5 Things I Wish I Could Tell 17-Year-Old Me
I saw The Edge of Seventeen this week, and it brought a lot of memories up for me.
My 17th year was a really tough one for me, as I think it is for a lot of teens. It was a very transitional and transformative year for me in that I was healing from hellish family trauma from the last couple years and moving on with my life through a mental and emotional makeover.
The movie follows Hailee Steinfeld as 17-year-old Nadine, who's going through her own kind of teenage Hell, and Woody Harrelson, the understanding and very patient rock star high school teacher who she turns to for help and guidance (but he's not really a rock star, he was just a really great teacher). Watching The Edge of Seventeen, I recognized a lot of themes I could totally relate to and have been reflecting on those since I saw the film.
While there are many things I wish I could tell 17-year-old me, here are 5 of them I came up with based on themes from the movie.
Your 17th birthday sucked. Sure, you were depressed over life and it felt like no one cared about you and your problems and no one understood what you were going through, but they did care (even if some of them eventually ditched you for no reason at all). But hey when that happens, just know that that's life and people will sometimes have no good reason for moving on from their friendship with you. But you'll eventually learn this and become friends with amazing, authentic people like Melissa.
One day you will understand you could have done much better than the skateboarding stoner with a James Dean daydream look in his eye who not only doesn't want to get to know you *wink wink* but is also lame for that reason alone because you're one damn special lady with a heart of gold.
He got his theres, theirs, and they'res mixed up, anyway. Dumb.
Perhaps you won't send texts quite like, "I want you to put your mouth on my t*ts...we can do it in the Petland stockroom" like Nadine did in The Edge of Seventeen, but you'll definitely send more than several texts to guys and friends that you'll immediately regret.
Get over it, laugh it off, and understand that you'll continue to do hilariously embarrassing stuff once in a while on an iPhone 7+ that's too big for your tiny hands.
I'll put it this way quite simply: no one's family is perfect, and while everything you've been going through with your family and yourself at this time is traumatic, exhausting, and feels like absolute Hell, it will pass. (Though, you'll always need to work things out because again, no one's family is perfect. EVER. Trust that it'll get easier.)
But one very special boy (Buddy) will hold you together. He has no idea why you're fighting, but just remember how much he loves each of you.
And he probably won't give you the time of day 10 years later, remembering how the girl wearing legwarmers with gladiator sandals he was so smitten with FRIEND ZONED him hard in high school. Eventually you'll realize how much of a b*tch you were and will pay for it by dating a bunch of really bad guys that don't actually want a relationship with you. It'll be frustrating...but don't worry, there's a really GREAT guy named Aaron that you'll meet just before your 24th birthday. <3