Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter #1 To Myself

“Letters” is a series of things that I wish I could tell my younger self or that I hope for my older self to remember someday. It’s more than just a journal or log of what’s happening in our lives right now, but an attempt at something more introspective and meaningful. It’s intended just for me, but if the words and experiences that I write make sense to anyone else, then all the better. None of this is in chronological order; it’s just whatever I’m thinking about at the time.

Dear You. Well, Younger You. OK – High School You.

Those boys – they don’t know shit. High school boys suck – especially those that are in the “in” crowd. They are awful to those who aren’t cool. And, try as you might, you’re not cool. You are, however, nice. You always have been, and that’s more important than being cool. You’ll find that out eventually. That boy who “mooo-ed” at you when the drill team was exiting the floor after a basketball half-time? Yeah, Todd? When he is 40, he will be fat (like a cow) and unemployed and divorced. I want you to just forget about him. Don’t carry that around with you for 24 more years….. (Well, too late. You did carry it around for all that time, but it wasn’t worth it. Trust me.) Screw him. And, you know what? There’s a chance that he was mooing at someone else. You’ve never entertained that possibility, but it may not have been about you at all. Try that on for size!

And, speaking of drill team. You aren’t the only person that made a mistake during a performance. Yes. Your bobble happened during the state competition, but other girls made mistakes during that performance, too. You’ve just never seen them before because you’ve always been so focused on your mistake. You know what? You will make more mistakes, and you really shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody used drill team to launch their successful careers as secretaries, teachers, business owners, moms, or hospital administrators. You didn’t thwart anybody or anything. You just made a bobble. So, the team got 2nd place in that category. Honestly, they probably would have anyway.

You were always a year behind the fashion trends. You knew it then, and it’s true now. And, guess how much it matters? Well, it doesn’t. At all. You’re clean, and your clothes are clean and you make sure to get the wrinkles out. Finally, you won’t really care that you’re not fashion forward. It will be a liberating day – trust me.

And, your best friend? Wow. Who would have thought that she would immediately abandon you? That one hurt for a long time. You will spend the next 24 (maybe more) years wondering how she is. You’ll try to smooth things over and find out what you did to make her turn from you. It won’t work. She wants nothing to do with you. You’ll be happy when you find out that she is finally a mother because she wanted it for so long. But, you know what? All you did was move away for the summer, and there was nothing wrong with that. In fact, it helped you grow in ways that you never could have in that small farming town. You wrote her letters, you tried to call, you tried to remain her best friend – because she was truly the best friend you ever had in your first 18 years – but it was not to be. Whatever reason she had for ending her friendship with you – it was all about her, not you. It was her decision. And, you’ll probably never know. At the time of this letter, you still don’t know. And, someday, you’ll be OK with that. I can’t tell you when it happens because I can’t remember the day/time. I think that it happens about the time that you forgive Jody. (You don’t know Jody yet.) But, there comes a time when you forgive a lot of people, and it seems to happen all at once.

You had big plans and big dreams, but you learned to settle. That didn’t do you any good. You look back later, and you’re disappointed. Try not to be afraid of doing something amazing. Try not to compare yourself to The Golden Child. You’ll never measure up until you realize that he’s no better than you, never was – that he gave up – that he became suspicious and mean – that he forgot how to empathize and forgive – that he became a drunkard. Then, you’ll be happy that you’re not him. Stop settling. Stop being second best. Stop being afraid.

In the end, you go on to college, and you make your parents very proud. You get your MBA, for heaven’s sake! Remember to be proud of your accomplishments; don’t minimize them – don’t negate them – be proud of them – be proud of yourself.

No comments: