This blog post was inspired by a friend's Facebook status talking about how she wished she could go back and give advice to her younger self. I have talked about my teenage years a bit on the blog before, but with my final "20-something" birthday approaching I feel that I maybe, finally have things figured out (I'm sure I really don't).
Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Jamie,
If I know you, and I think I do, you are probably driving around Bar Harbor right now, with your music way too loud (don't worry you still do that almost 13 years later). Although, you do have some pretty great taste in music, if I do say so myself.
I know that high school hasn't been everything that you wanted it to be and there have been times when you wondered, "what am I even doing here?" Well, I'd say that your 28-year-old self is the reason that you are here. I know that you are pretty stubborn (that doesn't go away, sadly) and you probably think that most of what I am going to say isn't true, but believe me it is.
Food is your friend. You need it to become the smart, athletic person that you are meant to be. I know it is hard hanging out with people who don't eat and act like food isn't a good thing, and you will go through a lot of phases before you truly understand the importance of eating. Actually, you may just end up eating more than most people.
Don't change your values, or diminish the importance of them, just because people don't agree with what you believe in (or try to make you feel bad for what you do and don't believe). You can be friends with people who have different values than you, and they may become some of your greatest friends, but never change who you are because that's what you think that they want you to do.
Swimming will always be your first love, but that doesn't mean you are always going to love it. I know you say that you will always be a swimmer, no matter what, but some time apart will make the heart grow fonder. And, you may just use swimming in a way that you didn't even imagine was possible.
You are strong, smart and, yes, beautiful. It may take you awhile to believe all of those statements but they are true.
People come into your life for a reason (just like things happen for a reason, yes your mom is right). Your core group of friends may change over the years, but you are going to come across some amazing people who love and accept you for who you are.
And finally, try to have some fun every once in awhile. Life isn't always so serious and if you stop and breathe you may just find out that it is a crazy, wonderful world out there.
An older and, maybe, wiser Jamie