16 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

A letter to a younger, less wise me

1. You are not fat

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You’re just not. In fact, you are very tiny. You’re like a little bean. Your weight will go up and down and from side to side, and, the truth is, it will suck; but in time, you’ll learn that trying to control something never works out. Life is utterly uncontrollable, and it’s not about controlling the uncontrollable, it’s about how you ride it out. When you learn to free up space in your head with all that “what do I weigh?” nonsense (which you will!) big things will happen. Let go, Skylar. Just let that sh*t go.

2.  Learn to love mean girls

Those mean girls with their throwaway sentences that leave you feeling as small as a teeny, tiny speck of dust and ugly crying? Learn to love them. Girls that act out like that are dealing with their own insecurities, fears, and “teendom is freaking hard-ness.” So learn to love them. Give them a namaste and walk away un-armed and unscathed.

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3. Mean girls can turn into mean adults

You will soon learn that some adults can grow up and never take care of those wounds, insecurities, and fears. Just because they’re adults doesn’t mean they’re exempt from the potential to be cruel, which sucks because you admire, trust, and even love some of them. So remember: adults are really just teenagers with more expensive haircuts and mortgages, and you get to pick who you listen to and follow. And when you do find adults who are 100% there to support you, lift you up, guide, and teach you how to dream–people like Mr. Pirani, Ms. Orlovsky, Ms. Honig and Prof. Buckner– soak. it. up. Every ounce. Those people can change your life and will.

4. Be worse at things

You work too hard! You’re missing out on some majorly fun things. Here are some activities you could partake in instead of studying more for the test you’ve already over studied for:

  1. Count how many waffles Leslie Knope eats throughout every season. Try to beat that in one sitting.
  2. Visit your local dog park and name all the dogs. If asked where your dog is, introduce them to your imaginary pup with utter seriousness.
  3. Just realized Parks and Rec hasn’t come out yet. Scratch #1.

5. Other girls are not your competition

Ballet will teach you that “either you or I will succeed.” It will not teach you that “you and me and her over there and that other girl over there can succeed, and we can actually help each other do so.” It will take you years to relearn this, but it will change your life. Talented women will become the backbone of your 20s. You’ll collaborate, lift each other up, get each other gigs, and trade great binge-worthy TV shows. There is nothing…I repeat, NOTHING more important than supporting the women around you and nothing more damaging than tearing each other down.

6. You don’t have to have a ton of friends

Some people are happiest hanging with their closest 20 friends; you’re not one of them. And that’s okay. The ones you do have are pretty fantastic. The good news is, there really aren’t any lunch tables after the age of 22, so no one’s there to count.

7. Your dreams will change, and that’s okay

You’re the kind of girl that commits 100%. You won’t finish until you’ve succeeded, and I love this about you. But, I want to give you room for the unknown and the unimaginable. I want to give you permission to change your mind. As long as you keep following the things that excite you, that turn you into the chattiest person in the world because you love it so freaking much, you’re golden.

8. Breakups are literally the best 

I hate to be the one to tell you this, Sky, but A LOT of boys breakup with you (and you really don’t handle breakups well). You’re a wallow with a gallon of ice cream kinda gal. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Every one of those excruciating rejections gets you closer and closer to realizing it has nothing to do with you. And here’s the revolutionary part: you’re great–even fantastic!–exactly as you are. Learning to be rejected without questioning your worth? Well, that’s magic, and you’ll learn to love magic.

9. You actually love sushi

Enough with the California rolls, Skylar! You’re missing out on something so mindblowing amazing, and it’s called spicy tuna. And while we’re at it, you also love olives and goat cheese. You’re wasting your prime high metabolism eating years. Get on it!

10. Jealousy is a really good thing

I’m not talking about envy here, like “Wow, I wish I had Keira Knightly’s cheekbones.” I’m talking about a deep yearning for something someone else has. This unshakable, insecure feeling that normally brings out our inner betch is usually showing us something we want for ourselves, which is a miracle! How often can we be so clear about what we want? I can barely figure out what I want for dinner most of the time (Chipotle. It’s always Chipotle). So, my advice to you is to really feel that horrible gut drop but then put it away and ask yourself, “What is this telling me I want? And how can I take the steps to get it?”

PS: You will also eventually learn to appreciate other people’s beauty and cheekbones without questioning your own (on most days, normally when you’re not PMSing), and it will set you free.

11. It is so okay that you don’t drink

Just trust me on this one.

12. One day you won’t have to press “7” four times to type an “S” while texting 

I know! It’s a technology miracle! Texting will become so easy you’ll be able to get really mad at your boyfriend/mom/lazy project partner, compose a paragraph long text in seconds and send it without thinking it through at all! For this, remember you can just quickly turn off your phone as it’s sending, and the text will most likely not go through. Oh! Also, these things called emojis are very big. People seem oddly obsessed with the poop one, which you don’t quite understand. Your mom will only use the puppy paws one (which you’ll find totally adorable and endearing), and it fills your heart up every time she signs off with, “Love you, 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾.”

13. You will fall in love with someone and will be so sure it will last forever, and it won’t

And you will be so okay.

14. You will fall in love with someone else and will be so sure it will last forever

But you know it might not, and that’s scary AF. But, you both decide, “Screw it, we’ll take the chance anyway,” and it’s totally worth it.

15. There will be a Gilmore Girls revival 

No, I’m not playing with your emotions, sweet thing. You were too distraught when GG ended and you didn’t even get to see a Lorelai wedding to do that to you. It’s true. When you’re twenty-six, there will be a revival. I won’t spoil anything for you, but you’ll end up getting to watch in bed with your mom, just like you used to when you were sixteen.

16. You’re doing really great, I love you, you’re fabulous, and your forehead acne will go away

That’s all.

xo,

Skylar

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