This is me in 1996. I was in high school, with a lot of stuff behind me, but some of the toughest stuff still ahead.
Look at this kid. I can’t believe this was me. If I could sit her down and just give her the cheat codes for her teen years, I’d say:
- Take horseback riding lessons. You can afford it, it’s the best thing for you right now, and it’ll be harder to do later.
- Keep working at the vet’s, but you won’t want to be a vet in three years. You’ll see what I mean. When that happens, DON’T PANIC. Just keep calm and get your own place as soon as possible.
- You’re strong enough to do things your way, on your own. You don’t really need to wait for other people to be ready.
- It’s okay to inconvenience others.
- It’s okay to get angry and make demands. You should. And then go and actually do the things you want to do. See point #3 and #4.
- Visit Vancouver. You can afford it. Just go to the west coast so that you’ll *know* how amazing it is, and know that it’s waiting for you.
- Nursing isn’t going to work out either, but it’ll be a great education. Move to Toronto, but don’t worry, you won’t stay there.
- Take night school. A lot of night school. Night school is the coolest. You will MUCH PREFER night school to full-time college, they get right to the point.
- YOU’RE GAY. Yes you are. Yes you are. No, you really are. You’ll see. And it’ll be fine. See point #3 and #4.
- In two years, it’ll get hard. But then it gets better. So much better.
What would you tell your 16 year old self???