Recently, I decided to get involved in the high school ministry at church. I’ll be working with high school girls and it led me to start thinking about what I wish I would’ve know at that age. Also, I’m rapidly approaching the big 2-6 and have been pretty introspective lately so the product of these two events gave birth to this post.
By the way, I’ve added in some of my favorite chocker pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Here are some things I wish I could’ve told 16 year old me:
1. You look better as a brunette. No matter how hard you try, your eyebrows are just too dark for blonde hair.
2. Stop going to the tanning bed. It is not a compliment when people say you look like Barbie (You’ll go to Guatemala on a mission trip to an orphanage and all of the little girls will call you Barbie because you’re so tan and have the blondest hair [see above]…this is not a good thing). Plus, you could get skin cancer and you’re already getting wrinkles from it (right in the middle of the forehead!).
3. Be best friends with your momma. She has your best interests at heart, loves you unconditionally, and really does know what she’s talking about.
4. Don’t get angry about having to wear a one piece to church functions. It’s not the end of the world to have your stomach covered up for one day. Plus, that’s not really the kind of attention you want—trust me.
5. Be content in the moment. You are only 16 once. Live that carefree life. Soak it up. Trust me, 8 years from now you’re going to get diabetes and that’s going to suck all the carefree right on up, so enjoy it now.
6. Set high standards for yourself. Set the bar high for the boys/men (some of them will be men) you will date. You’ve been blessed with a Daddy that shows you how women should be loved. Don’t settle for less because you like the attention or want to have a boyfriend. You’re going to fall in love and it’s going to hurt, bad. But, it’s what you do with your hurt that’s crucial. Embrace it and learn from it. Don’t try to ease the pain with other relationships—that’s only a small Band-Aid for a cut that needs stitches. Ps…you’re single now and that’s totally ok, you’re really happy.
7. Be a great friend. Value your friendships and spend time with your girlfriends. In the next few years you will meet some women that will change your life permanently for the better. Start preparing now for those great friendships.
8. Stop your clothes buying addiction. You do not always “need” a new outfit and the sooner you end that habit, the more money you will save us in the future.
9. Rethink having a choker for every outfit. No other explanation needed.
10. Don’t yell at your brother every morning when he puts his shoes on in the car on the way to school. It’s not that big of a deal that he’s running late. Treasure the short times you have with him during the ride to school. Eventually, life will make you both busy and you’ll miss the time you spent with him.
11. Don’t get the tattoo. Just because you turn 18 and the current boy in your life (see https://runningonfaithandsugar.com/2013/02/14/all-the-single-ladies-and-fellas/) doesn’t mean it is a good idea. 26-year-old you wants to get rid of it.
12. Year 24 is going to be one of the hardest years of your life. You’re going to be diagnosed with diabetes and life is going to change for you. It will feel overwhelming and unmanageable, but you will persevere. You will learn just how strong you are, how much your family and friends really love you, and how great God is.
13. Love God fiercely and passionately—He loves you that much. Pursue Him with everything you have. If you pursued Him before all these other things, you probably wouldn’t need some of the advice found above. Nothing else will bring you more freedom than loving and trusting Him with all you have.
I would love for you all to comment with what you’d like to tell 16 year old you! It’s pretty fun!
PS Sorry Chels, you were also exposed in these photos, but you look awesome!