Stop despising your mother for the babies she lost

Dear Sweet 16,

You are having the time of your life right now. Life will not be as simple and carefree as it is why now, please decrease the grumbling, whining and complaining while wallowing in your teenage angst. You won’t have to get a real job until after you graduate college, thanks to your parents, who financially supported you throughout your collegiate career.

Appreciate your parents more, and ask as many questions as you can, chronicling their responses in a journal. Your folks are older than most parents your friends’ age, and have a well of history that surrounds them. When they both die, you will regret not getting the full story, especially about your father’s stint in WWII, your father’s lineage, or your mother’s medical issues as a child.

As for love. Okay, so you keep getting crushes on women, famous and not so famous. You’re able to date, but are very uncomfortable around guys. Please accept the fact that you are gay, no matter what the Church says, no matter what hateful comments your folks say, no matter the homophobic atmosphere at school. You will be wasting your time with guys, so stop trying to fit a square box into a round peg. Just keep it to yourself, until you find the means to get out of your parent’s roof.

School-wise, you should have applied yourself more. Junior year is pretty important in terms of college admissions, and you should have spent less time listening to music, or daydreaming, or watching TV, and studied harder and reading more. Maybe your PSATS and SAT scores would have been higher, and you would have been able to have your choice of tony schools, rather than running to the first and only school that gave you a partial scholarship. You’ll end up hating it anyway, and flunking out.

Keep writing; you know you’ve been doing it since eight, but have fallen off the wagon at this point. Why? You have a voice that screams to be heard. You have an active imagination, so utilize what’s inside that noggin to express it on paper. You did a bit of it when writing for the Weight Watchers camp paper, and even one of your poems ended up on the front page! Believe in your writing style and ability, and stop being your own worse critic. Take a chance and let others see your work!

Speaking of Weight Watchers, you did a great job that summer-you lost almost 20lbs in three weeks. Your parents shelled out over three grand to motivate you to lose weight. And what happens once you return? You get lazy again and gain it all back and then some. Why didn’t you keep the healthy habits and eating behaviour? This choice eventually led you to trying diet after diet, until in your 30s, you finally get it and lose the weight.

I’m proud of your other choices you have firmly stuck to at this point. You didn’t wish to smoke, and this resolution was never kept once you ran across the country to attend college and rebel after getting kicked out your first university. Same rules applied to drinking and drugs as well. Couldn’t you have held to the notion of what it did to your mother physically, because she did all three? You didn’t want to get pregnant; you did you best to focus on school instead. Although you went overboard in the makeup category, it’s okay; you were always a unique person with an offbeat outlook anyway.

You won’t stay in touch with your friends you have right now. Once Facebook rolls around 20 years later, that’s when you’ll be able to see where they have gone on in their lives. But that’s okay, because by then you will have a set of friends you can call family.

Why did you stop wanting to go the Disney World? Did you think you outgrew it? Did you think it couldn’t or wouldn’t get any better? This year is to be your last. You didn’t leave home until 20 anyway, so you missed out on an additional four years of 2 week vacations in the Happiest Place on Earth. Wasn’t Universal Studios in place before you left in ’91?

Yes, life was rough for you, at least internally. But you had a chance to grow up in New York City, take family vacations, and be driven around in a car, rather than taking public transportation. You were given alot of material possessions without needing to ask, and you attended twelve years of private school. You never went to bed hungry, the apt had a library and a TV at your disposal, plus you never received any clothing secondhand. And stop despising your mother for the two babies she lost after having you. God knows that was painful enough for her to go through, and if you did end up with siblings, do you think all the above mentioned perks would be the same?

So yeah kid, you’ll be okay. Better than what you expect, and you will surprise yourself. Sure, there will be trials and tribulations, and demons to exorcise, but trust me, even if you don’t follow any of these instructions, the life ahead of you will be priceless!

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