Well I was supposed to start writing last week, but first my oldest killed my computer and then I had company so better late than never I suppose. And honestly, I don’t know when I’ve ever done anything on time, so why would I want to start now? My friend is doing NaNoWriMo which I truly admire. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but the thought of a novel is way to intimidating to consider. I consider myself more of an Ann Landers/Dear Abby type writer than a novelist type. I need a prompt to get anything done, and I LOVE to hand out advice. (Hence the Counseling degree, which is going to great use.) Anyway, I’m back at it after a year away from blogging, or writing of any kind at all. Mostly things are the same, except I won my disability case so I am OFFICALLY crazy and getting paid for it. Yay me. I won based on the mental illness, the judge disregarded my digestive issues. I find that somewhat amusing because the mental illness makes me really fun most of the time (hypomania, gotta love it) but the digestive stuff is really really hard to live with. Strange standards these guys have, but whatever, after 18 months of fighting I’m disabled and getting a check again.
So I mentioned I need a prompt, and its true, I do. And I saw a fun one today: Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Interesting task since I’m 40 and that was a completely different life ago, but I’ll give it a shot:
Dear Fourteen year old Julie,
Please believe me when I tell you that boys are absolutely nothing like in the movies or in books. I know that you love Sweet Valley High and all those teen romance novels, and you think that Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun are the greatest movies ever, but you need to broaden your horizons and read and watch things that are dark. Because you are going to get hurt. Boys aren’t that nice. Even the ones that are supposed to be–like the ones from church– just aren’t. I know you go to a religious school and no one has told you anything except that sex is for having babies, but trust me when I tell you it is SOOOOOO much more complicated than that. Boys want to have sex with you because they are chemically driven to have sex with as many people as possible in their lifetime. You want to have sex with boys because you think you have an emotional bond with them and that sex cements that bond. That’s basically how boy/girl brains are different. Boys do NOT think you are the most fascinating person in the world and they do not really want to spend an entire day doing nothing with you. Ferris Bueller is great but he does not exist in real life. Same goes for Lloyd Dobbler. I know that you will not believe this because you believe in romance and that everybody has a “one” but try to at least consider the possibility that the boy trying to stick his hand up your skirt really doesn’t care what book you’re reading or what your parents do for a living.
And those things matter. Who you are as a person–not an object–matters. Spend less time worrying about boys and relationships and more time figuring out yourself. You ARE smart. I know right now everyone things that you aren’t, because you have a big loud personality and you think before you speak (work on that!) but you are smarter than you are given credit for and you are talented. Figure out who YOU want to be and stop trying to be who your parents are. You actually think psychology is interesting and you are surrounded by dysfunctional family and you have great people skills. Do what YOU want to do, don’t just pick a career path because you’re too lazy to figure yourself out so you do what your parents do. Same goes for your college choice. Pick smart, not easy. You will have many opportunities, pick the best one, do the research even though its boring.
LISTEN to that nagging voice in the back of your head. It is usually right and you almost always regret it when you don’t. If the situation feels wrong or uncomfortable, get out! If you think you’re making a bad choice, you probably are. Listen.
Find a person to talk to. You are going to need a therapist (not a pastor, and not someone too emotional). It will help you not be an angry adult and help you understand that your parents weren’t actually perfect. It will also help with the identity issue that will always be there.
Finally, and these seem small, but they’re not: Find a form of exercise that you like and take care of your teeth. You are so much more beautiful than you realize (it is not vain to value yourself, just ignore those people) but you need to take care of yourself or you will regret it. Also, smoking is bad bad bad!
40 year old you.