My absolutly lovely friend Jen posted this Dear Sugar column on her Facebook this morning and it was absolutely inspiring to me. I'm in the midst of my 30th year (and it's been a DOOZY, friends) so I think it's only fitting that I offer a little bit of advice to my high school self. Feel free to leave a comment with advice to your own high school self. We'll put it together like a valentine and send it to the mid-90s.
* I know you want blonde hair, but it really washes you out. That said, go with the blonde because you will have so much fun when you are in your late 20s telling people about how you used to be blonde.
* Grow the perm out as fast as humanly possible.
* Don't be in such a rush to have a first kiss and a first boyfriend. You think that no one likes you and you have to take up with the first boy who shows interest. You're wrong.
* The tears you spill over that first breakup are more because you're relieved to be out of it but feel guilty about that. This will not be the only time you cry like that. Try to let go of the guilt.
* Try harder in French class. Mme. Hill is going through a lot and still showing up to teach your stubborn ass, the least you can do is read Suivre la Piste. You'll regret not being better in French later.
* While it is heartbreaking to not be cast in The Man of LaMancha, operating the follow spot will be the start of doing a little bit of everything. And don't worry - you get to be Cinderella senior year.
* All those boys you like? Gay. They are all secretly dating each other. That's why you don't get invited sometimes. No one hates you.
* You're going to think you need to take Physics senior year. You really, really don't. Really.
* You're going to be approached to participate in your "friend's" debut. Say no. You are going to miss a very important ministry trip that your real friends will talk about for years.
* When that boy crawls in your sleeping bag at a graduation party with his girlfriend sleeping a few feet away and you stick to your guns and shoo him away, you'll feel stupid. You're always going to wonder what it would have been like to kiss him but you'll always feel good knowing you didn't betray a friend. Sometimes the right answer is being alone.
* Oh, you will feel so lonely! You will write and write and write sad, lonely poetry that is completely pretentious and ridiculous. And then, one day, you'll feel embarrassed by all of that pretentious and ridiculous poetry and burn it. This is a mistake you will regret once people start reading their old diaries for theatrical entertainment. The greatest comedy comes from the greatest despair.
* Your real first love is going to talk you out of breaking up with him a couple of times. This is just an energy suck. You are allowed to break up with someone even if they start crying. You always think you are so strong, well, prove it.
* It's really okay that you're not ready for sex. You won't be for a long time. This is not something to apologize for, but it's also not something to be feared.
* Honey, your band sucks. It's okay, it's actually kind of funny. You're going to break up over whether or not you should play Oasis songs, and that is the most interesting thing about your band. Be real with yourself and admit you have no talent for the bass.
* You're going to spend an awful lot of time fretting over whether to major in writing or theatre in college. This is a waste of time. The minute you get to college, you'll know the answer.
* Your parents drive your ass around every day, bring you meals when you don't have time to get home between school and rehearsals, let you go to Marlton and Medford whenever you want, drive you and your boyfriends to dates, let you use the car all the time once you get your license, put you through some very expensive high schooling, support you through everything you do or even mention on a whim that you might want to do. They will continue to do this. Always say thank you, even when they are being annoying. Try to appreciate how much they are sacrificing for you. Try to make it up to them by making them proud - this means working hard, being a nice person, and not being asked twice to take out the trash. Take out the damn trash and smile while you're doing it. They are exhausted.