So, I'm pretty excited to take part in the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour. When the publisher, Zest Books, asked me to participate, I wasn't really sure I was up for it. I mean, I loved the book; I thought it was a brilliant idea on E. Kristin Anderson's and Miranda Kenneally's (the editors) to put it together, and was already planning to review it (read my review HERE), but if I was going to be a tour participant, I wanted to do more. I was thinking that I might write a letter to my teen self, publish a few pictures of "teen me", but well, that was a little scary to me. Then I thought, "What the hell?", maybe someone could learn from my mistakes, and wasn't that kind of the whole point of the book? I mean, I'm no Ellen Hopkins or Lauren Oliver (two of the awesome authors who contributed), but I was a teenager once, and I was pretty wild, and I made my share of mistakes, soooooo...
Dear Teen Karis,
You're probably not going to heed any of the advice in this letter because it is from a 36 year old lady, and God knows, people THAT old do NOT know ANYTHING, but trust me, Karis, I know YOU, and I have the benefit of that 20/20 hindsight! That being said, there are a few things you should know...
First, be nice to your step-mother, Heidi. I know she isn't even technically old enough to be your mother, and that sadly, things won't end up working out in the end for she and Dad, but she will have a huge, lasting impact on your life. She is the mother of your brother, Jacob, and your sister, Hannah, both of whom you love dearly, and even more important, she is the person responsible for leading you to a relationship with Christ. Be kind to her. I can't be easy becoming the step-mother of two almost-teenage kids at age 24, and she did a great job helping raise you to be the person you will be be.
Second, don't act like an airhead. You are so smart! Brilliant, in fact! You have a ridiculous IQ, and you should never act more dumb than you actually are. It's not cute. Be proud of your intelligence. The vast majority of people aren't blessed with as much of it as you are, so let it show. On that note, work harder in school, and develop good study habits. I know you are smart enough to skate by, and get good grades without working, but you will need the study habits in college, and it would be cool (and much cheaper) if you didn't need your first two years to figure that out. Also, don't EVER be a cheerleader. You will blow out your knees, and blow your chances of running track in college.
Third, you don't need to get so wasted every weekend. I know it's easier to talk to that one particular boy when you are, but you know what? He likes you better when you're not a stumbling mess. Also, it might save you several nights of hugging the toilet, and also some chick from Florida's convertible. Boone's Farm and you? Not a great combo!
Finally, the friends you have? They are great. You did that right, so don't change a thing. Well, maybe try not to be such a matchmaker, because fact is, you aren't very good at it, but that aside, know that Amy is still your bestie 25 years later, and though life has gotten in the way of you seeing much of each other, you still love her like a sister, and always will.
In the end, Karis, things turned out pretty well for you. You may have had an easier road to happiness had you been a little more true to yourself, but doing things the way you did them made you a mom who knows all the tricks in the book, so there's that... Yes. You, the girl who was never getting married, and NEVER having any spawn, are happily married to an awesome guy, and have three (mostly) fantastic kids. Life hasn't always been easy, but you are happy, and that's what counts!
Your Grown-up Self (Yes, you DO finally grow up!)
P.S. You are beautiful and FAR from fat, so stop getting down on yourself for how you look. Trust me.
NOW... Go ahead and enter the Rafflecopter (be patient, sometimes it takes a minute) below for a chance to win your own copy of Dear Teen Me from Zest Books, then check out the other stops on the tour (click HERE)! Also, make sure to visit the Dear Teen Me BLOG for lots more content! Best of luck!