|My 16th birthday, It was the week before the Bicenteniel, |
hence the red/white/blue cake, Those are little Spirit
of 76 guys marching across the cake.
When I tried to sit and remember the 16 year old me, that was the first thing I remembered. You were Peggy back then. You will decide to change to Meg in college, partly to stand out in a college theatre department, partly from affection for both Little Women and A Man for All Seasons. Neither of us ever thought much of Margaret as a name.
I am looking back at you through the glass of 36 years, so there's a lot of water under the bridge. In fact I just got the mailer for the 35 year class reunion in the mail, so I have been thinking about the me that you were.
You're sweet 16 and never been kissed. You've had one crush, on an older guy, but he has a religious vacation, and besides he's already gone off to college. You will stay friends though. You will find that true love someday, but it will take awhile, practically forever from the point of view of a 16 year old, but it will come.
Unlike many 16 year olds, you don't have to be told "It gets better." for you already know. High school has been a far happier experience that a grade school where you were often bullied, in an era where bullying was "just something kids do." Your teachers seem to like you, your grades are decent if not fabulous. You have friends.
What can I tell you about your future? You like high school, you'll love college. You wont get to go to the college you want, too expensive, but things tend to work themselves out. The local state university will lead you to a new avocation in the theatre, friends you will hold for the rest of your life, a new spirituality, and the man you will marry, and eventually have children with. (Coming up on 25 years now, so far, so good). You will also get a summer job working in the city parks, which will eventually lead into Civil Service and a job you never imagined in high school or even college.
Here's the biggest thing I want to tell you Peggy, You are on the right path. You have learned tolerance at an early age. No one really ever told you this, the idea of discriminating against anyone just never made sense to you. There will be huge tidal shifts in the next 36 years, but you will be able to roll with them. You have aquired patience. You have learned what is worth panicking over and what isn't. You're mantra is already, "We'll work it out somehow," You have no idea how often it will come in handy.
If I could spare you anything it would the years I spent questing after self esteem, thinking that others were somehow better or more deserving. But maybe I wouldn't spare you it. That sense of empathy and compassionyou are developing will serve you well too.
You will survive, endure, do well even. Keep enjoying the ride.
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