I had a dream the other night about a book that I wrote called "Tips for Teenagers from a T-Rex" and in this dream this book made me millions so I thought I would run with it. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and tell your teenage self tips for life, what would they be? What lessons in life have you learnt that you wish you had have known earlier? And really if we were to go back in time to tell ourselves these things would we listen? Teenagers are known to be insolent moody creatures who feel they know better than anyone else so it would probably fall on deaf ears but here are the tips I would have a crack at telling myself.
Cow Print, the fluffy type, should probably be left to the cows. Back in 2000 I was the proud owner of a cow print pencil skirt which I wore with a black skivvy (fucking what?) and looking back it probably was not the greatest fashion statement that I ever made. It may be why I don't do animal print now. Don't follow trends and stay true to the classics of fashion. This stuff doesn't age and you wont look back at photos of yourself and go What the fuck was a I thinking.
Go to more parties - like legit, I didn't even go to my after ball (I think you East Coast kids call them formals or debs). I missed out on so many unique teenage experiences because I devoted all my time and energy into the church and they seemingly were the fun police. Live a little, you've got your whole life for keeping quiet.
Save More Spend Less - I keep trying to tell my adult self this one as well but saving money is a good idea to allow you to do things, travel places and just be more grown up. To me money is like water, it just slips straight through my fingers. Teenage self, get a bucket.
Travel - The world is your oyster, work this in conjunction with the savings. Use your savings to go exploring, there is sooooo much in the world that I want to see and if I had have started younger there would be more of a chance that I would get to see it all. Adult life creeps up on you very quickly and houses and careers and the feeling of responsibility can put a dampener on travel plans you may have.
Don't put off calls you can make today - back in the days before mobile phones and texting (yes I know, that's a stretch to remember) you needed to actually pick up the phone and call people. You had to be at your house and make the time to do it and I seemingly wasn't good at this. I didn't get to speak to my dad properly before he died because I just kept putting off calling him because I had more important things to do thinking that it would be OK to wait for a few more days. Waiting may have caused one of the biggest regrets of my life.
Spend more time studying and less time on MSN/ICQ/Internet Chat Rooms, those Internet boys are probably not what their photos look like and you are just in for a world of awkward.You are a smart girl and you can excel at school if you put your mind too it, so maybe put your mind to it.
You will only regret the things you didn't do, so do it. ALL OF IT. I really wish that I had have known this one when I was young, it is the way that I live my life now but back then, not so much. I made the decision to make 2011 the year of the random and have continued following through with it until this day. Try everything, go out, make the time, enjoy. You never know who you will meet and where the road will take you. That's exciting. When I moved to Melbourne my Nan told me that she was proud that I was taking a different path because you never know how long you have left and you need to try these things. I love my Nan so much and I am trying to live a life that she would be proud of.
I threw it out to my Peanut Gallery and here are their tips for their younger selves (with my thoughts added)
Disregard women, there will be time for pounding later / Lower your standards and bang any chic that's willing / Use Condoms - really I have nothing to say on this one. This one is really a personal preference. For me I was happy to only sleep with the people that I did because it meant that my encounters actually meant something. Use Condoms though, this one is very important. Teenage pregnancies have the potential to ruin your life and turn you into lower class scum and you want the opportunity to have an amazing life. Of course that doesn't always happen and there are exceptions to every rule. A friend of mine had a kid at 15 and she is probably one of the biggest inspirations in all that she has achieved and what she turned her life into. She now has an amazing 15 year old that any parent would be proud of. You rock Em, I respect you so much for what you have done so far and I know you will keep doing amazing things.
Stay Away from Woodstock Bourbon - or Wipe Out or goon bags, or really any cheap nasty booze. The tendency of teenagers to get drunk because its fun isn't a good one. Life should be about quality not quantity. Oh how I wish I could take back the days of drinking Emu Export with Passion Pop (yes you read that correctly, Drink half a can of beer, fill it with Passion Pop and viola, you have yourself some lethal confused concoction that wont be nice in the morning)
Don't Fall in love with sluts - Sluts are well, sluts and do slutty things. They will treat you badly, break your confidence in women and leave you jaded when they move onto the next shiny toy who can give them what ever it is that they are needing at the time. Spot a Slut, avoid at all costs. And remember generally once a slut always a slut. You are great but she isn't going to change her ways just for you so leave her to destroy someone else.
Avoid Cars, Acquire property - cars are money sucking black holes that you wont get any return on. If you do feel the need to have a car addiction get the property addiction first and then use your equity to acquire the cars. Best of both worlds maybe?
Its OK to wear glasses - in 15 years people will be rocking glasses with no lenses because its that cool. You just peaked early. Congratulations you little trend setter you.
Stick up for myself - at the end of the day you are who you are and you need to say a big up yours to anyone that tries to make you anything else.
But really would I tell myself any of these things, because all of these things happened to bring me to where I am now and the person that I have become. For good or bad I am pretty proud of the adult that I have turned into (I am still undecided if that has actually happened though). They say 30 is the new 20 so maybe I am being given the chance to take back a bit of my teenage self and live the life I want. That's a pretty cool thought. I may not be a teen anymore, but I can buy booze, drive a car and my boobs are still perky so there is really nothing stopping me from pretending is there?
Love and Life Lessons