The “Dear Teen Me” blog keeps popping up on my Twitter timeline. It’s a blog where authors write personal, tearjerking letters to their teen self about the struggles of life. I have a few things to say to the teen me. But I don’t think “Dear Teen Me” will have me, because I’m still a nobody, so I’ll write it here on my blog.
Dear Teen Me,
Well Stephanie, you are pretty damn cool in the future—I don’t even know if you deserve to be me. But this letter isn’t about me; it’s about you. And, at times, you failed me. That’s why I’m contacting you—to give you guidance. I want you to carefully read everything I write and do exactly as I tell you.
Do not get that short, Kelly Taylor haircut. I know Beverly Hills 90210 is popular, but don’t imitate that particular hairstyle. I cringe when I see photos of you. You look like a man—specifically, your brother—and that’s probably why I didn’t date much in the late-90s.
Within the next couple of years, Kim, a completely terrible person, will do something horrible to one of your friends. You come up with an idea for a revenge prank—breaking in to her gym locker, emptying the contents of her shampoo bottle, and refilling it with Nair so that when she washes her hair, she becomes bald—but you chicken out. Don’t. DO IT. Don’t consider her feelings, you wuss. She’s mean and deserves it. You’re too young to realize it’s experiences like this that make for hilarious stories in the future. She’ll probably even laugh about it. Eventually. Maybe after a bit of therapy.
Don’t look in Dad’s nightstand drawer.
Avoid a boy named Travis. You don’t need to know why. Just trust me. While I’m on the subject of boys, stop daydreaming about Jared Leto (a.k.a Jordan Catalano). It’s a waste of time; it will never work out between you two. And soon he’ll form a mediocre band called 30 Seconds to Mars, so just forget about him now.
Okay, this is where I change your life, more importantly my life. I’m attaching a schematic for something called an iPhone. Math and science aren’t your strong suits, so you’ll need to find a mechanical engineer. I think. I don’t actually know—I majored in English. (Don’t major in English.) You know what, just take the schematic to Uncle Kenny; (He’s a copyright attorney.) he’ll take care of the rest.
Because I’m not sure I can trust you to follow through with my above request, I’m including a backup plan. I typed up a book series that I want you to take to a publisher—it is imperative that you do so no later than June 1995. There are seven novels total. The first one is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I wrote it—I wrote all seven. When you read it, you may think it sounds British, but the future you is just good at writing different dialects. Australian: “Put another shrimp on the barbie.” Irish: “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya.” British: “Pip pip, cheerio ol’ chap. Bob’s your uncle.” Russian: “I must break you.”
Stephanie, don’t fail me. We need this. I’ve had my eye on a $200,000 luxury RV, and not only is it out of my price range, but the cost of gas right now is ridiculous.
The Future You