Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Letter to My 16 year old self

On April 8, 1967 I turned 16 years old. I was so smart. In fact, I knew everything. Don't most 16 year old girls? On another blog I once saw where the blogger wrote a letter to her 16 year old self. I tucked that thought away and decided that I would do that one day. So here it is:

Dear  16 year old Paula,
     I am writing you this letter to let you know what you have to look forward to. And to see if there is anything that I can tell you that you don't already know. Because I know that you think you know it all.  But there is so much that you have to learn that you have not a clue about. You are going to learn about love, about pain, about loss. You will learn to suffer and to celebrate. You will learn what it is like to be loyal to someone and what it feels like when someone is not loyal to you. You will learn to trust and you will learn to be leery. Right now you trust everyone. That will change. You will learn what real responsibility means. And you will get to teach others how to be responsible.
     Oh the things that you will learn about boys.I know, you know EVERYTHING about boys and love right now. Yeah, right!  You think you are ready right now for a relationship. You have no idea what that means, to be in a true relationship, but you are ready. In fact, I am sure you are even ready to be married. And to have kids. Oh how hard can it be to have a baby. They are so cute and so cuddly and smell so sweet. I wish that I could go back in time and tell you that having babies is a huge responsibility  And that you should live your life first. That you should go to college. Live in a dorm. Get your own apartment. Visit New York City.  Even go to England if you can. Lie on a beach without a care in the world. Don't believe all the lies that boy is filling your head with. He really only wants to sleep with you, if you know what I mean. And he won't love you FOREVER like he promised. Get out there and live your life. There is plenty of time for boys and babies. You will never ever get to be a single girl again. NEVER.
     But when you do get to have those babies; it will be the hardest and the easiest thing you have ever done. You will love them from the moment they breathe their first breath. You will spend hours staring into their beautiful little faces while they cling so tightly to your finger. They will keep you up at night and give you joy and pleasure in the day time. You will pace the floor with them as babies and pace the floor wondering where they are as teens. You will wait for their calls when they are teenagers and wait for them to call when you are the old person. Just to hear their voices is what will keep you going. You will pray for them when they are taking their first steps, their first falls, their first heartbreaks and you will still be praying for them when they are breaking your heart. It is a love greater than any love you will ever have for any man in your life. It is a bond that cannot be broken.
     And I want to tell you that when your heart is broken and you don't think you can go on another day, there will be another wonderful man that will come into your life to love you and to love those sons left from the one who broke your heart. He will make everything okay. And you will love again. But I can't give it all away..that is for you to find out way in the future.
     I would teach you about beauty. It is not about short skirts and long shiny hair. It comes deep from within. It is not about how much eyeliner you have on or if your white go-go boots are spit shined. Beauty is the clear blue sky above you. Beauty is the ducks at Carey Park. Beauty is the color of the fall leaves. Beauty is freshly fallen snow. Don't be afraid to lie down in it and make those perfect snow angels. Don't be afraid to walk in the rain. Your hair will dry. But you might never get this chance again.
     I want to tell you to remember your mother. Spend more time with her now. Talk with her and find out what she thought about things when she was 16. Look at the beauty of her face. Listen to her voice. Sing with her....."When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be. Will I be pretty, will I be rich and here's what she said to me. Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be,will be. ......" You will always remember your mom singing that song and you will wish someday that you could hear it just one more time. To hold her hand and hear her laugh; just one more time.
     I don't want to re-write history for you, my dear 16 year old Paula. But I want to help you see that it will go by fast. Don't wish your life away. Don't hurry through things. Take your time and live life. Listen to the music and hum along. Don't fall for the first boy that comes along and sweeps you off your feet. Get to know him first. Find out how he treats his mom. The boy that loves his mother like no other is the one that you want. Right now you feel like you want it all RIGHT NOW. But you can wait. And waiting will all just make it better.
     I would tell you all of this because I would want you to have the very best life there is to have. But I can't change the future for you. Only you can do that.

                                                                      All my love to you,

                                                                      61 year old Paula

Here is 16 year old Paula


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Boss Nurse....I don't know about breathtaking :)

  2. What a lovely letter! Made me a bit teary!

    1. Thank You Laura. It was good for me to write

  3. Writing to your 16 year old self is such a great idea, because you're right - 16 year olds do think they know everything.

    Your letter to yourself is beautiful!

    1. You should write one to your 16 year old self. It is insightful.


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