Dear Teen Meghan

Dear Teen Meghan,

I admire your enthusiasm. You’re excited by the serendipity of events, and highly disappointed when things don’t go according to your hopes. Relax and take the blinders off; you’re not seeing every avenue that might be open to you. I know you wish that life could be viewed, in all its varied beauty, through the narrow tube of a kaleidoscope, but alas. Life is about exploring and learning in the process. If those around you don’t want to do what you want to do then leave them behind. You’ll meet others who will share in the journey.

In that teenage place, growing “up” isn’t so important. You’re already as tall as you’re going to get! Instead of focusing on becoming “adult” embrace the childlike wonder and bring to it the erudition that’s developing in your consciousness. Why not break out the old hammer and chisel and go fossil collecting again? Exploration is not behind you and a wider field is ahead. Those you love will remain close to you in spirit and your letters will keep you in touch. (No, you won’t forsake hand-written correspondence in the next decade. Thank mom for making you write all those thank you notes for every birthday and Christmas gift and all those letters home from camp as practice for the future.)

Though you may not like it, things will change. The old house will finally get the renovation mom and dad dreamed of when they bought it. Larger family dynamics will shift as grandparents pass on and uncles and aunts switch partners. You see the seeds of all these things, but the fruits are lovely rather than rotten. Don’t despair. Your life will be informed by what you observe in others, in both the real world and the literary world.

You will never abandon books, so don’t get rid of them. That copy of Madame Bovary will come in handy in graduate school. You’ll understand it much differently then and come to still further conclusions (or perhaps merely comprehensions) when you read it in the original French, post-grad. Which brings me to another thing you must not give up: language studies. Keep plugging away. Years later the literary and foreign language dreams have still got hold of you and you’ll realize that something must be done. But don’t worry about that “something;” that’s up to me. The search for how best to use our talents/obsessions is underway!

Last little word: explore spirituality. Live by your little superstitions and rituals. In a strange way they work to open your heart to others. The spirit and its inclinations can only be another key to the universe as you observe and inhabit it.


Late-twenties Meghan

Meghan Francisco is a language and literature enthusiast who shares her Oakland, CA lodgings with a pair of felines known as Arthur & Mr. Pancks. She works part-time in office management at a non-profit organization and part-time as a private tutor. In the odd hour or two she jots down some thoughts on Victorian literature at


One Response to "Dear Teen Meghan"

  • I really cannot get enough of these. I especially enjoyed reading this one because it really captures the wonderment of exploration which I think many young adults abandon as they given into the total lie that turning 20 and going off to college means you have to start growing up. I agree that there are certain child like qualities that we should all strive to keep.

    1 Jennifer said this (January 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM)