Dear Sixteen Year Old Bridget,
This year, we turn 26. And yes, it is as gross as it sounds. Body parts start popping when you move, it now hurts to kneel, and you still have issues with breakouts. Yep. So have fun with that over the next ten years…
While I would hardly call these last years monumental, I have certainly learned a lot. Most of it, I wish I would have know as an awkward teenager. It probably would have saved me a lot of trouble and several bad haircuts. So let’s do this.
|Polaroid from Photo Class, 5th Period. I'm pretty sure that's Elizabeth behind me. And a sequined headband on my head. What can I say, things got weird by 5th period...|
While it’s fresh in my mind: don’t get mom haircuts. There will be plenty of time for those haircuts down the road. While you’re young, keep that thick, split-end free hair long. Because when you are 26 you will have long hair but not it’s sad, thin, and lifeless.
Cultivate some lasting relationships. Looking back, I wish I had tried harder at making more close friends in high school. I thought we had some dear friends, but time and distance has clearly severed those few relationships, and that sucks. Honestly, I don’t know what else to say about that. Just know that someday you’ll be bummed when you are no longer a VIP in certain people’s lives. And maybe, just maybe, if you had put a few more names under your friend belt, you could help me avoid my current conundrum. Does that make sense? ‘Cause it feels really scattered. Moving on…
Even though the public school lunch ladies say so, Tater Tots are not a vegetable. So, maybe not eat them every day at lunch. Look, I get it. They’re freaking delicious. And they mask the residual taste of fish sticks. But seriously. You are only doing yourself a disservice. Believe it or not, one day you’ll want to run. (I know, I still can’t believe it myself. Take a moment if you need it.) And it’s going to be an interesting little battle between your desire to complete that 5K and to eat an entire plate of sweet, sweet, sweet potato fries. Sometimes you’ll do both, and then you’ll spend the last leg of your run with your cheeks squeezed trying to look as normal as possible as you pass your neighbor’s house. “Hi, Bob. No, I’m fine, just doing some experimental techniques. Squeezing the buttocks increases stamina…Well your face looks funny Bob…” All that to say you have me addicted to carbs and starches and you suck. Eat a dang carrot one in awhile.
That’s all for now, but this is so not over. I have plenty more to say, but we’ll save that for another time.
If you could tell your sixteen year old self something, what would it be?
Post Script: To the runners and families in Boston. Your courage astounds me, and you all will be on my mind as I run in Portland next month. I’m sure I won’t be the only one honoring you all.