Yesterday, a friend was lamenting about some power struggles she’s having with her 15-year-old daughter. Normal stuff, but so hard for both of them. After our conversation, I started thinking about that year – 15 – and what a raw, vulnerable, impressionable, confusing age it can be. No wonder Taylor Swift wrote a song about it! I wish I could go back and sit down with the girl I was at 15 (that’s her pictured), give her a big bear hug and put her mind at ease. But what would I say? What could I share without bursting her bubble, holding her back or altering her life’s path? I decided to write her a memo – a list of wise choices I’d love to hand off to her, like a juicy note passed in math class. I think there’s a good chance we’re living in a parallel universe, so I’m hoping she just might get it.

To: Me at 15
From: Me Today
Re: Life Choices That Will Serve You Well (a.k.a. How To Have a Happy Life)

Choose friends who make you want to shine brighter.

Choose a line of work that doesn’t feel like work.
Choose a partner who adores you even when you laugh so hard you pee your pants.
Choose your words carefully and compassionately.
Choose to follow your heart, especially when people say you’ve lost your mind.
Choose to respect and admire your parents, who bend over backwards for you behind your back. 
Choose to see a beautiful girl staring back from every mirror.
Choose to take good care of yourself, inside and out.
Choose to trust that the loved ones who are no longer here actually are.
Choose to embrace your own imperfections and ask for help whenever you need it.
Choose to make time for your little brother. Someday you’ll want him around all the time.
Choose to believe in the angels that surround you.
Choose to find the silver lining in every dark cloud (and always know the clouds will clear).
Choose to love what you love and do what you do and dream what you dream without apology.
Choose to be true to you at 15. And always.