WHAT I WOULD TELL MY 14-YEAR-OLD SELF:
Updated: Jul 3, 2021
WHAT I WOULD TELL MY 14-YEAR-OLD SELF:
1. Hair doesn’t grow all the way up the penis (Chewbacca-style). Pay more attention in Sex-ed. If you don’t, you’re going to spend the next fifteen years with an embarrassingly inaccurate level of knowledge about the topic.
2. Downloading Anime porn on Napster will crash your parent’s computer. That’s a tricky and awkward situation to navigate so don't even think about doing it.
3. When you download that anime porn, which you will, because, you know, curiosity, don't try to get rid of the virus by downloading some sort of obscure "virus program" that you also found on Napster.
4. Napster will die. Better things will replace it.
5. Xanga will also die, but by the time things replace it, you've already learned that sharing your entire personal life on the internet is a terrible idea.
6. Until you turn 25, then you'll start oversharing again on the Internet, this time on a thing called Facebook, but somehow, to your surprise, you'll turn this into a career of sorts.
7. Kindness matters. There are a lot of jerks in high school, my love. They don't always go away after high school either. Don't be a jerk. Not being one is a good tactic for making friends.
8. Learning to stand up for yourself is also important. This one is gonna take a longer time to learn. Being nice doesn’t mean that you also have to be a passive tool. Find balance. Stand your ground. Be kind without letting others take advantage of your kindness.
9. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. So, for crying out loud, kiss your first boyfriend, Alex Crutch. Don’t let fear become a normal part of your relationships.
10. Fear becomes a normal part of your relationships. You will have to spend a long and lonely time undoing that fear. That's ok. It doesn't make you unlovable. Or Wrong. Or behind your peers.
11. On that note, carrying a picture of your boyfriend in your wallet and conspicuously leaving it on your desk for everyone to see doesn’t make you cool. Even if Alex Crutch is a grade-A hottie.
12. You don’t know how to cut your own hair. Stop doing it. Also, haircuts are one of those things where you get what you pay for. One time, when you're 27, you'll pay 11 dollars for a hair cut and you'll look like Jennifer Aniston circa 1994. You'll cry for an hour in a Trader Joe's bathroom but eventually it will grow back.
13. Find Your people. Don't worry, you will find them. And then you'll move and have to find new people. And then you'll be shocked by how many interesting and loving people have found their way into your life.
14. Read. A lot. You'll need to become good with words because you're still terrible at math.
15. Being a part of the cool group is overrated. Popularity is life or death when you’re 14. But one day you'll wake up and realize it doesn’t really matter if you were cool in high school. Unless you carry that insecurity around inside you like a weird little virus. Which you will. Until you learn to undo that damage.
16. Undo that damage.
17. Make Healing childhood trauma a priority.
18. Learn how to be friends with members of the opposite sex at a young age. There are plenty of adults who don’t know how to have platonic relationships. Start early, make it a habit. Some of your best friends now are men.
19. Wear all the ridiculous clothes you want in high school, because it’s no longer acceptable to wear tuxedo shirts to your corporate job.
20. Fuck that corporate job. By the time you're thirty you'll have a job where you can wear whatever you want. Wear the metallic shoes.
21. Figure out what you like to do. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. That’s a pretty long time, so it’s better to figure out that you love performing at 14 than to be sitting around at 30, trying to realize something you’ve inherently known for a decade.
22. And when you don’t do that, don’t beat yourself up for being 30 and still trying to figure shit out. You're not old. You can still create art.
23. Everything turns out fine. You'll get hired. And fired. You'll get dumped. And dumped again. And fired again. You'll be broke. And broke again. And somehow it will all turn out fine. I promise. You'll be happy and healthy and one day you're not broke and can afford things like picking up the check for your friends and buying bougie nails. You'll have a bunk bed for way too long, as an adult, but eventually you'll be living the life you always wanted. Everything turns out fine.
24. But most importantly, IF YOU ONLY LISTEN TO ONE THING I EVER SAY, DON'T DOWNLOAD THAT ANIME PORN on your parent's computer. Seriously, what are you thinking?