About this Feature:
Dear Teen Me (Edited by E. Kristen Anderson & Miranda Kenneally) includes advice from over 70 authors and I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour. My tour stop date is Tuesday October 30th, and on that date I’ll be posting a review, hosting a giveaway and sharing my own Dear Teen Me letter. In the meantime, I was inspired by the book and decided to invite friends, fellow bloggers, and authors to write their own letter. Through out the month of October I’ll be be posting them here. I still have space for anyone else who would like to participate-just contact me through email or by leaving a comment on this post.
Dear 16 year old me,
Hello from the future! I managed to track down the TARDIS and convince the Doctor to deliver this letter from 24 year old you. I know you don't know what a TARDIS or the Doctor is but remember those words. They will be of vital importance later on.
I hope I've caught you at a good time. Maybe you're reading this in Ms. Jones' English class while you're supposed to be reading Catcher in the Rye but are bored because you already finished it weeks ago. Maybe you're in between psychotic customers while working the returns desk at Wal Mart. Or maybe your hiding in that hollowed out spot in the back of your closet while your parents scream bloody murder at one another. For both of our sakes, I hope it's the first option.
That's right, all those moments stick with you well into the future. You carry them with you wherever you go and as much as you may hate them now, that's ok. They've made you who you are today and that person, is pretty awesome.
There are so many things I could talk about in this letter. I could talk about how much you're going to love university or all the amazing places you're going to visit, or tell you about how one day you're going to be lucky enough work in publishing and pursuing your dreams of being a published author. But I'm not going to talk about all those things because I'm you after all and at this point there's something much more important to address.
And that's this. Your dad is an alcoholic. You probably already know (or at least suspect) this but I wanted to be clear. I'm sorry to say that he is going to continue to drink, and it will become so much more than just finding him passed out around the house. It will come to a point where you won't even know who this strange man is any more and wonder what happened to the kind, loving man who was once your hero. I don't want to overwhelm you with all the details, but I NEED you to hear this one piece of advice. Do not listen to anyone who tells you the opposite.
Are you listening?
Nothing - and I mean nothing - that happens to your dad is your fault. You are in no way responsible for any of his actions. Asking you to not only cope with but accept what's going on, is something that should never be asked of a child and if you find you need to step away and put some distance between you and the situation THAT IS OK. I can not stress that enough. Only you know how much you can take, and it's important that you listen to yourself.
Your dad was a great man. You're going to lose a lot of your earlier memories of him, but hang on to what you can. Please don't rip up all his pictures when you're angry. I regret that decision all the time. At the same time however you are perfectly right to be angry at everything he put you, your mom and your brother through. It's even alright if you feel sad and angry at the same time. Eventually the anger dulls at little and you will find peace. As a bonus you also maintain a fabulous relationship with your mom and brother to this day, so there is always that to be thankful for.
Your teenage years are not an easy trip, so be prepared. I hate to tell you this but things are going to get worse for a little while. But the good news is that around the time you turn 19 everything is going to change. Life is going to get SO MUCH BETTER. You have no idea. And not for any one reason either. But you will be happy I promise. I am proud to tell you that not once in the past five years have I ever felt the need to hide in the closet, I currently love my job and I have hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of books that I can read anytime I want.
And seriously remember what I said about the Doctor.
24 year old you
Thank you so much Christa for sharing and for being so open and honest. Big hugs to you.
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