Dearest 16 yr old Sandi,
Breathe. Take a really big deep breath and give us a hug. Things seem so bad right now, but you will get through this, and more, and come out of it all better and stronger. I know you’ll roll your eyes a bit when I tell you this, but adversity really does build character. And that really is a good thing. Be proud of standing up for yourself, despite the fact that you are standing alone. You will make friends again, you do not need these people who decided not to stand by you. It is ok to cry.
Don’t be in such a rush to find “The One”. Focus on more important things like friends and family, and YOU! Yes, there are bigger, more important things than romantic love. At 31 you will not have not found “The One” yet. You are happy just the same, and you have such a deeper appreciation for family and friends. You never thought it would happen to you, but you get a divorce. I know it sucks, but the rewards are well worth the heartache. You know how you always say it would be awesome to be a single mom? Well, you get to find out. It is actually really hard, but there are definitely some awesome elements. You don’t have a little girl though, you have a boy. Don’t worry, he is incredible, and diaper changes are SO much easier! Trust me.
I am not telling you this to scare you. I just want you to see how far you will come from where you are now. You will be surrounded by loved ones, you will have an amazing and healthy child, you will still believe in love, and you will be a writer. Things don’t always work out the way we think they will, but they truly do work out for the best.
Ok, I know you already have some serious body image issues. I think we really need to talk about that. Stop wishing your hipbones didn’t stick out. Stop obsessing about your ribcage. Keep dancing, go for walks, move your body, and learn to love it. 31 yr old you has to fix the damage we’ve done by calling ourselves fat, even before we were. Yeah, you get fat. REALLY fat. Don’t cry. Like I said, this is being fixed, and maybe by showing yourself a bit of love at 16, it will never become an issue. Your hipbones and ribcage stick out because you are still a girl. That womanly figure will come. It just needs some movement to tone up, you are NOT fat!
This is also very important – Sex is not love. Sex does not make men like you, or fall madly in love with you. I think deep down you know that. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to make him wait, make him actually earn the right to that kind of intimacy with you. If he doesn’t wait, that isn’t because you are not good enough, it is because he is not good enough. Please, please trust me on this. You are bright and wonderful and that is MORE than enough!
You end up getting a whole lot of tattoos. Sometimes you love them all, sometimes you do not. Rethink the rose on your ankle. Let’s be honest, you don’t really like roses all that much and it just so happens the guy you will be dating at the time of the tattoo has the last name of Rose. You can’t fool me.
About three years from now you will be tempted to purchase a home perm, after having already gone very blond. Don’t do it! You’ll end up having to shave your head, and while that does result in some really fun earrings and eye makeup looks…Oh, who am I kidding? Go for it!
One last thing. Start driving now. That way you don’t have to learn it later, like say, when you are 31. Embarrassing isn’t it? Face your fears girl! All of them! You don’t have to be afraid. Life is good, and all is well. Yes, it get’s more complicated as you get older, but it also gets more amazing! Keep following your heart, love with abandon, have faith in yourself, dream big, and you will find your way.
Sandi is a mother, an artist, a writer, and an incurable romantic. She believes that life is full of surprises, people should make good ripples, and that there in nothing on this earth that can’t be made better with a cup of coffee and a bit of glitter (preferably not in the coffee). Sandi has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently working towards her MBA. When she is not chasing a toddler around or studying, she is writing or working on one of her many unfinished and not-quite-started projects. You can follow her on Twitter or read about her fabulous baking and crafting mishaps on her blog.