November 16, 2012

Dear Teen Me: Listen Up

Dear Teen Me,

Are you listening? It's you from the future2012 to be precise. We're rapidly approaching the end of the Mayan calendar and whatever that means. It's also just shy of three years 'til we reach the year in which Back to the Future Part II was set. Spoiler alert: We don't yet have hoverboards, flying cars, shoes that do themselves up, or scary weird taste in fashion. (Well, except Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Don't ask.) BUT we have Apple and handheld phones with computers built right into them. Seriously, buy stocks in Apple stat. Also, Facebook is kind of lame and feels like high school all over again.

Post-Romulan bangs, but still iffy.
You're going to waste most of your teen years stressing over things that, in the broad scheme of things, really don't matter. I have SIX extremely important words for you:

STOP OBSESSING OVER WHAT OTHERS THINK. 

I know it's hard, but you will never see these people ever again so their opinions don't count. Let people know who you really are, get involved, and stop caring about whether this guy or that guy might like you. And for the love of all that is good, grow out the bangs already. You look like a Romulan, and at your present point in history, that isn't cool. One day in the not-so-distant future, geek will be chic and some Star Trek fanboy might think helmet bangs are hot. But for 1990s Jaime it's a bad look.

The boys you'll meet in college will be just as immature as they were in high school. Get over them. No, run screaming. Speaking of college, don't shell out the funds for Bible college (trust me), Accounting is so not your thing, and Teaching is...well, I'll spare you the details, but pick another career path. Like Journalism or Creative Writing. I know, weird right? Cultivate your love of writing now. You won't regret it.

I know the handful of guys that you'll date will help you sort out what you really want in a mate, but mostly they're just a string of duds. The one you end up with will have longer hair than you do when you first meet (a fan-of-90s-alternative-and-punk kinda do.), and he'll show you every day that you're more special than you think you are. He's worth waiting for. Trust me. Oh, and by the way, he's a Trekkie and would totally dig your Romulan bangs. But still, grow them out. Do it.

Mostly I just want to let you know:


Hang in there!

Future Jaime 

P.S. Y2K was totally ridiculous. 
P.P.S. Post Grunge Era everyone starts showering again and wearing clothes that fit and aren't flannel.
P.P.P.S. Remember Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids On the Block? Yeah, he's one of your favourite actors now.
P.P.P.P.S. You can stop pinning the fly of your jeans up. You've been going pinless for years and still have yet to 'fly low'.


We all have things we'd like to tell our teen selves, only one of which concerns purchasing Apple stocks. A group of authors compiled letters to their teen selves in a book called Dear Teen Me, published through Zest Books. Here's the Goodreads blurb:

DEAR TEEN ME includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends—and a lot of familiar faces—in the course of Dear Teen Me.


To celebrate the launch of this book, lots of people have started writing letters to their teen selves, but also coming up with Dear Teen Me videos. I got to take part in one that the lovely Erin L. Schneider put together: DEAR TEEN ME

It's seriously awesome and well done, and you should check it out. You'll see familiar faces and hear Imagine Dragons!

36 comments:

  1. Love, Love, LOVE your letter to your teen self, Jaime!!!!! MOST DEFINITELY BUY SOME APPLE STOCKS. Those should've been my six words!!!! :)

    Thanks so much for being a part of everything - your pictures were wonderful and I'm so happy you wanted to help!

    Happy Friday - hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! Your letter inspired me to do one too. And that awesome video you put together! So, so good. :)

      Have a great weekend!

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  2. This is too cute!!!! Holy crap, you're gorgeous. Can I have your dimples? And such great advice. Really. I wish I knew so much more then. It would've helped! ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Morgan. :) I think we all have a million things we'd like to pass on to our younger selves. Little nuggets of wisdom that would make certain aspects of our lives easier.

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  3. This is such a great 'dear teen me' letter! It does make you wish that your teen self would do all of those things and that now you'd be rolling in the dough from your Apple stocks and already a published writer, huh? But, the point is that now you're wiser and happy and have learned all of those things through experience. Now, what's that about wisdom being better than riches?

    You were a cute teen and turned into an even prettier adult. In spite of the bangs.

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    1. Thanks, Donelle! It was really fun to do. Man, do I wish I could mail this back in time to a younger me. You're right about gaining this insight through experience. We all have regrets, but we're who we are today because of those mistakes. :)

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  4. Dear Teen Jaime,
    Please pass along much of this same advice to your older sister who's off making similar mistakes. Except switch out Romulan for the frizzy version of Anne of Green Gables.
    Sincerely,
    Erin

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    1. Dear Adult Erin,
      Bahaha! I guess we both have albums of pics we'd love to pretend never existed. ;) At least you had people saying, "Look at that Anne girl" rather than sporting helmet head bangs. We both have better hair now, so that's a plus, right?
      Sincerely,
      Numba Two

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  5. TEEN YOU NEEDS TO RUN! RUN FROM THE SCARY SOLDIER STATUE THING!!! EYAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

    This was nice though ^_^ And yeah, everything is better after school. It's more complicated, but it's so much better.

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    1. Haha! My husband can't stand nutcrackers—he thinks they're horribly creepy. I love them. :) Now ventriloquist dummies? That's a different story. Oh! And angel statues now after watching the Doctor Who episode "Blink". Gah!

      You're right, life is more complicated now, but so much better. :)

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I loved the snippet you shared today from your NaNo WIP. :)

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  7. My teen self really, really needed to hear STOP OBSESSING. . . ! I would also tell her that really, learning how to hem pants is not that difficult. Stapling your jeans was and never, ever will be cool.

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    1. I think obsessing about stuff was par for the course as a teen, but I think I took it way too far. I remember stressing about the sound my shoes made on the floor walking down the halls at school as a freshman. What if it sounds like a fart?! Horror. Now I'd probably do it on purpose just for giggles. :P

      Even better? I used to pin the fly of my jeans up so that I'd never fly low. Talk about a hassle when you really have to go! Stapling the hem of your pants? That's awesome!

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  8. Jaime, you are seriously adorable! I love your haircut, and your Dear Teen Me advice is perfection. So very true! I loved seeing you in Erin's video which, by the way, was all kinds of awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! :) My hair is a million times easier to do now that it's shorter. Although, it's kind of the exact wrong length for wearing scarves. Ah well.

      I wish that we could all go back and shake some sense into our teen selves. But then, I guess the mistakes we made turned us into the people we are today, right? Doing that video was pretty fun!

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  9. Dear teen me: CUT OFF THAT STUPID LOOKING MULLET!

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    1. Dear Teen Todd,
      Yes, please cut that sucker off.
      Sincerely,
      Your Future Wife ♥

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  10. This is so awesome...and you're so right about everything being better after high school.

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    1. Well, except having to pay bills and student loans... haha! But, for the most part, I would say post-high school is SO much better than high school. :)

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  11. Love this letter! And I had to laugh when I read your fourth P.S. :D
    Both pictures are adorable <3

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    1. Thanks, Elodie. :) And as for the forth P.S.--I'm totally not even kidding. Talk about neurotic and paranoid!

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  12. Great letter! So glad you found the guy worth waiting for!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! He really is a great guy. :)

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  13. I loved this Jaime! It is so full of heart and wisdom and adorableness that I was smiling through the entire thing. Thank you for sharing this with us! And I love that the boy you end up with would have been a fan of your hair at all stages (the bangs were not so bad, really!) - when it's meant to be, it's meant to be <3

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    1. Thanks, Temre! I could have gone on and on with bit of advice for my teen self, but as it is, I kind of rambled. :) I guess we can't really regret the choices/mistakes we made because they shaped who we are today, right?

      Oh, and the bangs? This is after I started thinning them out. You should have seen how thick and blunt they were. Meep. O_O

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  14. Romulan bangs?? hahaa I actually just looked up romulan images on google to see pics from Old Star Trek. Too funny. Everybody wore bangs in the 90s, right? And in the early 90s, perms. Permed bangs--UGH. I had those too.

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    1. I was totally not brave enough to post a pic with the Romulan bangs. Maybe one day... :P They were so thick and so blunt. I tried a perm once, but the lady who did it insisted on doing a wave and it barely took (Thank God!). Mostly I just wore my hair straight. I never really did the wall bang thing either mostly because my parents would shell out the money for hairspray. Again--thank God!. :)

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  15. Yes! That is fantastic teen advice. Teen Nickie was way too worried about what other people thought, and wanted to be pretty, but kind of gave up.

    I think my other advice to teen me would be to be nicer. Especially to my family.

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    1. I think teen Nickie and teen Jaime were not the only ones way too concerned with what others think. It's pretty much par for the course when you're a teen (and even as an adult too!). :)

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  16. I love all of these Dear Teen Me posts! Your message is perfect. Even now, I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter what other people think. ;)

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    1. You're right about still needing to remind ourselves about this. Even as an adult, I still struggle with what others think. :)

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  17. Love your letter. :) This was such a great project, wasn't it?

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    1. This was such a fun project! It turned out SO well. :) As for the letter, I wish I could send it back in a Delorean to teen Jaime.

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  18. Awww Jaime, I love your letter! Your advice is spot-on and I wish more people knew this! Also, your haircut is pretty awesome. :)

    PS: You're fourth PS made me choke on my water.

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    1. Thanks, Joie. :) Now, if only there was a way to send it back through time to teen me. And as for the fourth PS, I only wish I was joking about that. Neurotic much? Yes, I think so. :P

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