I'm getting older now--and, hopefully, a little bit wiser--so I think it's time I tell you a few things. Dispel rumors. Make life easier for you. So, without further ado, I present to you, my so not-grown-up self, a list of things I wish I'd known when I was your age.
1) Enjoy the days where it takes you 5 minutes to roll out of bed and throw your hair into a ponytail and your body into the first clean t-shirt you see, because someday soon your face will refuse to walk out the door with you. At least not without concealer, and mascara, and of course some lip gloss, and a little blush couldn't hurt.
2) You follow him around. You leave anonymous notes in his locker. You act like an idiot any time he's within eyesight. This is not love. This is infatuation. In fact, it might even be a crime. Find a new hobby.
3) What this, you say? You still think you're in love with him just because he's pretty? Try this one on for size, then: He marries his high school girlfriend b/c he knocks her up on the senior trip, and then he cheats on her a million times and gets older and divorced and wayyyyy less hot than he was in high school. The world is no longer his castle. You do not want to be his de-throned queen.
4) Nice guys are better than jerks. Hang out with nice guys instead.
5) Those girls you think will be your BFFs-4-life and smile big and cheesy beside you in fancy bridesmaids' gowns? Not one of them will come to your wedding, much less be in it. So enjoy it while you can, but remember this: your lifelong friendships will not develop in high school. And yes, this is actually for the best.
6) Oh, and your very, very best friend? She was selfish in 7th grade and she'll stay that way for as long as you know her. Accept that and move on, or let her go. And if you're mad at her, talk to her about it. Don't let it fester. Because if you do, then one day the two of you will be so far apart that even sharing an apartment can't hold you together any more. One day, you won't even know her.
7) Stop being such a jerk to your little sister. She IS your friend. You DO love her. She is probably the greatest person you know. And she WILL be standing next to you at your wedding ... even though she's so sick she can barely walk, much less smiile for the camera.
8) Read more. Write more. Live more. And for the love of Pete, do not throw away all of your old journals! They are nowhere near as humiliating as you think, and no one cares enough about who you crushed on in 6th grade to publish it to the world. No one except for you, that is. Your journals are gold. You will kick yourself in the ass on a daily basis if you don't realize this now.
9) Yes, you are in love. No, it's not meant to be. These things happen. Don't put off the inevitable because you're worried about hurting him. He will be okay. You will be okay.
10) Sometimes, thinner is not better, so put the tweezers down and step away from the mirror. Slowly, with your hands over your head ... Trust me, you'll thank me for this some day. (And while you're at it, could you throw that blue eyeshadow into the trashcan?)
11) Don't be cruel to others just because you can, or just because other kids are doing it. It doesn't make you cool. It makes you a bully.
12) Your parents love you and they mean well, but they are not always right. Don't blindly accept their world views as your own. Research. Meet people. Open your mind, and your heart.
13) Sometimes, it's okay to be selfish. Don't go to law school just b/c you think it'll make your parents proud. Think about what will make you happy first.
14) Your fourth grade dreams were not made of pipe. You can be a writer. It would help, though, if you got more practice now so you could play less catchup later.
15) Sure, it's fun to sneak into adults-only clubs and sip wine coolers when no one's looking, but no, you don't wish your were grown up already. You'll (hopefully) have plenty of time to be an adult later. With lots of grownup responsibilities and problems. You only have a few more years to be reckless and stupid, so take advantage of that while youth is still a valid excuse.
Bonus) Say it with me: MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. Start them. Invest in them. whatever. And, if all that sounds way too technical, I give you one word: Snuggie. It may never make sense to you, but if you make it, they will come.