ll need one you can kick in the middle of the night because it’s his turn to feed the baby.
Cherish your kids. Make sure your eyes light up when they walk into the room. Make sure you tell them how important they are to you. Make sure they know how much you love them. Dropping the ball on that one will be the biggest regret of your life, hands down.
Don’t say things in the heat of the moment. Learn to hold your tongue for it can (and will) do way more harm than good if you don’t choose your words carefully.
Do what you love and the money will come.
Work hard and keep your moral compass calibrated; your integrity will come in handy as you get older.
Don’t underestimate the comfort a little bit of money can afford you. Respect the money you earn. Have fun and treat yourself every once in awhile, but save, save, SAVE.
Buy trendy clothes at discount outlets and classic pieces at higher-end stores. Don’t buy cheap shoes.
Let your husband buy you the bigger (prettier) cubic zirconia instead of the diamond. No one will know the difference.
Appreciate the people who love you (even if they get on your last nerve).
Have at least one good girlfriend you can trust.
Don’t take life too seriously. Grammar and spelling, on the other hand? Take those very seriously. Nothing diminishes your professional credibility more than poor grammar and misspelled words. It’s way more important than you think.
When someone tells you a secret, keep it in the vault.
Laugh loudly and often.
Don’t worry too much about your nose, your complexion, your crazy hair or the size of your ass and thighs. Boys will judge you based on those things; men will judge you based on your self-confidence. I know this is going to sound crazy right now, but there are few things more sexy than a self-assured woman.
Don’t be in such a rush to leave home. Suck it up, be respectful, fly under the radar and save as much money as you can before you move out.
Don’t rent. Buy. Invest in real estate. Lots of it. It’ll get kind of scary for a bit, but it’ll still be the best bang you’ll get for your buck in the long run.
Like everyone you meet until they give you reason not to. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn from them and move on. That goes for others’ mistakes, too. Learn to build a bridge and get over it.
Don’t hold grudges. They make you ugly and chip away at your spirit. Pretty sure they cause wrinkles, too.
Don’t gossip; it’s ugly.
Remember that it takes two people to hurt a friend – the person who said something ugly about her and the person who told her about it. Defend your friends, but keep it to yourself.
You’re on the planet for a finite amount of time. You can either find joy in things or find reasons to be miserable. Find joy. It’s there, even if it sometimes seems like it’s not.
46-Year Old Me