Tuesday, December 6, 2011

on a letter to 16 year-old me

Inspired by Dear 16 Year-Old Me, the amazing PSA for melanoma, and Jason Good's Hey 15-year old me (exactly what you'll need after crying through the end of the first example) I thought I'd write a little note to my teenage self. 

Dear 16 year-old me,

Hi.  It's me here.  Well, you here.  Just nearly twice as old as you are now.  Which means that I should probably know more than I do.  But here are a few things that stand out:
  • Mom and Dad and Steph?  Brace yourself.  It takes a while, but they become your friends.  All three of them.  Do you need a minute to compose yourself before I go on?  I know it's pretty hard to believe.
  • Those boys you're hanging out with will become some of your closest friends too.  You think they're just high school buddies, but they're still with you now.  They're even kind of mature.  But, no, neither of them will ever want to make out with you.  You'll be ok with that.
  • Because you'll meet a guy in college.  And he likes you.  Likes you without you even having to pretend to be someone else.  It's weird, but you get used to it.  He's a republican though.  I know, I know, I'll explain another time. 
  • You have the best brother. I mean, I know you love him now, but just wait, he and his wife and three boys (three!) give you the most solid foundation of family and they are funny too.  Funny and solid.  Good things. 
  • Oh, and if you could just not wear that red dress to the prom this year, that would be great.  The thought of you in it still gives me the embarrassing Doh! moment at the most random times.  You'll think it's kind of hot.  But it will be years until you wear something that actually makes you look hot.  Even then we aim for hot and settle for "cute" most of the time. 
  • And please make a note somewhere to remember to tell Liz to pull over about two minutes before you say "Liz your car feels like a roller coaster" when she's driving you home from Gina's graduation party.  There will be less friendship fallout if you do.  But, if you don't, at least you learn to try not to sit in the back seat with a bad driver after drinking. 
  • I'd say to skip on that experience with Mark from the 2nd floor of your dorm your sophomore year of college but I won't, because it's not so bad, just maybe stop watching so many John Hughes movies.  And Say Anything.  And reruns of My So Called Life on MTV (they never bring it back, but don't worry we still talk about that one season even now).  It all warps you a bit.  Because there definitely won't be any boom box holding outside your window after it happens.
  • So you knew we had to do this, we've got to get serious for a minute.  It gets better.  I know what you've been thinking about lately (I have your journals) and it's a good thing you don't follow through.  I know it all seems so world-ending now but you're being just a little dramatic.  Ophelia is totally fictional and ending it all isn't as romantic as you're building it up to be.  It gets better. 
  • And you know those extra-curricular activities everyone keeps saying that you need to get into college?  It's made up.  You end up going to SUNY Albany where I'm pretty sure they accept you without even reading your personal essay.  All those hours of Literary Magazine, Choir, Orchestra, Show Choir, Amnesty, SHARE, LEAD, the play, the other play....it's great, but you can take some time off.  
  • Leave Dad's boy scout shirt in the box where you found it.  I know you think that wearing it over a pair of overalls and a Phish shirt and birkenstocks over socks is a statement, but it's the wrong one.  This is most likely why no one will make out with you for the rest of your high school career. 
  • Yesterday I wrote in this blog I have (right, a blog, basically we've just made our journals public, not sure whose bright idea that was) that I was sad about how I had let myself go.  But it's a funny thing.  Because I'm happier than I was when we were you.  See?  It does get better.  Just give it a few years.
I love you Cait.  All the messiness you're getting us into turns out alright.  So be careful and don't screw anything up and force me to disappear like someone in Marty McFly's family photo.   I like it here.


  1. Haha! I love this. One Day I'll be able to do one of these too!! Funny, well done! (:

  2. I really love this Cait! It's funny to say this but I knew of you at 16 but I didn't know you till we were 18 and I can't imagine my life without you!

  3. This is the most beautiful blog post I have ever read. It made me cry and reflect on my own life and all that's changed and all that I wish I knew and all that I will someday write to myself about now. Thank you!!!!