Dear Teen Me,
I know you’re thinking about it because your scumbag father became a pathetic cliché and left you and your mom for his secretary. I know you’re thinking about it because you’re so poor that you sometimes have to use food stamps to buy food, even though your mom went to work in a sewing factory, and you got any part-time job you could to help out, and acid eats through your stomach when you hear the scornful, hateful comments at the grocery store. I know you’re thinking about it, because you’re The Brain, The Nerd, The Encyclopedia to all the boys, and never the cute, giggly, brainless one who gets asked out, so why not take them for their cash? They’re going to buy the drugs anyway, you’re smart enough not to get caught, and you could certainly use the money.
But stop wasting months of your junior year thinking about it. Because life is going to get a whole lot better.
You know that dream of becoming a lawyer that you think is hopeless, because you’re so poor? You’re going to nail it. Because The Brain, The Nerd, The Encyclopedia is also the person who gets a full ride scholarship to college and a full ride scholarship to law school. The Brain gets to clerk at a federal court. The Nerd gets her pick of internships. The Encyclopedia gets her pick of jobs.
The girl who never gets asked out will get asked out. Because being too tall and too beanpole skinny and having to wear hideous glasses, which is the Kiss of Death in high school, is suddenly not so bad in college and even kind of hot once you get those contact lenses. (Seriously. Rethink those giant frames on your glasses. Nobody looks good in those.)
And, even better, do you know that secret dream of being a writer? The one you hid from everyone, because you were the first person in your family to go to college, and you were never, ever going to be poor again, and nobody really makes a living as a writer? You did it, my friend. You succeeded. And it’s amazing. You have won a RITA award. You’ve been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists–a lot. You’ve met amazing readers and writers all over the world. Your books have been translated into a ton of different languages.
I get it that it hurts. High school sucks, an awful lot of the time. I understand that some days, you look into the future, and you see nothing but bleak despair at the idea that you will never be able to dig your way out of the crushing poverty. Never be able to crawl up the side of the pit, let alone fly. But, believe me, there will be flying. I have to be honest, though. There will also be pain, and heartache, and disappointment. That’s the way life works.
But you’re going to make it. You’re going to fly. And one day, when your teen daughter looks at you and says “Mom, you’re the coolest mom, ever,” you’ll know that life can be pretty damn fantastic. You’re an author, a mom, and a board member of the best writing association in the world, Romance Writers of America.
And that’s way, WAY better than becoming a drug dealer.
Lucy Connors is the YA pseudonym of Alesia Holliday, winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. As Alyssa Day, she is the New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of paranormal romance novels series. Lucy lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her family and a varying number of rescue dogs. Please visit her at www.lucyconnors.com.
I pledge to take a stand against bullying each and every day. #OneVoice
-Lucy Connors, author of The Lonesome Young
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