By: Natascha Jones, Guest BloggerNovember 28, 2015
Image via shutterstock.com
I was thinking the other day, what would I say to my 13 year-old self? What would I want her to know?
I believe the age of 13 is important because in the mind of a 13-year-old, she’s not a child anymore even though the reality is not the case. Topics and situations are coming up that are above her comprehension level, but trust me, they’re coming up. I’m not going to lie, this is some pretty intense stuff. But I think it’s important and relevant and knowing these things, believing them, probably could have saved me a lot of trouble, pain, and time.
Don’t waste your time chasing crushes. The right person will come at exactly the right time in your life and you don’t want to spend 20 years looking for them in every face you see. Make friends with the gender you’re attracted to, do extracurricular activities with them, but don’t spend one second making their romantic attentions a priority.
For me, I realized this: If a boy is nice to you, you don’t owe him anything. You don’t have to hold his hand, you don’t have to kiss him, you do not have to let him touch any part of your body ever, no matter what. If someone does something nice for you, a simple “thank you” and a smile is enough. If they get upset because they expected more of a reward, turn and walk the other way – maybe run. And finally if you do find yourself in a situation with someone and you’re not comfortable with it, you can stop at any time. Literally ANY moment.
Your happiness is more important than anyone else’s.
There were so many times in my 20s when I wasn’t comfortable doing something with someone but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want him to get mad at me. I put his happiness before mine.
Play sports. My parents didn’t support my brother and I in participating in sports. I wish they would have because it’s not only healthy for the development of your body and coordination but it’s healthy for your mind. Playing sports teaches you how to win, fail, get along with other people and achieve goals. It’s also just fun! I grew up thinking I was un-athletic and not good at anything and it turns out that’s not true. I’m very athletic and I have trained some of my friends to get into better shape, I’ve learned how to skateboard and I’m a really good runner.
Get a job in high school and save money. I was a cheerleader in high school. That was fun but I wish I would have had a job, I wish I would have learned about being an entrepreneur at an early age. I believe that skill would have been much more valuable than being a cheerleader. When I did finally get a job I didn’t save my money, I always bought things. I wish I would have had a savings plan because that habit would have helped when I went off to college and wanted possessions and wanted to go out to eat and buy unnecessary things. I would have a lot more money and a lot more security if I had saved my money.
Possessions rarely make you feel safe, but having a stockpile of cash in the bank can give you the freedom to decide to travel abroad for the semester or invest.
Having money also gives you the confidence to believe that you can make more money.
Wear sunscreen. Just like that speech says. By the way, that entire speech is true.
I have no regrets in my life and I learned my lessons at the right time, even if it did take me longer than most people. But if I had known these things when I was 13, my life would have had a lot less heartache and a lot more adventure.
What would you say to your younger self? Tell us about it below.
Her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.