a letter to myself at 15.

*it has been so strange and sobering to watch my little sisters grow over this past year. mckenzie is a bonafide hipster child with her big glasses and green skinnies and paige…let’s not talk about her, okay? she suddenly has lady curves and no braces and witty tweets? i don’t like this change. but this change does make me reminisce and thing about my early years in teenhood (and cringe, cringe, cringe). if i could go back now, i wish i could tell myself a few things…particularly my 15-year-old self:

dear brooke at 15,

hi, you! it’s you…well, me…who is you…from the future! i am sure you are all into this future-talking-to-present-that-is-actually-past-becaues-it-is-the-present type of thing; you are at a weird moment in your existence where you want to be different and unique and quirky so badly that you listen to music you don’t like and attempt books you don’t understand (we all see twilight creeping out from the back of that uncreased copy of war and peace). well, stop. you are different and unique and pretty rad in your own little way. perhaps it’s because you are SO. INCREDIBLY. NORMAL. admit it: just like 19/20 of the teenage girls around, crappy reality television makes you happy…as does diet coke, long bubble baths, and the occasional nicholas sparks’ book-gone-movie. i promise you, if you just accept this and move forward, you will save an entire year of grimacing through ‘animal collective’ albums (also i promise, promise, PROMISE that your worst nightmare will never actually be realized; you know? the one where all the songs and artists on your ipod are announced over an intercom and everyone judges you for listening to the black eyed peas and beyonce on repeat?).

also, get over that silly boy you are so sad about. a little factoid from the future: in about seven months, he will start growing dreadlocks and tattooing his forearms with his own initials and bob marley lyrics. yes. that guy. on that note, maybe just don’t date? anyone? but if you must, like, really must, date the nice boy who gets semi-flirty with you at the end of your junior year–he is not ‘the one’, but he is a good, good egg (and can grow a beautiful beard! you love beards!).

finally, don’t play basketball (you end up hating it), stop eating a large bowl of sugary cereal before bed every night (your pooch emerges at the tender age of 17), don’t cut the blonde of the bottom of your hair (the ombre comes back! and with vengeance!), and be nicer to yourself.

oh, brooke. if only you could see what you have coming in a few years…i think some of your decisions would be different. great things and people and opportunities await… and so does a really bad grade in science because you are semi-cheating your way through it? (PAY ATTENTION in that class, silly girl!) i know that things are kind of, sort of rough right now in a teen-angsty type of way, but it will pass. and it will get better, so much better.

…also hug your parents hard–partially because it might help cure your hug-awkwardness but mostly because they kick serious, serious butt.

now, go on! live! see you soon!

–brooke m.

p.s. don’t shoot the penalty kick in the district playoffs your junior year…you miss.

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unsolicited advice.

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::do go see the avengers, this means war(in a dollar theater, of course!)(jeff and i were DYING laughing; “FTFO!”) and chronicle but DON’T go see the vow (channing tatum in a fedora? really?) and the lucky one …but maybe do go see that one just to gawk over the fruits of zac efron’s recent puberty. and do order the large popcorn and two large drink combo every time. (story! jeff always insists on getting the large, refillable tub of buttery popcorn and a few days ago i didn’t see the point of forking over the $6 so i improvised and plucked a freshly used tub out of the garbage and went to the concessions to sneakily get my FREE refill…jeff wasn’t having any of it! he refused! WHAT?! he shot down the best idea i ever had! sad face!)

::do go see a show at ‘comedy sportz’ in downtown provo if you haven’t already…i was rolling on the floor! well, not really, but almost! and get blackjack personal pan pizzas afterwards…and perhaps costa vida before? are you feeling that? but don’t park your car next to a creepy man who asks if you know who chris angel is and proceeds to levitate. wait…what?

::don’t lock your keys in your car at the grocery store, especially when it’s a three-mile walk home (why did i go to days market, again?!). but if you do, run into the store and impulsively grab a coconut water; two thumbs way UP! (or maybe? maybe i was just super thirsty? or felt super trendy?).

::don’t go shopping at the mall with jeff…just, don’t. his unspoken theory (or at least i’m almost sure): you should spend twice as much time as the item costs considering buying it. did that make sense? english? if a shirt costs 45 dollars, he will spend 90 minutes looking at it! HOLY! SMOKES! i am more of an impulse shopper…and that’s how i ended up with zebra print pants this week? i thought they were floral?

::don’t blow up your microwave making popcorn but do make ranch and panko chicken…but don’t make paula deen’s recipe that calls for 65 sticks of butter and 34 cups of margarine. oh, paula! oh! also! do make cilantro and lime quinoa, mac and cheese cups, and greek yogurt pancakes! :)

::don’t try to break all barriers with your roommate at one time. she will be overwhelmed. oops.