A Letter to the Jeanette of 2004

Even though I am terribly behind on my blogs about my trip, I am going to continue to put that off and do something a little different. I was watching a show today and the host held up a picture of each of the contestants when they were four years old and asked each of them, “What would you, as an adult, tell this four year child?” and that really got me thinking. What would I tell little me if we met today. I thought four was a little far back, so I chose to go with ten. So here is my letter to ten year old me…

Dear Little Princess,

Well you’ve done it. You’ve survived long division and multiplications tables. You’ve become an actress, and you’re at a ninth grade reading level. Good for you! There are a few things I want to tell you as you continue on your way through life. First of all, never lose touch with Mr. L. He was an amazing man who made you call him sir, but always had a kind smile. He taught you to love math (although spoiler you get worse at it as time goes along), and he taught you how to express yourself and be who you are. Keep in touch with him over the years because you’re going to really regret it if you don’t.

There is a boy who was in your class this year. You had the biggest crush on him. Next year you’re going to hate his guts, and then you’re going to go to different middle schools for a while. But pay attention, this is important; in eighth grade you’re going to be going to the same school again and that crush is going to come back. You are going to fall head over heels for him, and that’s ok, he will be your first kiss, and that’s pretty ok too, what I want you to do, however, is to be careful how he treats you. I know you probably won’t understand this yet, but this is the first boy to emotional abuse you, and if you let that happen, he most certainly won’t be the last. Protect your heart, and never let anyone into your life who makes you feel bad about yourself.

When you are a Freshman you’re going to have a crush on a senior guy…he’s gay. Don’t even go there. The end of this year you’re going to lose your two best friends. It is going to hurt a lot and the worst is yet to come. Just know that everything is going to be ok, you end up friends with Nicole again later on and honestly you don’t want to be friends with Laura…she’s still awful. But apologize. Apologize to them for being pushing and rude. Apologize for not having more consideration for them. Just get over yourself and say you’re sorry, because you are and you know it.

Now comes Sophomore year. This is be the worst year of your adolescent life. Your friends have all graduated from school, and everyone left kind of hates you. Just so you know some of them hate you for no reason, ignore them, they don’t matter. But some of them hate you because you can be kind of awful. Be kind to everyone and try not to put people down so much, even if it’s a joke, sometimes it isn’t funny, it’s just hurtful. Your “friends” are going to leave you out of their plans for the winter formal, it’s ok to cry, and to be angry, but have a gracious heart and forgive them, you’ll feel a lot better. Plus Dad gives you a surprise and you spend the whole night with him which was way better anyway. This year you’re going to meet a girl named Lexi. She is really cool and fun to hang out with, but you don’t need to go to parties, smoke weed, or get drunk to have fun. Stay away from that whole world, it’s dangerous and you’re going to have to spend the next few years of your life watching people judge you for the mistakes you make this year. Oh, and stop putting so much volume spray in your hair, you look like an idiot.

I don’t have a lot to say about the rest of high school. you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to stumble and get hurt and cry…a lot. But you’re also going to have a lot of fun and make a lot of memories and learn things that you can only learn by going through them, so I’ll let you handle that on your own. There is just one thing I want to warn you about. You are going to meet a boy. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, he is very cute and funny and charming, and you are going to fall for him. Hard. This is a bad situation. This is a life changingly bad situation. He is going to tell you how pretty you are and how much he loves you, he is going to tell you how great you are, but he is also going to tell you he doesn’t want you. And you are going to do stupid things to make him change his mind. I need you to listen baby girl because this is one of those moments where you’re going to have to make a really big decision that you aren’t really ready to make yet, but here it is. I need you to know that the shame, and embarrassment, and emptiness you’re going to feel every time he leaves you, is all you’re ever going to feel. He is never going to fall in love with you, he is never going to care about you, he is never going to respect you. Don’t ever let him touch you because you’re going to live with the shame of that for a long time.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you are worthless. There are going to be a lot of people who try, trust me. There are going to be men who say they love who turn around and tell you you are broken and worthless. There are going to be friends who say they support you who do nothing but put you down. But you don’t have to listen to them. You have to listen to me. You are beautiful (we’re still working on that one), you’re smart, you are talented, you are funny, you have purpose. You do not need anyone to tell you you are special, you just are. Also you’re weird, and awkward, and bizarre at times, but that’s ok, because you have some pretty amazing people in your life who accept you for exactly what you are.

Last but certainly not least we need to talk about God. There are going to be a lot of times in the next ten years that you want nothing to do with Him. You are going ignore Him, run away from Him, yell at Him, and pray to Him, but mostly you’re going to see the beauty of His wonder and His plan for you. Never doubt that plan kid, it’s so so so much better than anything you can possibly imagine. Thank Him everyday, in the sunshine and in the rain because He never leaves you, even when you feel the most alone.

Well I guess that’s it. You probably don’t understand a lot of what I’ve said and that’s ok, you will someday. Just be yourself and never be afraid to shine. I really do love you even when I have a hard time showing it.

Stay strong ya little weirdo.

Sincerely,

You

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