Wednesday, November 20, 2013

15 Insights for My 15 Year Old Self

I recently found myself reminiscing over my old year books and considering just how awful High School could be. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think I had it better than most of my peers in the LGBT community (but mostly because I was just far too busy with Choir rehearsals to worry about being called a fag in the hallway), but I had my fair share of "I can't believe this is happening, this is the end of the world" moments.

Is it High School that is inherently awful though? Or was it just a perfect storm of teenage hormones, too much parental supervision, and a complete lack of wine that made it so unbearable? Would it have been much more manageable if I'd only had a bit more insight, perspective, and guidance?

Scoring a two doesn't seem like such a big deal when you realize that no potential employer is ever going to ask for the ballots from your Junior Year choral competition.

Sure, your voice is cracking, your face is breaking out, and you got an erection during a Chemistry presentation, but I just had to figure out a way to trim my ear hair, so you should probably just settle in for a long life of your body trying to humiliate you.

Do you really need to throw a fit when it's announced that you won't be taking the final bow at curtain call even though you had a lead role?

Yeah, that ones legit.

I wish I could go back in time and sit down with Teenage Chris. I'd love to tell him the things I know now and get him to really appreciate how potentially wonderful his teen years could be (I mean, is it just me, or does it seem insane that summer break used to be a thing?!). Here are the lessons I wish he'd have learned so he could have chilled the f#%! out, lightened the f#%! up, and arrived at a happy place a lot sooner.

- Cool it with the fleece zip up vests and souvenir Planet Hollywood t-shirts. You've never even been to Denver.

- Mom and Dad are pretty wonderful. Don't be afraid to open up. They can handle it.

- While on vacation in Spain, a woman is going to approach you as you browse Harry Potter books. She will strike up a conversation, but this is not a good opportunity to practice your conversational Spanish. This woman is a prostitute. Remove yourself from the situation immediately.

- Quit trying to hide the swish in your step and the lilt in your voice. It's fabulous.

- There will be people in your life that you admire but are toxic. Don't let yourself get dragged into situations that go beyond your maturity level.

- You will be shocked by how much weight you lose just by switching to diet soda, do it now while you still have your wonderful teen metabolism...I could use the headstart.

- No matter how many signals he sends, that boy is straight. Quit wasting your time.

- Speaking of straight boys, something wonderful happens in ten years. They all get less attractive, and gay men just get more attractive. It's a pretty great perk.

- Your friends now will be your friends beyond high school, and your relationships will only grow stronger. This is something truly special. Appreciate them.

- Learn how to properly clear your browser history, or start coming up with better lies. A hacker was browsing gay porn on our computer? Really? That's the story you're going with?

- Don't build your walls so high, let down your guard, and let people in. Don't be afraid to say, "I love you" and to accept love from others.

- Find the line between adorably snarky and snarky bitch, and don't cross it. Choosing kindness towards others even when kindness hasn't been earned is the most important (and the hardest) decision you'll ever make...and the feeling of superiority that comes along with it is amazing.

- Look at how much hair gel you're using. Cut that in're still using too much. I really can't even understand the hair choices you're making right now.

- You cannot wear white athletic socks with leather sandals, I don't care if you think that it "dresses them up."

- If you don't listen to any of this (which you probably won't because you're kind of a stubborn little bitch), just remember that no one enjoys being a teenager, but at some point you're going to realize that the things you care about so deeply now will be laughable a few years down the road. Enjoy these last few years before you have a real job, real bills, and real responsibilities.

'Cause then you'll really have something to bitch about.

Go get 'em, tiger!

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