Conversations over Coffee

Conversations with a Teenager

Dear Miss Seventeen, I owe you an apology. For years we were friends, or at least you thought we were friends. But our friendship was the worst kind. Behind your back I was the last person to be your friend. Defiant and strong willed as you were I disliked you more than I ever liked you.

With each day that passed I became the one person who judged you the most. Who condemned your decisions and shook my head at your naïve ways. You see I was the older one, the wiser one. The one who knew better and out of the two of us the one who was better.

Carefully planned decisions, weighed up options, savings and responsibility, I was better in every way. All the things you thought you had to think about later. Worry about later. These were the things I had to deal with every day. Had to juggle and work through, strain through and slowly feel exhausted from.

While you with your effortless thin body and your flawless skin, the nights you spent tucked away with a book and endless days spent sleeping. I resented you for these. I wanted you to get up and stop wasting your days. Start grappling with life and all of its responsibility. Give me a head start and a helping hand. But you mocked me with your dreams and free spirit.


Miss Seventeen I owe you an apology because I was wrong. Wrong in almost every way. My disapproval and disappointment has mellowed down to seek your humble forgiveness. For your strong willed, defiant spirit I owe you my heart in gratitude. For you kept the light burning. You kept the spirit simmering through the times when I was slowly losing my way. The dreams you so violently held onto I found still clenched in your grasp. Even after I had let them go from mine.

The books you read and the hopes that danced in your head with each page and each character you fell in love with have come back to me. The fire never stopped burning, even when I did everything to fan away the smoke.  You believed in all possibility. You believed in life. You believed in me.

Now it is my turn to believe in us. For while our friendship may have waned through time and rocked through the motions of growing older, getting married, paying a mortgage and juggling two kids, you never closed the door and left. Even with my back turned and my mind closed you stood by me. Now it is my turn to stand by you.


Miss Seventeen in your carefree ways, abundance for life and passion for dreaming I have come back to offer my apologies. I am sorry for not believing in you. I am sorry for being the one to condemn and criticise you. I am sorry that I cut the connection that made you me.

I sit here now with needle and thread to stitch and mend that connection. To find a way that makes us whole again. Miss Seventeen you are awesome.

What would you say to your seventeen year old self?
Is there a teenager in your life who despite their apparent flaws is actually quite awesome?
Is there an old signed school uniform hiding in your closet?


Conversations over Coffee returns Thursday February 26, 2015.
Conversations with Change ~ everyone is welcome.

Thank you to Where the Wild Things Were for next month’s prompt.

  • LydiaCLee

    That’s really lovely – it’s made me quite teary (I’m not sure why, I may just be hormonal!). On QI, Alan Davis said, ‘what if teenagers are right?If that’s the way you’re meant to live? With the euphoric highs and crushing lows?’ (They were talking about how a teenager can love a song so much, they become obsessed with it)

    • You know what I have wondered this too sometimes, what if teenagers are right? More so, what if children are right? Sometimes their world seems so much better than the adult one xx

  • Oh Josefa, I do hope Miss Seventeen reads this. I really do.

  • Rachel L

    Just beautiful sunshine and I can completely identify with everything you said…I really didn’t like who I was back then…. a normal part of adolescence perhaps but that girl didn’t deserve my hatred.

    • Rach I really love the sentiment that “that girl didn’t deserve my hatred” I think it something quite powerful to come to realize xx

  • I’ve read this post a couple of times today and each time it has ignited something different in me. It’s taken me back to when I was seventeen. I can barely remember who I was then. So different yet somehow the same. I will continue to ponder on this for the rest of the day. Beautifully written as always x

  • Seventeen was my favourite age. It was the age I felt confident and happy and like anything was possible.
    I relate to this so much Josefa. Thank you.

    • Jess what a truly beautiful way to be at seventeen – and In between your words and in between your lines I can still see the spirit of that seventeen year old. Simply beautiful xx

  • My eldest is almost 17 and oddly I could have written most of this to her right now. I’m not sure what I would write to my 17 year old self. I’m pretty sure she, like my daughter at the moment, wouldn’t listen. Head strong and full of ideas just like my daughter.

    • Head strong and full of ideas – perhaps the most perfect way for a seventeen year old to be? xx

  • It is amazing at seventeen who true to ourselves we are and how we can lose this as we go through life. Great post! Really makes you think about want you wanted in life back then and how it measures up now…

    • Thank you Caroline, I think sometimes to move forward we need to cast our minds back to the time when we really did feel that everything was possible and then ask ourselves how we have lost our way? xx

  • This is so wonderful to read- I really admire and respect parents who can apologise to their kids when they get it wrong. I try so hard to do so- kids need to know we are fallible and human. Good on you Josefa xx

    • Thank you Handbag Mafia, however I think it will be a while before I write a letter to my seventeen year old son, this letter was written back to me – my seventeen year old self xx

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    I love this and will do this myself as all my weight issues were in the extreme at this age. But when I look back, I wasn’t overweight (maybe only by 1-2kg) and I was a good honest person. This is the reason I write a blog with my teenage daughter because I wish I knew stuff back then that I know now. Thanks heaps Josefa, love it. Found this on @withsomegrace

    • I love that you write a blog with your teenage daughter – that speaks volumes in itself of how important opinion and hearts matter, no matter our age xx

  • I wrote a post like this a while ago, I think it was things I’d tell my younger self and it was basically along the same lines. I always love finding old diaries, its so fun to reconnect with your younger self. And yes I have an old signed school uniform 🙂

  • My daughter is just about to turn seventeen and I have to say she is pretty fantastic, the post I linked up is all about her and how all of sudden (or so it seems) she has gone from Kindergarten to Year 12 in the blink of an eye….it happens…

  • Yes – I do have a signed uniform hiding away somewhere – one from my last year in primary and high school actually!

    • Wow – a primary signed uniform – that is awesome! I don’t think I have anything lingering from my last year of primary….

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