Dear High School Courtney,
It gets better. Someday soon you will learn to embrace the things that make you different, and you will actually be liked for them. I know you feel like you need to have the perfect hair, the perfect body, and say the perfect things, but you don’t. The reality is that 10 years later your hair still sucks, your body gets better (with a lot of exercise and healthy eating), and you still say really awkward things. Speaking of healthy eating, you’ve gotta lay off the honey buns. I know you love routine but eating a honey bun, a bag of Cheez-Its, and a Pepsi every day for your “mid-morning snack” is the main contributing factor to what becomes known as your “husky years.”
Hang out with your sisters more. When you get your drivers license, take your little sisters on errands with you or surprise them with a trip to get ice cream. Hang out with them as much as possible because in a few years, the four of you will be spread out along the east coast. You will miss them.
I know that you feel like your “BFF’s” are going to be by your side forever, but that isn’t the case. One of them even tries to steal your boyfriend of 2 years. You do have two girlfriends who will stick around, they are actually going to be in your wedding in March of 2013 (yes, you DO get married!!). How about instead of ditching them at Senior Prom for your “cool new boyfriend” who ends up ditching you to go smoke pot with some girl (karma is a bitch) you spend the evening with those girls. You will regret not going to prom with them for a long time.
You will get your heart broken and I know it will feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. The truth is, you will go through another couple of heart breaks before you finally find someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. I know the idea of marriage scares you and you think that you will just end up settling for someone who isn’t great but at least treats you well, but guess what? You don’t settle. The guy you will marry is hysterical and matches (if not exceeds) your weirdness. The boys you have dated and will date until him will make you feel inadequate, but not this guy. You will meet him in August of 2007 and from that day forward will feel like you are the center of his world.
Lobster night, Royal Caribbean Cruise, 2005, don’t do it. You will go into anaphylactic shock and almost die in the middle of the ocean. It’s scary and you will have nightmares about it for years.
Stop begging mom and dad for a pet pig. SPOILER ALERT: they don’t buy you one no matter how much you cry, whine, scream, slam doors, or give the silent treatment.
You know you “rebellious phase” where you thought you were being oh-so-sneaky and mom had no idea about the beer/cigar smoking? She knew. You’re an idiot. Also, cigars? Really?? If you are trying to be cool smoke pot or cigarettes. A 17-year old girl smoking cigars is the opposite of cool.
Help dad with yard work and house chores more. I know they can be boring, but it is quality time with your dad. When you live 4 states away from him and only get to see him twice a year, you will wish you could rake the yard or change the oil with him again.
Thank mom for all the amazing meals she prepares for you. It isn’t until you are surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a broke college student that you realize how much time and love she put into every single packed lunch and family dinner.
Hang out with your cousins who live in Virginia more. I know you see them every few months when you all get together for family dinners, but you should see them more. Your cousin, Timmy, passes away in his mid-twenties. It’s going to be really hard, so spend time with him while you can. He is one of the best parts of your childhood.
Bangs are not a good look for you. Neither is that perm you just had to have.
You will not grow out of your fear of the dark, just learn to accept it. Even when you are in your mid-twenties and living with your fiance, you will insist on keeping the hall light on.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not, it causes a lot of stress and anxiety for no reason. Be shy when you want to be shy, be silly when you feel like it. Be who you are. Hang in there, life gets so much better.