Some women are born mothers, others shouldn’t be around children at all, and some make awesome aunts.
I’m definitely a born aunt.
Children are cool, and I enjoy being around them, but I also love handing them over to their mothers and going back to being a semi-dysfunctional adult.
Today, my oldest niece is turning 16. I remember getting to leave school early the day she was born, and the first time she laughed at nothing other than being sat up on the couch.
She’s grown into a funny and unique girl. I’m so lucky to have two nieces that love going to Comic-Con with me and still think I’m the cool aunt.
There are a lot of things I wish someone had told me when I was 16, so here are 16 tidbits about life from your cool aunt:
1. Do whatever makes you happy.
Unless that thing is crystal meth. Please don’t do crystal meth. But seriously, to hell with what other people think. Never let anyone’s opinion of you come before your own happiness. If you live your life trying to please your parents, your friends or your partner, you’ll end up feeling trapped and miserable.
2. Your first time will be nothing like the magical intercourse between Edward and Bella in Twilight.
It will be uncomfortable, awkward, and very short. It gets better eventually.
3. Do sh*t that scares the sh*t out of you.
I was going to put things like go skydiving, but let’s start small first: ride in that elevator, try out for that solo, talk to that cute guy dressed up as Loki at Comic-Con. If you find yourself aged 27 and working at a stressful and unfulfilling job that leaves you feeling dead at the end of each day, have the courage to get the f*ck out of there.
4. High school is not the summit of your life.
Whoever said, “your high school years are the best years of your life,” must have had the dullest life imaginable. Believe me, life improves. Prom can’t hold a candle to travelling the world on your own, and high school graduation is really just long and boring, but the good news is you can skip your college graduation ceremony.
5. It’s okay to be a hobbit.
In our family, we are not majestic elves, nor wise wizards; we are short, fat, happy hobbits. We enjoy eating, occasional adventures, small comforts, and lots of eating. Hobbits are f*cking awesome! We have books written about us, and we outsmart Gollum, so it’s not bad being short and chubby.
6. It’s never too late or too early to reinvent yourself.
I’ve gone from preppy to punk to emo to pin-up to quirky all in one year. If you look in the mirror, and you don’t see how you feel reflected back, don’t be afraid to change it up.
7. There is no escaping the mean girls.
You’ll find them at college, work, dance classes, grocery stores, Facebook, seriously they’re everywhere. They’re like f*cking cockroaches, but you’ll learn to deal with them. If you find yourself stuck with one as a college roommate, “accidentally” knocking their shampoo into the toilet or moving their Special K Red Berries to a new location every morning will help you feel better.
8. Date the boy (or girl) who’s too nice. Heck, marry that kid.
Too nice is not a valid reason for turning down a potential mate. Dating the nice people will save you a lot of grief. Also, ignore the douche bag with the nice hair, because that’s really all he is.
9. Help others.
When you’re feeling glum, the best way to break your funk is to help someone less fortunate than you. Go to the animal shelter and snuggle the homeless kitties while you cry. Then cry some more because you can’t adopt all of them. Making someone else happy, will help boost your happiness, and helping those with less fortunate make you more thankful for what you have.
10. Let go of the hate.
As a Capricorn, I can hold onto grudges for eternity. Being a Scorpio, you’re not too far behind. I wish I could tell you how to forgive and move on, but I don’t know how to do that yet. I just know the hate and constant mistrust drags you down.
11. People you love will betray you.
And, it hurts. It really hurts. You might betray loved ones, too. The sad truth is everyone is looking out for themselves, even you.
12. Stand up for yourself.
Knowing when to fight and when to let it go is tough, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something is wrong.
13. Don’t believe everything people say about you.
One of the hardest things for me to swallow was when my father told me I wasn’t creative. I always thought I had a big imagination, and hearing this made me feel like I should resign myself to the life of an accountant. But f*ck that! Pursue what you love and remember other people don’t live inside your head, so they don’t know what they’re talking about.
14. Ask for help.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. It’s really hard to swallow your pride and admit you need help, but it’s even harder to keep hiding and crying in the bathroom.
15. Travel, travel, travel.
There’s a whole big world out there, and it needs to be explored. Meet new people, try new things, and see wonderful sites. Don’t just go to the beach and Disney World for vacation, take adventures, and run far, far away from this hick town.
16. Know you’re amazing.
I love being your aunt. You and your sister make me laugh so much. You’re an awesome kid, and you need to believe that and live that every day. You’re capable of doing great things, so please don’t just resign yourself to working in the family business.
Hopefully these 16 things help you in your journey through life.
Please comment with any things you wish you knew at 16.
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Maddy!
Author: Staci Lerch-Moist
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Teresa Delcambre/ Pixoto