A Letter to my Teenager

Photo Credit: imgfave.com

Photo Credit: imgfave.com

 

I don’t remember my teenage years. Thinking back to that time, I know there are things I took for granted. I wanted to grow up and be an adult and do adult things. I was in a hurry. I thought being an adult was cool and that they had an easy life. Now I know better.

From this comes my advice to you said with the utmost love.

 

FITNESS

  • Do activities that you enjoy, like riding a bike. Your calves will be more muscular for it in ten years.
  • Play a sport. Anything will do, even if you suck at it. You’ll learn how to have stamina and endurance towards any weight loss goals that come up when your body gets older.
  • If I didn’t teach it to you myself, ensure you know how to run, swim and climb like a pro. In case of an emergency you will need to know how to do any and or all of these.

 

HEALTH

  • Teach yourself not to eat anything coming from a box or packet. i.e eat only fresh (organic, if you can) veggies, fruit and meat and other grains that grow. Anything else is chemically processed and it’s therefore not real food. It will block your arteries and eventually give you cancer.
  • If you can learn to do this now it will be easier when your older. I just didn’t have the heart to teach you this when you were smaller, because you loved sweets so much (sorry!)

 

BUSINESS:

  • Turn your hobby into a business and you will never work a day in your life. Stick to it, if it means selling coffee at school, or blogging or fixing up broken cellphones and selling them for profit. A business will keep you productive while you figure out what to do with your life after you finish school.

 

EDUCATION:

  • Get a degree. Even if you never use it, it will open other doors for you, like the ability to work or study in another country.
  • The internet is a treasure-chest filled with endless educational possibilities. Use it if you struggle with any school subject or task. When in doubt on how to google for information that’s easy to understand, always add “for dummies” to your search (e.g. algorithms for dummies, spelling for dummies, note-taking for dummies).
  • Learn a hobby that teaches you to make something with your hands. Whether it’s sewing or making wood furniture. It makes you use another part of your brain. When you’re old and retired some day you can still keep your mind busy with these things.

 

CAREERS:

  • Before you finish school, complete a personality test or an aptitude test online. It’ll help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and gives you an idea on what careers you can pursue.
  • Research the possibility of all the careers you have in mind. If you want to be an astronaut or astronomer, google NASA or the SALT in Sutherland, South Africa. Make contact with people who work in this industry and make them your mentor.
  • When you’re unsure of which career path to follow, get a job as a salesperson or a telesales agent. Do it for 6 months to a year or even more. You’ll learn valuable skills like marketing, selling, dealing with clients, reaching a targeted goal, and the ethic of working hard for your money. If you never finish university these skills will teach you to sell ice to an Eskimo and you can start any business with it.
  • The internet is the greatest economy in the world and it has made the world a smaller place. If college or a full time job isn’t for you go and research people like Sean Ogle, Ash Ambirge, Dane Maxwell. They are superstars in their industry.
  • Don’t work for a boss. Work so that you can be the boss. Even if this means quitting your full time job to start a business. (This was a dream of mine when I became your mother, just so I could spend more time with you)
  • If you feel like you can’t find a job or hold on to a job. Create work for yourself by doing something you love and selling it. You are the type of person who’s DNA only allows to be an entrepreneur and not an employee.

 

TRAVEL:

  • Save your pocket money and when you turn 18 go on a Contiki tour. It’s cheaper than a normal holiday and you or your friends can see the world in this way until age 35..

 

FINANCE:

  • Save money. Start when you get an allowance. Take half of it and put it away for a rainy day (or a Contiki tour or a car). Take the other half and divide it between the amount of days you have left until you get your next allowance.
  • $100 / 7 days = $14 that you can spend every day.
  • Don’t spend any more than the $14 you have, unless you can go without the $14 rationed for the next day.
  • It’s called budgeting. You’ll need this skill when you’re an adult. They don’t teach you this in school so take note of these tips while your parents are still paying for you to exist.

 

PARTYING:

  • Take all things in moderation, because too much of a good thing is definitely bad for anyone. And too much alcohol can kill you. Don’t let it consume you. Always be in control of your body especially if you’re away from home.
  • Drugs shouldn’t be at your parties. If you’re curious or your friends are pressuring you about it come talk to me.

 

FRIENDSHIP:

  • Choose your friends wisely. They can either be lifelong BFF’s or just people who cross your path. They will all affect your life in some way.
  • Between yourself and a friend, one of you is the dominant one and the other is the submissive one. The dominant one is the one who makes all the decisions in the friendship and the submissive just goes along with it. Figure out who’s who in your friendship circle and make sure the decisions your friends make are the right ones. It will affect your life too.
  • Its OK to say no, really, it is. Especially to bad decisions about drugs and sex. It shows that you’re not a walkover or a gullible, naive follower. Rather be  a leader even if it means you walk alone. (There are many ways to politely refuse or say no)


THE MEDIA

  • What you see on TV and in magazines and on social media’s not necessarily the truth or what’s right. If teenagers are having sex on TV, that’s not OK because its not normal for a 17 year old. Blair Vanderbilt and Chuck Bass are doing it on TV and they are pretending to be 17 years old to increase the ratings of their show. The media tries to make us think it’s OK. Don’t follow or copy the media. Always question what you see and research the truth if you have to.
  • Social media: Everything shared on any of the social media platforms will remain there forever and it is traceable back to you. Even when you think you deleted it. This includes social media chat applications like Whats app. Do not share personal information like pics of your personal or bank information or even your address over social media. Always use a PO box address if you have to register yourself online. Don’t air all your dirty laundry over social media no matter how upset you are at your boyfriend/girlfriend. If you have beef with your friends sort it out like real people do face to face. It is just good taste.

 

DECISIONS:

  • How to make decisions: Find out what the true facts are. Weigh up the pro’s and cons of your issue and write them down. See which side carries more weight and which has more risk. Ask yourself if the risk is negative or positive. If your decision will hurt yourself or someone else, don’t even consider it. Your reputation will become that of a backstabber or a cheater or a liar
  • Make decisions that will affect your life positively. That includes decisions about sex and drugs. Show me that you can make good decisions and I’ll know you’re responsible and I can trust you.
  • Decisions about work and school is where I can help too but I would like to trust your judgement on it.

 

CONFUSION
I’m as confused as you are. You are now your own person and your needs are unique and I’ve learnt to adapt to you as you’ve grown up. I hope you can learn to adapt to me as you are morphing into an adult. Even though I scold you and sometimes we swap nasty words but everything I say and do is out of love for you and a whole lot of frustration. Frustration because I don’t know what else to do. I ask you to please be patient with me, I’m doing the best that I know how, from what I’ve learnt from my life. It’s the best advice I can ever give you.

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