A Letter to My 16-year-old Self

Dear 1996 Stephanie,

16-years-old, very exciting! You’ll be driving soon, just not as soon as you had hoped; it was super cool of your dad to pretend the DMV was closed so you don’t have to confess to failing your permit test. That dad, he’s not too shabby. I know he gets on your nerves with his loud voice and embarrassing comments, but listen to me: he is your biggest fan. Let him ramble on about “the time he was your age” because one day, you’ll start your stories the same way. Allow him to fake-vomit when he meets your boyfriends or sees your new pair of shoes. He’s worth it. Just wait until he breaks down and cries when he sees you in your wedding gown.

I’m getting ahead of myself. I just want to share a few nuggets of knowledge, being that I am an expert in all things Stephanie…

* You are not fat. You have a gymnast’s body which means you have more muscle tone than most dudes you go to high school with. Do not let them bring you down.

* Your nose doesn’t get smaller. You live.

* Stop allowing your friend to color your hair in her bathroom. It’s going to turn orange in about two months…

* When your mom suggests that you major in education in college, don’t major in Journalism just to prove her wrong. You’re meant to be a teacher; don’t fight it.

* That guy you just started dating? Despite what you believe, he will not father your children. Resist the urge to humiliate yourself begging him to come back after he breaks your heart.

* That guy you will date in college? Your brother is right: d-o-u-c-h-e.

* That one other guy you will meet on spring break, the one with the Boston accent? Ohhhh yeeaaaahhhhh.

* You won’t have to put up with the Spice Girls much longer. You’re welcome.

* I know they’re not that popular now, but you want all Apple products. Trust me on this one.

* Continue declining opportunities to babysit. You’re doing the right thing by working at the movie theater; you’ll change enough diapers some day.

* Drink more water now. Some day, you will have three sips and then pee yourself a little when you sneeze. No joke.

* Keep writing.

* Your family loves President Clinton, but keep an eye on his wife. She’s pretty impressive in her own right.

* Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and do something crazy. Dance naked in the rain or something.

* CDs don’t really need to be alphabetized. Really.

* Your best friend now is still your best friend. Pretty cool, right?

* You will meet three other girls in college and against all odds, the four of you will live together in a small apartment and not kill one another. Those same girls will be in your wedding, visit your newborns in the hospital (I’m not telling you just how many newborns!), and be a part of your life for a really long time. At one point you will feel like you’re drifting apart, so you are gonna have to man up and talk to them about your feelings. I know this is difficult for you because you prefer to be angry, but grow up already.

* In your sophomore year of college, you will be faced with a choice: the responsible thing vs. one of the greatest nights of your life. Keep your dad’s words in mind: stop and smell the roses.

* Keep your eye on that math teacher/baseball coach who tutors your brother.

* Each time someone calls you a bitch, it means you have made the right decision or voiced a necessary opinion, usually in favor of the underdog. Eventually “bitch” will be replaced with “feminist,” and you will be proud of the woman you’ve become.

* Graduating high school  graduating college  beginning your career will seem to be the most difficult and exciting thing you’ve ever done. But one day, you will raise human beings and that, my friend, will trump all the rest.

* And finally, younger more vibrant version of me, if you can nap, do it. Sleep is a sweet, sweet commodity and you will miss it when it’s gone.

Carry on,

2013 Stephanie



This is my first time (tee hee) linking up at Jenn’s place. If you love the idea of Theme Thursday, check her out HERE!



Author Signature


  1. Another great one Steph! I love the “orange” hair thing! The summer before my Freshman year I used bottle upon bottle of Sun-In so that my very dark brown hair could be a glistening blonde by the time I started high school. Of course it wasn’t blonde… it was a hideous tint of Ronald McDonald orange and that is how I attended my first day of high school. By the time school pictures rolled around, it was dark brown on top and orange on the bottom! Definitely one of my finest moments and probably my #1 tip that I am going to pass on to my daughter when she becomes a teenager….don’t mess with your hair!

  2. So sweet!! Please give warnings ahead of time if you are going to make me cry with the while Dad thing, thanks :)

  3. awww I really loved this one Stephanie.

  4. How do you NOT alphabetize your cds!!? I still try! I blame the 2 year old and husband. if I knew what I know now back then….oh man, my 6th grade girl would of been so much cooler.

    • Right?! I teach high school and those “old souls” are really hard to come by. They are few and far between! As far as the alphabetizing, thank you for the validation. I may try to put my kids’ books in ABC order…

  5. It’s absolutely amazing how many of these letters included warnings about orange or blue hair…

  6. jumpin'jack flash says:

    That d-o-u-c-h-e you speak of…I recall visiting you in college and he would knock on your door 372 times (lived next door) to “borrow your toaster” or ask “do you have any dish soap?”. If not for my 5’9″, 152 LB frame and kind soul, I would’ve shoved that toaster up his douche-ass.

  7. Beautifully written!

  8. Fantastic post, I love it. I also hated my nose and alphebatised my CD’s and definitely didn’t take advantage of all those nap opportunities pre-kids, what was I thinking?!

  9. Dude how did I miss this on Thursday????? ;-) ROFL! You know I love you. Can I say that online?

  10. Love this post :-)

    I am a new follower from the Mixer hop :-) I added you to my Bloglovin’ list :-) I can’t wait to get to know you better.

Leave a Reply