Following in the style of Kristen and Ale, I got inspired to write some advice to my younger self and compare as to how the decisions I made in the past molded me into the person I am today. This will also include some cautions that I hope current 16 year olds will consider (Hey, wassup, Hello, you! I keep it chill and totes know all the modern lingo. YOLO, amirite?)
Also the fact that I was 16, seven years ago is blowing my mind right now! If I had been on 16 and pregnant, my child would be in elementary school! (Like usual I compare my life to that of a reality show.)
Dear 2008 Pam:
Let me start off by saying things in 23 year-old Pam’s world are completely different than what we imagined. I know by this time in our life we wanted to be touring the world with one of our favorite bands (probably the Fall Out Boy/Cobra Starship/The Academy Is…) What exactly we wanted to do was unknown – we just wanted to be that person side stage that helped make shows as fun as they were when we experienced them.
Let me give you some insight as to how our life turned out regarding some of the things we daydreamed about in Biology class.
Am I lame for not being in the “popular” crowd?:
As our future favorite author Mindy Kaling states in her book,
“Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.”
This quote should single-handedly be your mantra for the next couple of years.
I know we don’t normally stress about trying to fit in with the cool kids, but I’ll admit that we wished we were out raging past midnight or going on all these adventures like our classmates.
Trust me when I say that you’ll have plenty of adventures in years to come, especially once you meet some really great people that push you out of your comfort zone! (Shout out to my ovaries before brovaries and bae!)
Get involved in school activities:
Let me be the first to tell you that you will bond with a lot of people in the future when you mention that you used to spend hours playing The Sims, but for our benefit try to get involved in journalism or newspaper. This way, we have a better idea of what we want to do with our career AND you’ll get out of the house. It’s a win, win!
It wasn’t until senior year of yearbook (which you’ll join because you want to hang out with your then BFF) that we will realize we like taking pictures/helping communicate to people about a brand/person! Turns out you’re actually pretty good at it because *spoiler alert* you’ll win at a UIL competition for it! (Side note: When you win this, definitely keep competing. Don’t be scared to try new things and go new places.)
Leaving for College:
Which brings me to my next point. Don’t be afraid to look at places other than UTEP. Don’t feel pressured to stay in El Paso. This will be hard for mom to understand, but ultimately she’ll be very proud of you.
In the last couple of years you’ve moved to a completely different city (might as well consider it a state) and you graduated from a great school in under 4 years! You’re going to accomplish great things when you follow your gut. We’re also living in one of the coolest cities in the state and have a close group of friends that make you laugh until your stomach hurts. So whenever you get worried about leaving all your friends and family behind, just know that you’ll soon find a close group of people that you will consider your second family.
Oh mom – isn’t she the cutest? Make sure to hang out with her even if it’s just watching over-dramatic Novelas while she’s asleep on the couch. You’ll miss the way she goes “Ay Pame.” whenever you’d rant about something dumb or the way she’d always say hello to your cat before she says hi to you. (We both secretly know she loves that cat more than anything.)
If there’s anything I can forewarn you about, it’s to make sure that cat is house trained before you leave. When Chata (Cat in french with an extra a – ~smooth~) passes away while you’re at college, it’ll be the most heartbreaking call you’ll ever experience.
Mom is better now, I think she still misses someone to take care of but she’s better. She’ll be your biggest cheerleader and best friend – despite her wish to have you back home.
Also, please try and learn some cooking tips from her. This will be very beneficial in your future. I still regret never making her teach me her barbeque chicken recipe.
Get this girl a gavel:
One of the most important things we learned when leaving El Paso is that not everyone has the same views on things as you do. (It’s taken us 7 years to learn this!)
Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes before you judge their actions. This will cause issues in future friendships but ultimately you’ll learn your lesson. Besides, it’ll work out for the better whenever you stop being friends with that blonde girl who told lies faster than fire burns paper.
Boys – sometimes a girl doesn’t need one:
I bet this was something you were anxiously waiting for me to talk about.
Good news is, just like we suspected, it’s not the end of the world if you wait until you find a good guy. If I remember correctly, we’re currently crushing on the pot smoker who you tutor after school?
(How very, Tutor Girl/One Tree Hill of you!)
As I remember this, I’m surprised at how well you picked out your crushes! (Hear me out.)
Even though he’s high 95% of the time, he always buys you your favorite tea and is very polite and understanding that you don’t do the drugs and alcohol thing.
This friendship was strictly business! He’s a good guy, but I’m glad we never dated him. THAT would’ve gone over very badly with mom.
(Fun side note: You’ll run into him one summer after you come back from college and he’ll thank you for singlehandedly helping him graduate high school. It’s a cool moment!)
There were a couple of other boys in the mix after that. One was clueless and you spent almost a year and a half trying to get him to notice you while you helped him apply for colleges.
The other one would’ve been fun, but he never seemed to pick up on the clues that we liked him. Looking back on it now, present Pam would’ve said something but it probably worked out for the better! These things definitely happen for a reason.
Maybe if we had at least tried dating one of these boys, you’d have a better idea of this girlfriend thing and give your future boyfriend less headaches.
I won’t tell you about the boy we end up with or how it happens – that would ruin the surprise! Just know that you won the lottery with this one and you’re lucky you’re in love with your best friend.
ENOUGH OF THAT.
Just for our entertainment, I want to review the songs from 2008 we were BUMPIN on that little CD player you took to the bathroom when you were getting ready for school. (At this point, future Pam would like to take some time and give you kudos for being able to stay up until 1 a.m. then wake back up at 6:00 for school. How you did that is pure wizardry.)
I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
PAST PAM. Let me be the first to warn you, PLEASE go see Katy Perry perform when you go to Warped. You will get in line for the meet and greet and be 2 people away from her before they cut the line, but listen to her road crew when they say she has a set coming up. You will be semi-butt hurt because you didn’t get to meet her and you will regret every single day of your life that you didn’t watch her set before she turned into a pop star.
When I Grow Up – The Pussycat Dolls
I’m sure this won’t surprise you, but the Pussycat Dolls are no more.
Also, I still don’t know if they say groupies or boobies – the internet will not confirm.
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyonce
Beyonce is queen in 2015 and this will be the song everyone plays at their wedding when you have to stand on the dance floor and pretend you want a ring on it. (We currently are working to convince our boyfriend we want a puppy.)
Get back to surfing the web and figuring out your new myspace profile. That’s all for now kiddo. Be proud of who you are and keep doing what you do!