At Seventeen

And those of us with ravaged faces, lacking in the social graces, desperately remained at home inventing lovers on the phone who called to say “come dance with me” and murmured vague obscenities. It isn’t all it seems at seventeen …To those of us who knew the pain of valentines that never came, and those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball. It was long ago and far away, the world was younger than today. When dreams were all they gave for free to ugly duckling girls like me.

At Seventeen, Janis Ian



17 things I would tell my 17-year old self

1. Use sunscreen.

2. Invest in Apple stock.

3. Max out your 401K, every year.

4. Get a sleep study as soon as you know there is something wrong with your sleep habits. DO NOT WAIT.

5. Stop the Yo-Yo dieting. Eat right. Eat healthy.

6. Exercise daily. Learn to love it.

7. Change companies more often to move up in your career – loyalty is dead.

8. Travel more internationally – there is a great big world out there waiting to be discovered.

9. Be meticulous and THROW THINGS AWAY.

10. Don’t fight your hair … it’s time is coming.

11. To the above, innovation comes from need (think: flat irons, DryBar).  What do you and others need?

12. Keep up with your golf game. Be consistent.

13. Learn something new every day (at least every week!)

14. Marry a man who will dance with you (whether he likes it or not.)

15. Talk to your grandparents – on both sides – to hear their stories. When you want to know more, they won’t be there  to tell you.

16. It really doesn’t matter what other people think.

17. There is great power in a vision board and the law of attraction. All things are possible for those who love the Lord.


And lastly, something I’ll always remember from one of the greatest shows on the CW network, One Tree Hill:

Pretty soon, we’re going to all graduate, and I can start over. But it’ll be harder for the people who need this place to make them feel special. People who use high school to build themselves up and then find out that the real world doesn’t care so much about who you were in high school…”