Advice I’d Give My 13 Year-Old Self

It’s a strange thought, the idea that if time travel were possible you’d be able to speak to your younger self… Would you dare to mess with the time-space continuum?

If we simplify the concept, it comes down to a desire we have to change the way things turned out for us. To impart some of the wisdom we have now onto a younger version of ourselves, so as to save us from some trouble that we now know we were going to go through. (Lots of tenses there, wow.)

Some people, probably wiser than most of us, wouldn’t say anything. They wouldn’t mess with the time-space continuum, because they know that some things would change in their present that they’d have no control over. But if you’re one of those who is willing to overlook this, you might be sentimental and encouraging, reminding your younger self to be confident and ignore the haters. Or perhaps you’d tell yourself something that could prevent embarrassment or terrible harm.

For me I wouldn’t change anything too drastic. I like the way my life has turned out and the person I am becoming. There are imperfections, of course, but they are part of me as much as everything else. Of the things I would change, the minor things, eyebrows would be one. I did not respect my eyebrows until about 2017. And by that point, it was too late. The damage has been done. There are photos I cannot look at because my eyebrows are so awful.

“Baby Amy, my sweet summer child, don’t pluck your eyebrows so much. Dammit you need those things. And you will need them more than ever in 2019.”

Oh, and I’d tell myself to just smile more. I spent so long being insecure about my smile, and it was hidden more often that not. And I am willing to bet smiling more would’ve helped my depression… The depression I still struggle with today.

“I know you have braces, but they’ll be gone soon, and that smile with no teeth is borderline creepy, not cute. Sorry to break it to you baby, but just smile. Even if you feel insecure. Especially when you feel insecure. Because you will, but a smile will help. It will definitely help.”

Me and my friend at age 13.

But other than that I don’t think there’s much I could’ve done better or differently. Life is a series of choices, each of them making us into who we are, for better or for worse. I suppose the only thing we can really do is look back and consider how we will do better in the future.

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