On October 30th, Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, was published. It is a new book of letters from 70 different authors to their teenage selves. The publisher offered an opportunity to bloggers to write their own letters to their teen selves.
Think about it. What advice would you offer to your teen self? Today you will find a variety of posts from different ALSC Bloggers writing to themselves as teens. We hope they make you think about the kids you work with and what they may be going through. And maybe you’d like to write your own letter to yourself as a teen.
Dear Teen Mary,
I know your life is a challenge, but it WILL get better. And, no, you don’t end up in a religious order to satisfy others. And you didn’t marry the guy you were dating who stood you up at your first formal dance in high school. And you didn’t continue some of the bad habits you picked up behind the bleachers on the football field.
You did graduate high school even though you walked out of school in your senior year, vowing never to return. In fact, you went on to get an Masters in Library Science and — forty years later — now get to work every day with the greatest group of advocates for children you’ve ever encountered.
Forty years later, your proudest accomplishment is to be the mom of a loving, wise, compassionate daughter who just finished HER teen years not that long ago and who is now a fierce advocate for those without a strong voice. After recognizing that you had to live YOUR life and not someone else’s, you met the love of your life, and together you just celebrated 30 years together. It DOES get better.
Hang on to your lifelines of escaping into books and spending time with your horse. And talk with your friends. When you have problems — and believe me, I know you will have problems — know that it will get better. When you think that no one can possibly understand what you’re going through — know that it gets better. And know that 40 years later, you take and strive to live the It Gets Better Pledge: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that it gets better.
Hang in there. It DOES get better.
You (40 years later)