A letter to my 16 year old self.

Dear Lisa,

Hello, pompous, arrogant and fatalistic old me. Future you is here, so sit up and take note.

1. Don’t stay in bed all day.
Look, I’ll be frank here. You are a sook. No more sulking and pouting about shoula coulda wouldas. Or reading in bed at 9am on a Saturday morning. go and do something fun, not because you’re only young once, but you don’t want to look back on your late teenager years and think ‘Okay, so maybe I did spend way too much time reading, sleeping and being on the phone. In bed.’

2 Nothing is forever.
Nothing you really do when you’re sixteen is crucial to your current life state. Dating someone for a week (or three) does not make him your lifelong partner. You said once that “nothing is going to change,” when you were going out with someone for, like, a month. I’ll tell you this much, you have dated a lot since then. So things probably do change.

This year your friendship circle has dramatically shrunk, and you super miss hanging out with Sim, except, you actually don’t miss it, because you fell out of love with him last year. Thank God for that.

Next year, things kind of get better on the friendship front. Yeah, kinda.

3. Destiny and fate are true, but you can’t know this yet.
You might be a lover of absolutes, but this will change. few things are as black and white as you like to see them.

Let me assure you that you’re not destined to work in fast food forever (though it wouldn’t be so bad I guess), and things happen that you can’t always explain. And no, it isn’t always a (((God Moment)))

By the way, (((this))) is stupid.

4. Do as you please as much as you can.
From here on in you’re going to feel compelled to do what everyone else may expect and want from you. This is mostly church stuff, and boyfriend expectations.

My advice is to do the things you enjoy before you start paying rent, comparing energy companies, slaving in jobs you wait and limiting all phone calls to a 10 minute period.

Step away from MSN chat. They did away with the chat rooms in 2004. And anyway, no one you met from a chat room is your actual friend now.

5. You won’t be able to spend the rest of your adult life sitting up until 2am on your phone. Do it now.
Sometimes you think that spending hours (yes, literal hours) on the phone may be a waste of time. Cheers to you Lissy-Lis, it isn’t. Everyone you know on Communic8 are your friends. Call them, seriously. Because once you turn 18 you won’t really have these friends anymore and anyway, Communic8 reneged on this offer many years ago.

Now, I know I said to get out of bed, but, who cares if it’s when you should be sleeping?! You get up at 7.30am every day, without fail, I wouldn’t be stressing about too many late nights.

6. SACE is a load of hogwash.
I don’t want to be a nasty pastie, but GET OVER YOURSELF.

You don’t want to enter into a career requiring an impossibly high TER score. And anyway, you’ll end up going to a college to do a Cert IV and then enter a tertiary course by interview entry. No TER required. By the way, they’re called ATAR scores now.

PS- Year 11 is a bludge. It’s like Year 10 but with free lessons.

7. Friends forever — pffft.
In a few years time you will honestly look at these journal entries and think ‘who is that? Why did I bother writing about someone I met once and never will speak to again?’ Or, worse, you don’t recognise names or faces or any of that, because you are 16 and you know way too many people from strange social engagements, work places and awkward moments. Choose wisely, as some friends will always be part of your life. You will know them because they love you despite your crazy ideas and bantering.

8. Don’t quote crappy movies no one else you know has seen.
Just because you like B grade movies like the 90s remake of Sabrina, does not mean that everyone (or anyone) for that matter has, and if they have, they aren’t going to know that obscure quote. Pop music has much better references. And you don’t have explain it.

9. Seriously, working in high school is a great idea.
This means your friends who don’t work mooch off you, so avoiding getting your Ps until you were 18 (true story) is a brilliant idea. Work will sometimes be the best and the worst place in the world for you. Be grateful.

Save more. I could do with some money from 2002.

10. Make plans, and be prepared to break them.
You’ll make plans, goals and dream of a day when freedom and success are yours. But these are often bogus goals and sometimes based on what other people want. Honestly, be glad you never lived in a share house with your 10 closest friends (a plan during your sixteenth year), because, let’s face it, where will you put all your clothes and make up? Keep dreaming, but discern which dreams are best for you.

Reasonably yours,

Lisa

Written by

I like books, rubber ducks, 90s pop music and putting words on paper. Wrote a thesis on romance. Tea and learning tarot.

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