Dear 16 year old me.

I was given information about the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, better known on Twitter as #HAWMC. Thirty topics for 30 days to get the community writing and sharing advice and ideas. While I didn’t think I’d be able to do the entire list justice, a few of the titles jumped out at me.

Like today’s: Write a letter to yourself at age 16. What would you tell yourself? What would you make your younger self aware of?

Since I never follow the rules, I’m instead going to tell you a story.

Let me introduce you to Laura circa 2001. She was in Gr 11, and learning how to drive. She was growing her hair long and dying it blonde after 15-year-old-her decided on a dark brown pixie cut. She decided that her kilt and heels were a great look, and that her homemade necklaces and punk look was no longer cool. She was infatuated with a boy in a band; a bassist. They occasionally kissed in private but he would never hold her hand.

Most of all she was obsessed with two things:

Dance

Senior Company in tap class (me far right in rugby shirt)

And Cheerleading

At York University competition (right, pale hand on shoulder)

She spent every night at the dance studio or on the cheer mats. She wasn’t much for homework, but was thankfully getting high marks without much effort. That left much time for extra-curriculars.

She worked hard. She lived her passion. She succeeded.

She was beautiful. She was talented. She had no idea.

She was self-conscious. She had low self-esteem. She had a poor self-image.

When you counted up every flaw and every accomplishment, she was perfect. She was 16, just a baby, trying to figure out her life. She did a great job.

It’s funny to look back at a part of your life, for me now an entire decade, and see things so much clearer. I can wish I was nicer to myself, or appreciated just how pretty I was, but I can’t change the past.

We were perfect in every action because it is the one that we chose and brought us where we are now.

I’d only leave 16-year-old-me one little gift: you’re right on track, baby.

Just for fun go and find a picture of you at 16. How cute are you? How baby-faced and fresh and ready to take on the real world? How hopeful? Appreciate all of that.

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4 responses to “Dear 16 year old me.”

  1. Justine Danford says :

    great read L.B!! so insightful! You have inspired me tonight to do the same and reflect back on my life….here we go down memory lane! thanks! ❤

  2. Krista* says :

    Aww, this is great Laura! I love how you did your own spin of it.

    16… Wow. I was hard on myself at that age too. And I feel like I didn’t take some of the opportunities that I could have. I think I would tell myself not to worry so much about what other people think. To put my heart and soul into hockey. To smile just a little more. And remember that this is just the beginning. I think all of these things I should be telling myself everyday, even now…

  3. livelovenrun says :

    You know, it’s nice to see someone look back and tell herself “you’re doing a great job”, or as you said “you’re right on track, baby.” 🙂 For me? I’d write a letter explaining that one day I’d learn that loving myself is far more important than I’d ever imagine. I’m in a completely different world compared to when I was 16, and I’m absolutely blessed for that.

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