As part of my 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series, I give you 10 things I would tell my 16 year old self, if I could go back in time.
1. That you haven't yet had your first kiss is NOT that big a deal. It'll happen and you won't be any different than you were the day before, so just relax. You're a so-called late bloomer, but I'd rather that than you rush things.
2. Your first boyfriend will suck. He'll cheat on you, compulsively lie to you, mooch off you, and basically suck you dry for a couple of years. Skip him. He's not vital to your growth or your ongoing journey in this life.
3. Don't follow Heather Kilday too closely on Yucaipa Blvd. just past 4th St. You're going to rear-end her with Meg in the car, your parents are going to put the kibosh on you having friends in your car at all, Heather is going to claim she's terribly injured (but then go to a school dance the next night and whip her hair around like she's a precursor to Willow Smith), and you're going to feel guilty for years to come.
5. You are not too good for junior college. It's not the 13th grade. Get over yourself.
6. Wear sunscreen religiously. You have nearly see-through skin, have had blistering burns in the past, and your mom is going to get malignant melanoma in the future - all these put you at high risk for the same.
7. Things are not so black and white. There's a whole world of gray.
8. Don't quit volleyball. Yes, that coach is an ass, but he'll be fired and you can go on having fun with the rest of your team.
9. Stop trying to gain everyone's approval. You're never going to get it, which will leave you with constant feelings of inadequacy and a continued need to please. It's an ugly cycle and a complete waste of time. You're pretty rad as you are.
10. Those singing lessons you want - take them. Don't let anyone laugh you out of them. You have a good voice.
I can't go back, baby, but maybe, just maybe, you can learn from a couple of my missteps. If nothing else, dude, wear your sunscreen!