27 June 2010
list twenty: things I'd like to tell my 17 year-old self
1. you are not fat.
2. he is not The One. it will seem like he is, but he is not.
3. you do not have to smile for every single picture.
4. you are not going to believe this but you do not know everything. also, your parents are right. about soooo many things.
5. your studio art class will spend a whole quarter on photography. pay closer attention.
6. that little 110 camera you love so much is a total piece of crap. people call it a toy camera now but that's hilarious because, really. it's crap. beg your parents to buy you an old used 35mm SLR. then shoot roll after roll after roll of film. and throw out the flash.
7. remember how good it feels to do a back handspring. in a few years, that skill will be long gone.
8. diet coke is not the answer.
9. do not listen to the people who tell you you cannot be a dancer because you don't have enough training, didn't start early enough and don't have the right body. more specifically, do not listen to that teacher who tells you to eat only saltine crackers for a week in order to drop a few pounds. in a few years, you'll discover modern dance and your world will crack wide open. suddenly, ballet will seem like a stupid idea and everything else will make sense. you will go on to do things you were told you could not do. and it will feel spectacular.
10. you know that awesome color photobooth at the kmart two minutes from your house? visit it regularly.
11. you will get a letter from that girl you stood up for in P.E. class. she will tell you that what you did really did mean something to her. her letter will make you cry and you will be glad you took on the mean girls.
12. wear anything you want. because you can.
13. enjoy the widespread availability of polaroid film.
14. keep writing. keep writing. keep writing.
15. do not wear those vintage spectator pumps you love so much to that choir competition. because your left heel will get caught in the crack of the risers and you will inadvertently flip it several feet into the air. it will land with a dull thud smack dab in front of the table of judges and you will be forced to walk (one shoe on, one shoe off) in front of hundreds of people to the center of the gymnasium to retrieve it. you will not die from the embarrassment. but you will want to.
16. for pete's sake, take that typing class.
17. and when your mom offers to teach you how to sew, do not blow her off.
18. do not stop writing letters to your french penpal.
19. stock up on vintage clothing before thrift stores everywhere are sucked dry by the masses.
20. make grandma corrona teach you how to make her bread. she will tell you it's nothing, that it's just ordinary bread but you will come to realize that it's not. you will come to realize that it is, in fact, the best bread in the world.
21. take bigger, scarier risks. because I promise, you will regret it if you don't. you really, really will.
22. the boys, they are not worth it.
23. stop with the black eyeliner. it's enough already and really, you don't need it.
24. and while we're on the subject, beware of all cosmetic counter makeovers.
25. you are never going to find that party on graduation night. your will drive around with your friend michelle for hours and hours, you will find yourselves in the middle of nowhere at three in the morning. you will feel a little scared but even worse, you will feel stupid. so not the way to spend graduation night, so not the memory you will want to have.
26. do not slather yourself with baby oil and lay out on foil mats. furthermore, wear sunscreen. ALL. THE. TIME.
27. turns out your dad was totally right about the whole time thing. twenty years, gone. just like that.
28. seriously, you are not fat.
(twenty down, thirty-two to go)