Apr 11, 2012

Ten things I wish I could tell my teenage self

by Kami Cornwall

Last week I came across a post that rang true to me titled, "Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls" by Kate Elizabeth Connor and it got me thinking about some of the things I wished I would have listened to or had known as a teenager. So I decided to make my own list.

1. Your high school boyfriend will not be the love of your life. I know you are caught up in the excitement, passion, and twitterpation of it all, but you really should wait to see what's in store for you at college and "test drive" some of the other models there. And, oh yeah, some of them are actually models.

2. Stop comparing yourself to your sister. You will have much more fun together if you can appreciate her beauty and talents are unique to her. Don't disregard your own beauty and talents. Complement her instead of envy. Being prom queen will not negate life's problems.

3. Stop waiting for life to happen to you. Stop sulking because you feel like a loner. So does everyone else! The reason you all feel so alone is because we're all too insecure to sit down and talk to each other. No, wait...the popular kids aren't afraid. That's what makes them popular. Complement someone on their hair, eyes, shoes, anything! Kill 'em with kindness.

4. Don't be afraid to hurt feelings. When a guy tells you he wants to "show you how much he loves you" or uses some other lame excuse to get you to do what you know you shouldn't, don't be afraid to say no. More than no. Drop him like a hot brick and don't go back. If you don't feel good about yourself every moment you're around someone, you shouldn't be around them anymore. Your self worth is not less important than some jerk's self gratification.

5. Drinking is not cool.

6. Learn the circle of fifths! You will find yourself twenty years later wondering why you never learned it and knowing it would have helped greatly in your musical abilities.

7. Live with no regrets.

8. Write more letters to your grandparents. They had lives before you came along that consisted of more than baking you chocolate cake and laughing at every lame joke you told them. Write down their histories before they're gone. You may find that you have more in common than "Go Fish" and dusting.

9. Your mom is not out to get you. She doesn't communicate well with you, that's all. She really loves you more than you could possibly fathom and wants to protect you from the heartache that you are so desperate to plunge into. Try to overlook the way she says it and pay attention to the meaning. Also, when you're a mom, you're going to say a lot of the exact same phrases she is saying to you now. No, really. It's freaky.

10. You are beautiful. You are enough. I can't say this any better than Kate did: The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.

There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.

You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.

You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.


  1. I am intrigued, but wow what I would say to my teenage self would be quite different. My biggest thought would be stay on track. If I had stayed on track with my Plan A or Plan B (dad said always have a plan B), things would have gone better.

  2. I don't know what I would've said to my teenage self. My growing up circumstances were a lot different/difficult than most kids. I do agree with what the television world is telling our kids today about how they aren't enough, but I always told my sons they were wonderful. They believed me without being conceited. They still rock! It might be different for girls, I don't know. I only had to deal with boys.

  3. I often wish I had a time machine and could not only meet great people and see other times but also visit myself and give good advice or make changes.

    What you told yourself could help many teen age girls.

    1. Some of what I told myself would be to make sure I still did things that I did do that turned out important.
    2. To learn and do things early like writing that I took an interest in but never pursued.

    3.Like you I think that trying to learn to value ourselves as we learn who we are and what we want in life is challenge.

    4.Be brave and try more things you want to try.
    There is always more but it would be great to go back and prepare ourselves better.

  4. Love This. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you Kami. Great insight. I look back at those years and although I could change much, I don't think I would. I am who I am today because of many of those youthful trials.

  6. A very thought provoking post, Kami! I would tell my teenage self to have more courage to do the things I longed to do, but was too afraid to try. Other than that, I ditto what Cindy said. hugs~


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