What I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self

Thanks to Facebook's ingenious On This Day app, I am reminded of many awkward and uncomfortable connections I made spanning the ten years I have been using the site.  From what I gather, the best term for me over these past ten years is dork.  A huge dork.

However, if I could go back and reach out to that seventeen year old girl I'd shake her by the shoulders and give her some of the following advice:

                                                                       17th Birthday                                                                   27th Birthday

Dear Jen,

There is more to life than what you are involved in right now.  The basketball team, tennis, the baseball team.  They will fade away and you will be left with wonderful memories, but what you need to do is push through it all and glance up at the sky every once in a while and remember this is temporary.  Don't work so hard for the now, but work harder for the future.

There are going to be people out there who wish to harm you for selfish reasons.  You have to make decisions on how you deal with these people and then live with the consequences.  In most cases, life sections off in two roads.  You will always wonder about the road you didn't take.  Just be careful that you don't get so caught up in wondering what's happening on the other path.

Try not to be such a jerk to your friends who listen to country music.  You're going to move to New York and will accidentally find the only country radio station.  And you will listen, a lot.  Yes, it's devastating, you'll never really understand how this ends up happening.

Daydreaming can be awesome, but it takes you away from this moment here and now.  Try to escape less and live more.

Stop paying attention to boys so much.  Focus on the girls in your life and do everything you can to strengthen those relationships.  They'll be there ten years from now, the guys won't.

Don't be afraid to dance.  You'll be far worse as time goes on, so there's no point in worrying about what everyone thinks of you as you do it.  They're usually too drunk to notice/remember anyway.  Actually, that's probably a general life rule.  Do whatever you want whenever you want, everyone's too drunk to notice/remember anyway.

Breathe.  Relax.  Stop being so uptight.  The things you worry about today are usually gone by tomorrow.  But really, calm down you get worked up a lot.

At the end of the day, you're weird. Embrace it and stop wishing you were cool, it's not going to happen.  And I'm so glad it didn't.

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