Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

I just heard that Jane Lynch who plays Sue Sylvester in the hit show “Glee” wrote a fabulous new memoir. To kick off her prose, she wrote a letter to her 20-year-old self.  What a phenomenal concept! What if we all could choose a point in time of our lives when we were our most ignorant and vulnerable selves, and offer some words of wisdom, with hindsight on our side? I plan to explore this idea further in the book I am writing. In the meantime, here are some teasers that may or may not make the cut:

Dear Meg,

Right about now, you are living in Egypt with your family, are boy-crazed, and are wondering what Junior High will be like when you move back to the States next year.  I am now 42, married with three kids, and I’ve got some good news and some bad news to share with you: 

 The good news

  • You will be thrilled because the days of going to a shoe store in vain will be behind you.  There will finally be a trend away from tennis shoes, flats, and pumps in the early 1990’s.  Ankle boots that can support your unique feet will actually become fashionable!
  • You will receive a lot of great necklaces for your Bat Mitzvah.
  • You are incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with clear skin. 
  • No more waiting for letters to come from friends and loved ones. You will be able to communicate within seconds.  Keyboards will still be relevant and necessary.  You will become the fastest two-fingered typist… ever.
  • Your good metabolism will allow you to fit well into your Jordache jeans in High School.
  • Just like your childhood friends, your adult friends will continue to treat you like everyone else, never focusing on your physical difference.

 The bad news

  • Strappy sandals are still in and don’t expect that Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin will follow the shoe-boot trend.
  • Jewelry clasps will stay small.
  • Your clear skin will lead you to a lifetime obsession with expensive facials and face creams.
  • After e-mail comes thumb-centered texting.
  • In college, the “freshman 10” is a myth.  It is actually the freshman 15. 
  • Strangers will to continue to judge you and assume you can’t do things, no matter how old you get.

Before I conclude, let me offer a few final nuggets:  Be sure to develop the ability to laugh at yourself, no matter the situation.  Also, don’t forget that the man that will want to marry you will be the guy you never chased. Finally, remember the following expression, “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.”  It will serve you well.

Love, Meg

7 Responses to “Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self”

  1. BeckySeptember 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I love this! (And love you!) Caught myself smiling after every bullet.

  2. Samantha SpadaSeptember 30, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Those last few really made me laugh!! If only I knew then what I know now. You taught me one of the best lessons in life: we all need to laugh it off sometimes!

  3. JessieSeptember 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I’d add a P.S. your girlfriends will continue to look to you for advice and wisdom on everything. You will be the first person they call when they are bursting with joy and when they need an understanding heart. They will respect you, love you and cherish you all the days of their lives.

  4. Mat ZuckerSeptember 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Dear young Meg,

    If someone ever offers you the opportunity to spend high holidays in suburban New Jersey, say yes.

  5. amy rothSeptember 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    I’d say, “Don’t worry. Barbra Streisand is coming, and it will soon be okay to look Jewish — and even have curly hair.”
    Other than that, it would simply be the futile advice of old age to youth. (It’s true that we get too soon old and too late smart.)
    Amy Roth

  6. Eileen Z. WolterSeptember 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Meg, as someone whose known of you and known you for over 20 years and a fellow writer and a differently-abled mom (in my case sometimes debilitating depression) to a differently-abled child (in his case Nystagmus & Aspergers) I’ve e oriented how hard it can be to engage in the “normal” world we live in. I applaud your efforts to both advocate for Ethan while giving him tools that enable him to navigate these sorts of situations as he grows. And maintaining a sense of humor! Parenting is a struggle no matter what and I think the most important part is that they feel loved and empowered and you certainly pull that off. Not that you need the encouragement from me, but keep it up.

  7. Regina FoxSeptember 24, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    You made laugh after like 12 hours of work today. I just drove from home from the city and I’m still sitting in my kitchen, unchanged, reading your blog. I feel like I drank a Red Bull or something and it gave me wings to do more! Thanks for the smiles!!!!