Dear Kim at Sixteen
A month or so ago you turned sixteen, that special age that signifies you’re almost, pretty much, an adult, and when magic is supposed to happen.
You’ve read all those Sweet Valley High books (and the annoyingly non-canon ‘Senior Year’) where Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield have incredible adventures and gorgeous boyfriends at sixteen. They are also California beach blondes with eyes the colour of the ocean, perfect size six figures and their own jeep, so all in all, rather unrealistic expectations.
This is an interesting year for you, you’ve now selected your top six subjects to take to Matric – I know right now you’re breathing a sigh of relief that you’ve dropped Accounting and Xhosa, but in a few years’ time when you’re sitting in your post-graduate Introduction to Finance class, you’ll be wishing you knew a little more about the difference between a balance sheet and an income statement. Add a couple more years to that as you’re job hunting and establishing life, you’ll wish you had taken Xhosa to matric, because, man alive, it would have been handy.
One crazy curveball, you’re about to become a big cousin for the first time. Little Sara is born as you turn sixteen, and as you hold her tentatively during Christmas holidays down in Port Alfred this year, you’ll never guess that when she’s sixteen, you’ll have two of your own.
Boys remain inconsistent, unreliable, immature and unromantic. Don’t despair, there is certainly hope on the horizon. In the meantime, just enjoy the crushes and the Standard Eight dances, one of which is where you’ll meet a boy that you’ll come into contact with in a year’s time again, and who you’ll help take his first steps towards meeting God.
You and your best friend are slowly being drawn towards God’s pull on your lives. You’ll start going to Youth Church every other Sunday, and you’ll be amazed how He slowly works on your heart to bring you closer to him. In fact, in just a year’s time you’ll properly commit your life to Him, setting the next few years into motion – especially all who you meet and come across.
My advice to you, dear sixteen year old version of myself, is to remain true to yourself. I tell myself now with two small little ones that the days are long, but the years are short – and so are those precious teenage years. While you’ll sometimes feel you’re going nowhere slowly, you’ll suddenly blink and you’ll be striding across the school stage dropping your prefect badge into the tray as the sounds of valedictory ring in your ears…
Ah sixteen. A time of angst and growth, of learning and eyes opening. Read, read, read and never stop expanding your mind – dad was right, it’ll do you justice. Enjoy that washboard tummy – it’ll slowly disappear until it expands enormously over two pregnancies. Yup. Gulp.
I’ll write you again, Kim at sixteen, but for now I remain,
You at Thirty-Two
- None Found