Friday, January 30, 2009

my dearest kathy

photo by Jesse Millan

If you could take all the wisdom that you've picked up along the way, and write a note of advice to your teenaged self, what would it say?

I've seen this little exercise over and over in different magazines and on talk shows, and will usually think on it for a few minutes before something else distracts me. I was thinking about it this morning, in that woozy state between sleep and awake, so I decided to write one down.

Try it out! Leave a comment or write a letter in your own space. It's kind of interesting.

My Dearest Kathy,

I wish I could remember what was going on inside our head at the age of sixteen, but to be honest (and please don't be offended) it's probably English papers, waitressing, and Pat, our HS boyfriend. I remember how obsessed we were with him. You know, there is more to life than playing housewife at that age, but since I've decided I don't regret and wouldn't change much of our life at all, I'll leave him out of it. However, I do have a word of advice for you, before you up and move out of Mom's house.

Stop acting like no one knows anything about you, and realize that when people try to give you advice, it's not about your ego, it's about accepting that sometimes people know more than you just from living.

Stop looking for the "perfect" man, because he doesn't exist.

I know that we're subjected to a lot of 80's music, but seriously - that Sheena Easton song? Forget about it. You'll both be on the morning train if you want to drive a decent vehicle.

You can't trust everyone. People will take advantage of you over and over, and especially because you are female you'll have to watch out for yourself. There are predators out there just waiting for you to let your guard down.

Stop making excuses for your men. And while we're at it, stop judging them soley by their abilities in bed and start looking a little deeper at their other qualities.

Above all else, keep your head up and realize that no matter what anyone says about you, you are a strong capable person, and shouldn't be afraid to take risks. That'll really help us as we get older.

Love, Kate


  1. The only thing I would add to my letter. Don't let other's make you feel like you can't do things because you are not smart enough. Go for the dream.

  2. That is a great letter. I would add to dream big and believe you can do it and then set goals and reach. The only thing that will stop you is your own lack of faith in yourself. and ...there is nothing you can't tell me. I will always be there for you. Maggs

  3. Wow. This is REALLY good!

    My letter... will take lots of thought to form together. Maybe I'll do one later!

  4. Hmm… mine would be simpler. “You’re right. You do end up being a loser.”

  5. Dear Mary: Your life will be much easier if you will go ahead and grow your hair out and have it all the same length. You might feel a little like you stand out - particularly once you hit 1985 or so - but trust me, it's for your own good (and the good of the ozone layer).

  6. Dear Doug:
    Don't ever smoke.
    Give up on the math and sciences; it's interesting, but of no value to you at all.
    Take those atr and music classes, hell, try out for the glee club while you're at it. You never know, you might have inherited some artistic qualities from your parents.
    If a cute woman asks if you want to go with her out west sometime around 1974, go!

  7. My letter would be really short:
    Tell her how your feel.

  8. Simon - every person contributes somehow, and there's a reason so many people adore you.

    So true Roz!

    Doug - years of smoking here too. I dunno if I regret it.

    e-p-n : that might have been life changing.