I’m writing you a letter from the future. You’re probably in disbelief. You probably think this is someone’s idea of a joke. It’s not.
As you’re reading this, it is 1998 and you are sixteen years old. You feel invincible and wise beyond your years. Trust me, you’re not. You are actually somewhere between the little girl you once were and the full-blown adult you will one day become. You still have a lot of growing and maturing left to do. It would do you well to listen to your mother once in awhile, even when you feel like she’s being overbearing and impossible. She just wants what’s best for you, and she’s speaking from an experience that you don’t yet have.
You have just had your first kiss. Your father is about to get remarried. You are about to lose your grandmother. You have your first boyfriend. (By the way, it doesn’t last. Honestly, you spend way too much time angsting over a guy who you were never really that into in the first place.) Maybe you should think about your priorities in life. Your friendships are much more important than the transient boyfriends you seem to go through. One day, you will look back and you will miss your friends. You won’t miss any of the losers you dated. And another thing, you spend entirely too much time watching figure skating on TV. And I really hate to break it to you, but you’re never going to be a professional figure skater.
In the meantime, you’ve somewhat abandoned your passion for books and reading. Why?! I know that finding enjoyment from reading is really, really difficult when it seems like every book you’re assigned to read for class is ruined by all of the inane analysis that your teachers insist on having you do. Don’t let that discourage you from picking up books on your own. And it’s okay if you’d rather spend your weekends at home, curled up with a good, unassigned book.
Your love of books will actually lead you to abandon the career you thought you wanted. I’m not going to give anything away and ruin the surprise, but books will become a very important part of your life. And you will find yourself in the incredibly daunting position of sharing books with children and young adults. Remember the characters you loved and the impact they had on you. You’re going to want to share that with them.