Dear Teenage Self

Dear teenage self-

Here’s some friendly advice from an older, wiser 44 year old you.

Being popular is very, very overrated. Friends are the family you get to choose, so choose them wisely. Having a handful of good, solid, trustworthy friendships is so much more meaningful then a long list of superficial acquaintances. Good, long-lasting friendships take time, loyalty and dedication- so work hard at them because they can last a lifetime.

married my honey in 1998

I married my honey in 1998

Not having a boyfriend has nothing to do with you, you just haven’t met the right boy yet.

I know you feel badly and long to be loved but you will have a few wonderful and memorable experiences with boys that you really like.

Keep your standards high and don’t settle because Mr. Right, your future best friend, love of your life and husband is just around the corner- you two just don’t know it yet.

Family is important – especially your relationship with your little sister.

Lisa & Stephanie, 1980

Lisa & Stephanie, 1980

It seems like you two have nothing in common because of your almost seven year age gap but you’ll be very surprised that she follow in your foot steps. So, stop taunting and leaving her out because one day you two will be great friends, sharing a million wonderful family and professional experiences together.

Be physically active. I know you’re so busy studying, going to the mall and hanging out in your friends basements but you also need to be physically fit. It so important for your health and mental well-being. It doesn’t matter that our parents are not encouraging you to play sports or go to they gym- you have to motivate yourself. You have the potential to be a great tennis player, to box and to be physically very strong- so get moving.

McGill graduation, 1995

McGill graduation, 1995

Higher education is important but school doesn’t necessarily make you a smart person. Experiences, risks, accomplishments and failures define your achievements.

So take chances, lots of chances!

Try new things- succeed and fail as you will learn from both.

Shed the goody two shoe persona and rebel a little bit- its fun.

Be social, an active listener, don’t judge and be open minded. Appreciate people’s differences.

Life doesn’t come with a book of instructions so be open minded to learning outside the box. Let the world be your classroom.

Understand and be open to what true beauty is. You’re beautiful. Love yourself. Dump all those insecurities about the way you look. Love and embrace your round face, your full eyebrows , your thick hair and your tall stature because they’re yours.

Dont over pluck your brows, you’ll regret it.

Enough perms- try straightening and cut down on the hairspray.

Stop slouching and embrace your height.

me and my dad- grad 1989

Me and my dad- grad 1989

One day you’ll be so appreciative of those round, full cheeks as they’ll keep you looking younger and wrinkle free longer.

And FYI, thick, full, eyebrows make a comeback.

Work hard in everything that you do.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything alone.

Don’t strive for perfection because it doesn’t exist.



Get angry.


Be true to yourself.

Trust your intuition.

Love yourself.

Your teenage years are some of the best and hardest years of your life so learn from them. Those overwhelming arguments, the stay up all night sleepovers, the failed math tests, the mistakes, the summer camp experiences, the lonely nights, the times you were left out and the great laughs are the moments that will make you the resilient, powerful, sensitive, and beautiful woman you are destined to become.

Read other posts by Lisa Brookman:…r-who-they-are/ ‎…e-not-a-size-6/ ‎…has-depression/

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