Dear Me (16-year old Kim),
Life awaits you. I know you're too smart at this moment to take advice from some old lady, but here are some things I hope you think about:
Your education matters. College should be on your agenda. Find out about student loans...they can get you in school, instead of marrying the first schlump you meet a month after you graduate from high school.
But if you marry said schlump, don't listen to all of his negative crap. You WILL amount to something. And those children you have? They'll be awesome women some day, so don't worry that you're messing them up because you had them when you were young and dumb. And the schlump? He'll like one of your friends better than you, and he'll be gone. You might want to think about part-time jobs while the kids are little, so you have some sort of work history - it'll make finding full-time work easier.
Encourage Dad to take care of himself; hug him while he's still around. And don't listen so much about what Mom says - don't let HER crap make you think less of yourself. You WILL forgive her at some point...and far down the road, you'll find compassion for her that she never seemed to muster for you.
Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. I know you want to move out - do the whole school thing first, okay? Your life will be filled with adventure - new people (one or two becoming lifelong friends), new places and all sorts of wonderful experiences (as well as meeting a crackpot or two...you'll marry them LOL).
Eat right. Exercise, for goodness' sake. Use sunscreen. Save some money for a rainy day. Laugh. Read. Travel when you can.
Write daily. You should listen to Mr. Corl - you're pretty good at it.
You'll probably cry more than you thought you would - but it's all gonna work out okay.
Trust that you are a good person. Love your family, let them know how much they mean to you.
There are challenges ahead - remain steadfast in the belief that you CAN handle them.
Never give up...it's so worth the struggle.
What would YOU write to your sixteen-year old self?