I thought this was an interesting concept and tried to imagine what I might tell my own teenage self in a letter.
My initial thought, and most important advice was ... "Get psychiatric help. NOW!"
But seriously ... here goes ...
Dear Me ...
Be brave enough to make your own decisions and thereby your own possible mistakes. You will learn from them, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried.
Don't let other people convince you that anything is a bad idea. Do your own research and trust your own instincts and judgement.
Be brave enough to take that first scary step when you want to try something new. Learn how to talk yourself 'into' something instead of talking yourself 'out' of it.
Being successful is not 'showing off'. Don't be afraid to be great.
You are special and will be loved for who you really are, so don't waste your life being who you think others want you to be.
Your parents are 'people' just like everyone else. They have flaws and issues, and have raised you the best way they could with the limited knowledge and experience that was available to them. This means that their way was not necessarily the right way. Create your own 'right way'.
Love and sex are two completely different things ... learn the difference.
You are a good person, with the intelligence, common sense and potential to create your own wonderful life. Love yourself enough to take your own path and not be dragged along other people's paths.
Work your way through the bad times, they will pass, and you will be stronger for them.
Appreciate the good times and feel every moment of the happiness that comes your way. Find joy in the smallest pleasures and try to find the positive in what may appear to be a negative.
Take control of your own health. Don't wait til the age of 40 to decide that your health is important, because the damage will already be done.
Everything happens for a reason. The people who come into your life will be there for an important reason. Learn from them.
Be a good listener.
It's ok to be alone. Really!
If you follow all of that advice, your life will be very different, and you probably won't end up where I am now ... but ... you need to know, that your children will turn out much better than you ever imagined AND the love that you feel for your first grandchild (and probably all the others who follow) will overwhelm you with it's intensity.
I'm sure, if I really thought about it, I could find plenty more to say ... but really ... would a teenager focus long enough to even read it?
Would teenage ME read it without rolling her eyes and thinking "Yeh. Whatever."
I got to spend some time with my little Chicklet today ...