If You Could Give One Piece of Advice to Your Teenage Self, What Would it Be?
When last month we ran a Minor Cogitation begging that you ask us anything, a handful of you freaky geniuses had great questions. I really enjoyed one that came chased with a disclaimer. “I know it’s the oldest one in the book,” she wrote, “but, if you could give one piece of advice to your teenage self, what would it be?”
I must live under that rock people are always talking about where news doesn’t filter through to the masses because no one has ever asked me that and as far as I can trace the history of the inquiries I’ve bestowed on others, I’ve never asked it either. So I gave the question some real thought and came up with three things which became four when Charlotte found the above photo from an issue of Vogue Italia, ca 1994, to illustrate this story.
The one contingent on her findings is this: Christy Turlington did not look like that when she was a teenager. Don’t get down about your curly hair and the fact that you don’t look like the subject of a Vogue Italia shoot when you wear knee highs. In fact, don’t wear knee highs at all. It’s unbecoming of a sprouting woman, Leandra. That’s what you are, you know? A sprouting woman.
Glad that’s out of the way, now:
Stop yelling at your mother — nobody will root for you the way she does, will care for you the way she has or love you as much as she does. Not even yourself. Especially not yourself. And when she tries to help you comb your hair — she’s not being contentious or trying to mock your Jewish mane. She’s just being a good mom.
Calm the fuck down about being single and enjoy your freedom to watch Friends while you doze off at 2am after a night “out” (meaning, diner-hopping through the Upper East Side). You’re a kid. Literally. Still kind of an embryo in the grand scheme of where you life will take you. Just spend quality time with your friends Arielle and Jaime because you are so lucky they like you (also, don’t worry about those other assholes, they will become irrelevant so much quicker than your mind is letting them) and stop picking your damn eyebrows while updating Facebook to see if HEEEEE has recently changed his status. He doesn’t do status updates. You know that.
And finally, drink less alcohol. You will become a champion of substance abuse by the time you hit 23 so it’s best that you maintain a strong liver for now.
The beauty of this exercise, you see, is that just because I’m not a teenager anymore, does not mean that I can’t still take my own advice to heart and change the trajectory henceforth. YOUR TURN!