Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Me,

Hey girl. If I know you like I know you, you’re probably sitting in the center of your bedroom, wiping your pre-teen face down with an OXY pad while combing through BOP Magazine, with the Spice Girls blaring in the background. You’re so predictable.

I’m coming to you from the far reaches of time as your older and (somewhat) wiser self. In fact, I just celebrated the big 3-0 and there’s something about milestone birthdays that make a girl reminisce and reflect on the younger version of herself (that would be you). So here I am, 17 years older with slightly better hair and the same skinny legs (and bra size, unfortunately).

In a matter of minutes you’ll get up and check your face in the mirror for the millionth time today. You’ll rotate your head from left to right and then left again, tearing up at the sight of your less-than-perfect face. Dry those eyes, Toots. Better days are coming. In fact, they’re here if you can open your eyes and see the possibilities that lie beyond MTV.

Let’s start with those thick side-swept bangs of yours. While I have nothing against a little fringe, I’m on to your game. I know that hair is just a glorified curtain that conceals a forehead you’ve convinced yourself is the size of Texas. First of all, it’s not. Second of all, who cares?! In fact, many cultures find high foreheads to be a sign of femininity and fertility (you’ll learn to appreciate the latter later on in life). So slick that hair back and hold that head — and forehead — high.

Next order of business: your skin. That face is the only one you’ve got, so you gotta play nice. I know you like to cake on Mom’s foundation and put on copious amounts of bright red blush in an attempt to conceal the hormonal party going on beneath the surface. Take it easy! While makeup is probably one of the best parts of being an adult, it’s also something you grow into. So let your skin be for a little bit longer and let’s stick to lip gloss and sunscreen (emphasis on the sunscreen). OK? Oh, and while you’re at it, slather on some moisturizer, too. Premature wrinkles are about the most feared words in the English dictionary, so do your due diligence young lady and keep that skin as supple as can be. I know wrinkles aren’t even, well, a wrinkle in your thought process right now, but as my good friend Dolly Parton (er, Truvy Jones) once said: “Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face.” Now, I know this to be true.

Your eyes might be glazing over by now, so for the sake of keeping your attention let me leave you with a little advice unrelated to skin care or hygiene: Love yourself. There’s only one you in this whole wide world and while you have flaws like everyone else, you also have a whole lot of fabulous in there, too. There’s a pretty crazy life waiting for you filled with friendships, good (and bad) dates, first kisses, travel … and not to mention, a pretty cool job. Live it up!



P.S. Don’t worry about that Zack Morris-looking boy in your class who doesn’t know you’re alive. You’re not gonna marry him anyway. Trust me, I know.

Photo: thinkstock

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