Dear 16 Year Old Jeri Kaye,
What can I tell you that you don’t think you already know?
Because you’re almost positive that you already know everything.
But there is a bunch I wish you actually knew...
There is so much you haven't learned.
If you knew more about these types of things, it may have given you some perspective on what is about to happen in your life, just to help prepare you.
I remember you at this age vaguely.
You live your day to day through memories.
You are going through a really hard time.
There is something about you that is different,some part of you that doesn’t fit with what people see on the outside.
Everything that was once all so familiar has been taken from you.
Other girls your age are really catty towards you.
You could care less, and they don't understand that.
They want a reaction from you.
All you know to do is smile, momma gave you a pretty smile so you just keep smiling.
And running. You run a bunch. You find a friend in running, a release, therapy and you even gain some realistic types of friendships throughout investing time in running.
The songs you hear on the radio, are constantly on repeat/shuffle.
there's lots of George Straight, Avril Lavigne, Garth Brooks, Pat Green, Green Day, Dixie Chicks, Backstreet Boys and much more.
You’re a hopeless romantic,
but you don’t guard your heart like you need to.
And I wish I could go back in time and change that about you.
But you will understand that later
when your heart starts to ache.
And boy does it ever.
But don’t worry,
because you’ll end up dating that boy again, and again, and again...
you are crazy about that Ryan Warren and you will always be crazy about him. His heart is good and you will forever have a bond with him that no one will ever be able to touch, he simply got your heart, hook, line and sink 'er.
In so many ways you are a “typical” teenage girl,you play sports, you wear hollister/abercrombie clothing, you have a car, you have a job, you have the popular boyfriend. You don't really party, and boy do you get judged on that note. But don't worry about those judgemental girls, they grow up too fast due to having kids too soon anyways, and then they later tell you they wish they had slowed their life down a little when they were younger.
For you, high school isn't awful, it isn't fantastic, but it's a part of life.
You don’t cuss. You will later, but you don't at your age, and I like that about you.
Pay attention in class
Call your brother & sister more, you need them, and they probably need you.
Don’t be afraid to dance.
Talk to the friends you do have about what's going on, just FEEL.
I wish I could tell you that this would change as you get older, but it doesn’t.
In your future, you’ll spend a lot of time looking back,
and realize you turned out ok, you realize it helps you to be a better
friend in your friendships, even if it is just a listening ear.
When you’re older, you’ll still remember the way you felt
the day you watched the Twin Towers collapse in Mr. McDougal's
When you’re older, you’ll still remember the day that changed your life forever.
The day you learned that your mom wasn't going to come home from work anymore.
The day you started to search for faith, along with that came a lot of
anger, confusion, and emptiness.
You were so heart broken. I wish I could just hug the 16 year old you.
You STAY busy. You run a lot, you don't have a healthy diet, in fact, you don't have a diet.
You have a boyfriend, you have one best friend, and you have memories.
Everything else that is currently surrounding you has something to do with sports. The people you play sports with are the only other friendships you know. You don't really have a lot of friends, but a bunch of people think you do. You are popular, but later in life, you'll still try to figure out how you were, apparently you are good at acting.
You can't cook. And neither can your new roommate (that would be your dad).
So, you eat cereal sometimes, but then you make a trip to the bathroom and puke. This is because you have a disease that you are completely in denial about, it's called bulimia. You are fat, well at least that's how you see yourself in the mirror.
When really, you are just a girl longing for love, love that you can't just get from a friend, boyfriend,
roommate, but from an incredibly loving mom you once had.
You’ll remember the late night talks,
You'll remember going to her office during your lunch hour,
You'll remember her handwriting, her voice on the phone and her smile.
Sometimes I wonder how different things would have been for you, if you had known then what you know now.
If only you had known that your family was willing to talk about things that were happening.
If only you had known that you would find the most happiness in the simple things like sunshine, summer BBQ’s, red wine, dinner with girlfriends and cuddling on the couch.
I wish I could tell you to be a better example,
to do certain things differently,
to change some parts of who you were.
But that would be asking you to re-write your history.
A history that has resulted in the life you have today,
a life that makes you happy.
And all I want is for you to be happy.
So I guess the best advice I can give you is:
be the best version of YOU
and stay true to YOU
even in the face of criticism,
because not everyone will support you,
and that’s just fine.
People who don't support you or what you have going on, really don't
know the real you, because if they did they wouldn't even bother,
they'd just smile & say "she's doin' just fine".
lylas, (- since we are talking in 16 year old lingo)
26 year old Jeri Kaye