Dear 16-Year-Old Michelle,

Hey there, Skinny! How’s it going? Oh, I know you think that life is tough right now – but trust me when I say that it has never been easier than you’ve got it right now, kid. You’re skinny. You’re pretty. You have a great group of friends. You’re learning to sing and play the guitar. You get good grades. You just started driving.

Honey – you’ve got it made.

But here is a list of things to watch out for:

  1. Lay off the calories. Trust me. You really want your 45-year-old rear end to keep wearing single-digit sized jeans. I know you love chips and dip, but just say no.
  2. Learn to exercise and to like it. (See number 1 for a good reason.)
  3. If opportunities don’t fall in your lap…make them. Your senior year you will have an opportunity to travel to France with the French class. Start saving now. You will regret it forever that you never got to go.
  4. Don’t break up with that one guy – you know the one – the one that still makes you smile 30 years later. Yeah, him. I realize you won’t end up with him…but hang onto him awhile longer. He was a good one.
  5. Do your homework even when you don’t feel like it. You will audition for Jeopardy someday and will need it. (Especially history and geography. It’s pathetic how much information older you doesn’t know in those areas.)
  6. Invest in Google.

Here are some things that you have to look forward to:

  1. You’re going to have an amazing and diverse career. You will love it. Especially when you open your own business.
  2. You will get married later than most of your friends. Don’t worry, though. It’s gonna happen!
  3. You will have the most amazing daughter. She makes you proud every day.
  4. You will continue to cherish relationships with friends and family.
  5. You will travel to some amazing places.
  6. You will meet some amazing people.
  7. And you will try to help people all the time.

So hang in there. I know it’s all angst-y now, but it’s really worth the ride.

Enjoy the journey!

Your bedheaded older self,