7 Things I Want to Tell the 15-Year-Old Me

by Je Tuan Lavyonne

I cringe when I think of my teenage years; I’m not one of those people that wishes I could go back and do it all again. I had some good times, and I met two lifelong friends, but I am so happy that part of my life is over. If I could go back, it would only be to give myself words of wisdom. Here are seven things that I would say.

1. You have undiagnosed anxiety and depression.
I know that you like to think that everyone has that feeling in the morning and that it's normal for people to dread their day, but it's not true. You should tell someone about that clenching in your stomach and about how your heart races when you show up for school in the morning. It doesn't make you weak to admit that you're not okay.

2. You're beautiful.
Fifteen is an awkward age for everyone, but that doesn't diminish your beauty. Stop comparing yourself to other girls and look within. You're not just beautiful on the outside, but you're beautiful on the inside as well. You are unique, and that dent in your chin isn't a flaw. It doesn't make your face look masculine; it gives your face character. You have a beautiful smile that lights up your face, smile more. Your eyes are brown, and their almond shape is mesmerizing. Stop telling people online that they're hazel, one-day webcams are going to be invented, and you don't want to end up on an episode of Catfish.

3. You are not fat.
Girl, this is the smallest that you'll ever be, enjoy it. Seriously, a size 8 is not fat by any stretch of the imagination. What you have is called a shape. I would tell you to stop hiding in your clothes, but it's probably best if you keep those hips under wraps for now. Just know, that your body is banging.

4. You're a great friend.
So many people like you because you're a genuinely nice person. Stop feeling so guilty about every time you can't be somewhere or every time you don't want to do something. You're human, and you're an introvert. However, that doesn't diminish your worth. You are there for the people that you love when it's important, and that's what matters. So stop thinking that they're mad at you because you didn't want to go to their party. They know that you're a "lame", and they love you anyway.

5. Stop procrastinating, it's not cool.
Seriously, get it together. I'm still trying to push through those horrible procrastination habits that you've created. If you keep down this path, then you're going to miss out on some incredible opportunities, just because you let your fear get the best of you. Feel the fear and do it anyway! You've got this, now do your damned homework.

6. Your intelligence is not a fluke
So you think that people just hand out awards and scholarships to you for the sake of it? You think that you got into an international honors program from luck? You think that you skipped the eighth grade because the standardized test was easy? Let me get this straight, you think that you've slipped through the cracks? No, you're more than just a pretty face; you're intelligent. Your intelligence may not manifest itself in the way that you would like, but that doesn't make it any less than. Stop comparing your writing to others. You can admire but never covet. Their voice has been crafted by their experiences, and yours have been molded from yours. The world wants to hear what you have to say, and they want to hear it in your unique account.

Don't ever diminish all of the amazing things that you've done. You're never happy because you never take the chance to enjoy what you've accomplished. You deserve the accolades, soak them in, and get back to work.

7. It is okay to say no, it is your body
I know that you're looking for a father figure and positive male figures in your life because you lack in that area. Wait. Every man doesn't have the best intentions. When something feels wrong or off about a relationship that you've built, get away. Tell them no, it's your body. No one has the right to touch you or have you physically without your clear and expressed consent.

Although you didn't say no, what they did to you was wrong. Tell someone and don't allow the guilt to overwhelm you. They are adult men and they preyed on your age and vulnerability. Tell your mother, she'll have their heads.

Je Tuan Lavyonne is an author, blogger, ghostwriter and book coach. You can find her on her blog http://www.fauxhousewife.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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