17 Again

Me in 2004

Dear 17yr old Vanessa,

I am writing from 2010, while you are still in 2004. I am hoping by writing you this letter I can guide you on a better path than I have taken and the outcome would have been different.

I know it seems like you own the world right now, nothing phases you and life seems like just a long stretch ahead. You think life is just about you, but guess what? You need to help others too. You are coasting  a long in life thinking you have all the time in the world and all tasks should be done ‘later’ rather than ‘now’.  I want to tell you it’s time.

Start thinking and writing out your career goals for the next few years. Otherwise you are going to graduate and have no idea which direction to go in life.  All your friends will be attending school and you’ll be working full-time thinking money over everything. Wrong. Education is important and you’ll need it for the dream career I know you are destined to get. Set a good example for your family by being ambitious and being dedicated to your studies. Apply for secondary school before graduation, don’t wait.

Value your family. The Rents are being unreasonable now aren’t they? What do they know about hanging out with your friends? Or that 10pm is a laughable time of a curfew? It’s much easier to come home, lock the door, turn up the music and just chat with your friends online. Why go grocery shopping or try to explain to them anything going on in your life? What’s the point of sitting together for dinner?
Wrong again. I can’t tell you how much our parents mean to me right now. How in the darkest times and most painful situations I counted on the Rents. They have so much to say and wisdom to pass on. They don’t want to give you everything so easily because how else will you learn to be independent? They’ve raised you under strict conditions so you too can learn to be responsible.  Mom and Dad are so much of your history and very much your future. They were people before you and now that I am older the connection has found itself. Mom is still old fashioned but she has humor and understands more than you know. Dad is still easily tempered but he has a fun streak and gives great life advice. Your baby sister becomes  your best friend in the world and you can’t imagine how much love is between the two of you. Your extended family, they are a barrel of support and awesomeness as well, get to know them.  Love & respect our family, will ya? 

Friends come & go. Look around and see who is beside you. Those people? They come…and then they go. And that’s okay but I want you to know they do go. Cherish the connection you form and know friendship isn’t forever. It’s for a moment and it’s for a time and when it’s over, all you have left is memories and pictures. So take lots of pictures and make lots of memories!! The ones you butt heads with? They are keepers. They challenge you and they irritate you, funny to say, you are still friends with them. Because they care/love you. Always be open to meeting new people because that’s how I found those who matter to me most now.

Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve & take caution when it comes to love. You are the romantic dreamer. I know you have his name scrawled all over your binders, your heart quickens and you get a goofy smile when you think about him. But please don’t. Don’t commit. To him or to anybody. Not now. Love hurts and I don’t think you realize how much and if you are strong enough to endure the pain that follows. Live your life, see the world and don’t get stuck in a bubble. He whispers sweet nothings into your ear, his kisses are breathtaking and you know in your heart…he’s the one. But wait okay? Wait for the one who isn’t an illusion; who genuinely loves, respects, treasures, and is amazed by you.  You are going to get your heart broken a lot, the tears are going to flow and your stomach will feel twisted. So next time he stops by your locker, tell him you arent interested, tell him it’s going to save you both a lot of ache, and to have a great life. And knowing you, you won’t follow my advice….SO if you do decide to proceed…love him with all your heart.

Well hopefully that can give you some insight, I would tell you the future lotto numbers but I dont think it works that way. If you don’t get anything from this just remember to SAVE money atleast!

-Vanessa T.

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