Dear 17 year old me,

Dear Robyn

You are 17 and in grade 11. You think you know it all: here’s a secret I will let you in on; you do. Already. In your short 17 years of life you’ve already been through and survived a lot. I’m sorry. Those friends you have? hug them all. Hard. For me. Hold them for just a minute longer than is comfortable and say Thank you…from us. Trust me…We will thank you later. You think you are a good kid and you are, mostly; bit of a brat, bit of a drama queen…but for the most part: you’re doing alright. You show up to school everyday even though no one is really paying any attention. You get good grades, you participate and have fun: you do great things. I might suggest you lose the plaid shirts a baggy jeans: you don’t look “grunge”: you just look sloppy. Also: do something, anything, with your hair. Oh, and black eyeliner: just no. Those friends we just talked about? Ya…they are going to show back in a few years and be just as cool and fun and caring. They don’t change too much. They all grow up great! Try not to be so afraid to be close to them: they really won’t leave you. Being as scared of people disappearing out of your life is going to cause you some…issues later. Maybe if you could get over that now we could avoid some unnecessary heartache later on. That would be nice. Oh…the teachers. THOSE teachers: ya they are going to keep showing up too. In different ways. Some of them will be your kids teachers (ya….there are kids. Don’t ask. I’ll let that be a surprise. Relax: you’ll do just fine.) You will work with some of them and interact with them through you career. It’s cool. Be nice to them. Listen to them. They are all right about everything they said (except for the whole you won’t always have a calculator thing. We showed them!) Now. The boyfriend…ya… hes great and worth it and first love is first love and I promise 20 years later it counts still! but in a few months…well, just trust me when I say that will be ok too. You are going to feel like it will hurt forever: it won’t. You’re going to do a really dumb thing after that: do it anyway. You’ll know what I mean. It’s good for you. Don’t ditch your friends for boys though…that’s dumb. Oh also: there is this guy at school. You have known him forever. Pay attention to him: he sticks around and always appears at just the right moments. He’s cool and he’s a good buddy!  but who knows what could have happened there: this is hind sight being 202/20. You are kind of oblivious. Even though you’re scared and think you are too fat for the black dress: go to prom. Wear the dress. You are not fat. Maybe you could hold your head just a little higher. Again…you are oblivious to how you look to other people. All that negative crap is just in your head and you need to get it out now: all of that is going to come back and get us later. It’s not fun and it’s hard and man…it would be friggin sweet if it left us then.  Tell “those” girls to fuck off also: every single one of them gets theirs: trust me. You will chuckle later. Even though you think you always have to be nice to everyone…you don’t. Don’t be like that.  Maybe you could try just a little harder to talk to people and try new things. Maybe you could speak up a little more and not get pushed around so easily. Maybe you could be brave and try out for that play you are thinking about right now: we might get the part and that might make things different. Go to the parties. Please Robyn have some fun and quit being such a scaredy chicken: your friends are there too and you have each others back. You will regret not going and not trying and not making those mistakes and learning from them. (Although: Maybe you could just stay home from that one party you will go to this summer…that was not so good for us. The one you didn’t feel good about. On that note: listen to those grown ups who sound like they are being dumb and old: they aren’t wrong, you can get hurt, it will suck. You won’t listen…but we will be OK eventually). Keep reading all those books. Keep laughing at silly things. Keep being ridiculous…we are still ridiculous and its great!. It’s OK to be sad sometimes. It’s OK to be mad. Listen: none of those little changes are going to change where we end up: I don’t want them too. I like where we have been and I would not want to change most of it. It gets a little rough and we get a little lost and somethings that matter so much  go away for ever and it’s going to hurt like nothing you have ever felt and it’s going to hurt forever: don’t let that scare you away from experiencing it.  Listen sister, it’s not awesome right now but we’re going to be fine. I promise you, in regards to whats coming… it will be good….it will be more awesome and amazing than you can even imagine: when it gets there? don’t waste a minute of it. Do just what I did: be grateful and appreciative of every single second. Those seconds go by fast and being able to remember how they felt will get you through what happens next. You need the things you will learn and figure out and discover. You need to listen. You need to feel that stuff: Also, pay more attention to the “weird things” going on : it’s not weird. It makes sense now.  Robyn, I don’t know what is coming next. I don’t know where we are going just yet: I haven’t really decided and I might not. I’m very tired you see, so I think for a while I am just going to ride this wave out and see where it takes us. As much as I am done being a pylon in this life (just standing there and watching things move around me: I’m going to be the ball!) I’m planning on just letting us roll for a little bit. Don’t worry and don’t be scared! No one decides anything for us anymore. No one is going to put us second, no one is going to let their own needs define ours: we are stronger than that. It wasn’t a mistake. Trust me we learn so much from this. Things that we need we get to keep. I promise you are doing fine…just fine. Just….can you try to see YOU for the great you that you are now? Can you look a little harder in the mirror: past the fear and the loneliness and the mistakes. Just try. Talk. Ask. Tell. Don’t hold the blame for anyone or anything. Don’t make excuses for the grown ups that are supposed to know better: they are supposed to know better. Pay attention to the birds and the music and look both ways before you cross the street. Breathe deeper and for the love of the GODS…slow the fuck down. It’s not a race. This is our one life and it goes too fast and I missed too much by trying to get somewhere and I honestly can’t remember where the hell I thought I was going. For all I know right now I am close to half way to the next leg of this journey and I feel like I might just be starting to get all this: I wish that you could get this now…then…there. You won’t. I just wish we did. I love you. Keep loving us…we need it. Stay awesome



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