A letter to my former self


This is so odd writing to you, a tall clunky fourteen-year-old, with the benefit of knowing your future.  Here I sit at 37 after going to law school and birthing babies and drinking an Americano with three raw sugars, all wise and sage and dolling out advice.

And yet nothing I say about treasuring the moment and “you are beautiful even though you don’t know it yet” and all other forms of motherly wisdom will mean much to you now. The reality for you is today, not tomorrow, and no one heeds advice to treasure today.

So I’ll say this instead:

(1) Lose the damn Coca-Cola shirt.  I know they’re popular.  I know you begged for one.  I know that everyone is wearing it.  Well girlfriend, trust me they are the dorkiest thing that hit that century and you don’t want pictures loitering around in thirty years that will forever be hitting facebook.  Wear it for pajamas, if you must.  But no photos.  Got it?

(2) What is facebook, you ask?  Well the minute you hear that word in your future you invest gobs of money into it and screw the haters.

(3) Please for the love of bacon don’t get bangs.  If you ignore me on this and do get the wretched things, don’t hairspray them up five layers.  Can’t you just leave them alone? And when you end up at a cosmetology school because “it’s cheaper” and “no one will notice,” trust me.  They will.  Use your best negotiation skills to get your hair cut at a real salon.

(4) And speaking of salons, you march in this very minute and tell your mother that home permanents are unacceptable.

(5) Save your jewelry.  All those fun James Avery pieces will forever be lost and you’ll miss them someday.  Put that jewelry in a safe.  I’m pointing my finger at you from your future.

(6) Letter jackets are irrelevant and useless and ugly.  When you hit college no one ever cares about them, so don’t stress about whether it’s a varsity jacket or whether it has patches.  Seriously – waste-o-time.

(7)  Read more classics. If you take nothing else away from this little lecture, you at least need to spend more time buried in literature.  Jane Eyre aside, you are behind, girl.  In the future you’ll have to play catch up, but then you’ll have kids and a mortgage and would rather be at the beach.  Read like a crazy person.

(8)  Someday your prince will come.  He will be tall and handsome and will take your breath away.  Take comfort in it.

(9) When you think your mother is old-fashioned and ridiculously strict and is the most evil and naive person on the planet, you will someday turn into her. So you might want to bring her flowers once in a while.  She ain’t that bad.

(10) You will soon have the urge to sew a Guess jeans label onto a pair of Levi’s in an attempt to fit in with the cool crowd.  You will be very impressed with yourself in coming up with this strategy and feel no one will notice.  But the label will come unraveled and cause a certain girl to point at you when you stand up in class and you’ll forever be stained with the humiliation of this day.  So spare yourself.  Just rock the Levi’s.

So yes, yes.  You’re secretly beautiful and you make really smart decisions moving forward.  Treasure today and soak in the youth and blahbitty blah.  But I swear you need to start plucking your eyebrows and quit wearing gobs of mascara.  And those warts on your legs?  Sister, they will go away.

What remains after the warts and the letter jacket is a really happy person all these years later.  You will go through trials of many kinds, but you’ll be prepared.  Thank God every day.  You’ll need it for tomorrow.



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7 Responses to A letter to my former self

  1. Deidra Riggs says:

    The only thing worse than the Coca-Cola shirt was the Coca-Cola pants. I know. I had a pair. 🙂

    See you soon! (I’ll be the one in the mom jeans.)

  2. Natasha Metzler says:

    🙂 definitely laughed through this. priceless.

  3. davis says:

    if my older self came and talked to me when i was young, i would have thought…”who is this old lady anyway?”. nice to see you in glynn’s saturday good reads.

  4. lschontos says:

    I’m here from Glynn’s blog. He said he enjoys your blog, and I trust his judgement. He’s right! I read your letter, loved it and read more posts – loved them too. And since we’re practically neighbors (we live in New Braunfels) I thought I’d say hi.

  5. Amber C. says:

    I definitely laughed through this, too. Oh, man. You crack me up.

  6. kimberlycoyle says:

    I feel like I could write more than one letter on the fashion faux pas alone. It scares me. I’m kind of glad my parents were photographically challenged. There’s very little evidence.

  7. raeann says:

    There’s no way you had warts 😉

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