Top 5 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

portrait of beautiful African American teenager with arms crosse
Top 5 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self 

As I make my journey to 40 within the next 19 days I’ve been reflecting on my life. The ups and downs. The highs and lows. The warm fuzzies and the cold pricklies. I used to tell people that being 12 years old was my favorite age. I don’t know if it’s because I met one of my best friend’s that year or the fact that I had my first real kiss (don’t judge me) but there was something about being 12 years old that always stood out to me as being magical.

Now that I am getting closer to being almost a half century old (yes, I will be 50 years old in 2027) I have come to the realization that being a teenager is further away from me than it seems. The teenaged Vanita is one that will go down in the history books. If anyone reading this post right now knew me then just know you are sworn to silence. My life at that time had enough drama, comedy, action, romance and heartache to fill the pages of a novel by Omar Tyree (yes, I was a teenager in the 90’s).

Tonight’s blog is dedicated to that teenage girl who loved, partied and skipped school harder than anyone could ever imagine.

Top 5 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self:

  1. Use your powers for good, not evil. I have always been a VERY persuasive person. However, as a teen I used those skills to persuade people to do things like skip school. Stay out pass curfew. Or just to get my way. I needed someone to help me hone my gift of gab and my persuasive speech so that I helped more people than I hurt.
  2. You must go to class everyday. I was the queen of the skip nation. I had every color dot on the back of my school ID. Each lunch hour had a different dot on the back of the IDs. I graduated from one of thee BEST high school’s in the country with a 2.4 GPA. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work. I was smart. Really too smart for my own good. I remember one time my marketing teacher was almost in tears because he had to fail me because I missed most of the classes but passed all of the tests and quizzes. My mother was baffled that he felt bad for flunking me. That’s what those powers look like in action. I’ve always been likable.
  3. A break-up is not the end of the world. If you spend more time figuring out who you are and less time worrying about who you wanted to be with life would be much simpler. As the old saying goes “Books before Boys Because Boys Bring Babies”.
  4. Listen to ya mama. Now that I am a mother I understand why listening to your mama is important. However, I have more of a show don’t tell attitude when it comes to raising my children. But realize that even though you may think that your mama is a know-it-all she really is just telling you what your friends won’t.
  5. Learn from your mistakes. Please for the love of everything that is good and righteous try not to make the same mistakes over and over again. All it does is prolong your journey to your destiny. Your mistakes aren’t what define you, but how you respond to the mistakes will make a lasting impression on you and on others.

You don’t have to have it all figured out by graduation day. Hell, I am almost 40 years old and just now have it somewhat figured out. But if someone would have shared these 5 things with me as a teenager the excursion probably wouldn’t have experienced so much turbulence.

Okay who am I fooling…..I know I would not have listened.

I was a teenager.


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