single mom

Dear 16-year-old self

Although there are some parts of being 16 I’d rather not ever revisit, there are a pile of things I wish I could go back and say to myself now.

Dear 16-year-old self:


 You may not know me, but I know you. I know you very well. I know your ins and outs, the way your mind works and I know that you have two thongs hidden in a bag in the back of your closet. Don’t worry. Mom’s not going to freak out – in fact, she won’t even say anything about them when they land in the laundry basket. She’ll wash them, and you’ll find them in your underwear drawer. In ten years, you’ll hate them so don’t stress about wearing them. Seamless panties are better and way more flattering. TRUST ME.
I know you’re really worried about having sex for the first time with your boyfriend. Stop feeling bad about your decision to wait, because it’s going to change everything. Know that you made the right decision, and that you chose the right person to share that experience with. When you break up next year, you’re going to feel like you can never love again but you will and you do. By the way, you’re still friends in the future and you’re always going to hold him in a special place in your heart.
Speaking of love, Mom loves you, and she was right: one day you’ll understand why. You see, you’re going to watch your heart running around before your eyes in only a few short years. You’re not really going to be ready for it, but you’re going to love every minute of it.
Stop trying to grow up so quickly – your adolescence and carefree days are gone before you know it.
Stop calling yourself fat. You’re not. Don’t listen to the people who make you feel badly. They’re as ugly on the inside as they make you feel on the outside. Make sure you don’t skip breakfast – it’s important and while beauty trends are going to go from super thin to curvy and back again over the next few years, don’t forget that healthy is always in.
Make sure you tell everyone you care about just how special they are. You never know when or how things will change.
Don’t stop writing and don’t stop dreaming. Those dreams are going to become a reality and you really are going to be a writer when you grow up. If you don’t believe me, just read this letter again. You wrote it.
Perfection is overrated. Get that through your head.
In less than ten years, you will have cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles and hormonal acne on your chin. It’s not the end of the world. You’re a tiger and you earned those stripes, dammit. …Except maybe the acne – but Witch Hazel is your friend and those super expensive acne treatments that are full of harsh chemicals are going to screw up your skin. Don’t waste your money. Seriously, you need it to buy toys for F.
Never say never because you’re going to survive things you thought you couldn’t and do things you don’t necessarily want to. Don’t forget: if you have to convince yourself to be with someone or convince that someone to be with you, it was never right in the first place. Let it go. Happiness is waiting around the corner.
Give Great-Aunt Mayme an extra hug. You’re going to live in her house in a few years, but it’s going to be short-lived. You’re going to feel her presence forever. Smile every time you see a Habs emblem – it’s Doug telling you he loves you. Papa lives in your baby’s heart, and when you look in his eyes you’ll see Papashining through.

Becoming a Mom is scary. Enjoy every minute of it because he’s going to run out of time to spend sitting on your lap before you’re ready to let go of his hand. Speaking of Moms, make sure you thank Mom for folding your laundry and don’t bitch at her for asking you to put it away. You’re going to miss that. Trust me.

Double speaking of Moms – your biological mom is still out there, and she hasn’t forgotten you. You’re going to find her soon. Hang in there.

Hug Dee, because you have no idea what he’s going through. He’s going to be your best friend in a couple of years – stop rolling your eyes, it’s true – and you’re going to cherish him in a way that you didn’t know you could.

Your boobs are going to be a little saggy in a few years. Take that bra off while you still can, girl!

Don’t forget to forgive yourself every now and again.

Nothing is going to hurt more than sucking up your pride and going home, but you’re going to realize how lucky you are to have Mom and Dad. Go give them both a hug. Say I love you at every opportunity. They deserve to hear it, and you’re not too cool to say it.

High school isn’t forever. The people who are mean to you now will be mere memories soon. You’re going to meet your true friends and they’re as whacky as you are. 
It may not be easy, but life is good. Enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “Dear 16-year-old self

  1. Oh Ashely. I love reading your writing. You're a very wise young woman. Kids are the best and they grow quickly. Our youth, it doesn't last too long. It great to enjoy each step of the way and those that share those steps with us.


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