WEGO health challenge, Day 10 - Dear 16-year-old me

Today's WEGO health challenge is to write a letter to your 16-year-old self.

Dear 16-year-old me,

In 2012, there will be a name for what you're going through.  It will be called teenage dating violence, and it will still be going on that many years later, unfortunately.  You won't like being a pioneer of this ugliness, but you are and you should be proud that you went through what you did.  You'll be able to help others in violent relationships.  You can tell them what happened to you, and how you got out of it.  You'll be able to look back, proud of yourself for leaving him (which you will do in three years' time).  When you leave, you'll have to hide for a while.  Only about half a dozen people will know where you are, but it'll be ok.  You will be safe, and you will never have to see him again.  He ends up being a real loser, and you end up being very successful and happy, so there will be some kind of payback and satisfaction. Karma?

You drink too much, but the good news is you'll get tired of it long before any of your friends (just like you did with cigarettes a couple months ago), and you'll stop boozing and won't go back to that either.

It won't really matter that you didn't go to college right away after high school; you'll get it done eventually, and you'll be amazed to discover that after all the hard work and the degree, you didn't even need it to get your awesome career.

You're going to meet a great guy and fall in love, and have a beautiful relationship because he'll be your best friend in the whole world.

You'll still have lots of cats, and dogs, like always.

The chronic pain that started when you were 10 will never go away, in fact it's going to get worse, get ready.  They won't make many medical advances in that regard (especially those pesky menstrual cramps and monthly migraines) between 1976 and 2012, believe it or not.  I guess women's issues just aren't going to be that important.  But you will try to do something about it, using this thing called the internet, trying to bring awareness to the problems.  Good luck!

These are the fun times in your life.  Some of your friends will die.  That's going to be hard.  Enjoy your time with them now while you're young because those memories will last forever and ever.  The children of the '70s really put themselves through some crazy stuff, there will never be another era like it -- not necessarily one to be proud of, but oh the memories.  You'll look back on 16 and wonder how you ever survived, especially that sweet 16 party, oh my, that was the craziest night in history.

51-year-old me two weeks before turning 52

16-year-old me (right)