Saturday, March 29, 2014

Letters to Myself

Dear Six-Year-Old Me, 

I know that people think it's adorable when you answer the phone singing "Somewhere Out There," but it's not going to jumpstart your singing career. I know you'd like to think you're a "prodigy" (thank you, Oprah, for the term), but you'll learn pretty soon that you're pretty much average. But you keep doing your thing and having fun! Dream your dreams and soak in that imagination!
I'm glad you love Godzilla. In fact, you love him so much, he's your imaginary friend (though you'll rename him "Gadzilla" so as not to be "blasphemous" by your definitions). Sadly, the other children on the playground aren't as in awe of him as you are (meaning you can't threaten to have him eat them--they won't believe you). Don't say I didn't warn you. They also, tragically, will not appreciate your ten minute bathroom renditions of "Part of Your World." Sweetpea, just because the stall door is closed doesn't mean it's soundproof.
Also, just a sidenote, the boys your age do not want kisses. They enjoy them even less when you decide to use it as a weapon. Just a thought.

Dear Ten-Year-Old Me, 

I'm not sure if you've picked up on this, but the other girls your age do not drop everything to chase lizards and frogs.  Of course, you won't pick up on this for like three more years, but whatevs.
You've become obsessed with Star Wars and that is awesome. Keep up those action figure games with your brother. You'll be joking about those seventeen years later. "Bail out! Bail out! BAIL IN!! BAIL IN!!!!!"
Also keep writing those stories but avoid the blatant Disney ripoffs.
Oh, and, um P.S. Contrary to popular belief, middle school is going to be awesome. Seriously, they'll be your favorite academic years before college. So don't be afraid of turning into a teenager--you don't turn into a jerk. You just get super nerdy and have fun with it. It's fantastic, seriously. You won't have that much fun being a geek for a long time afterwards. Embrace it and enjoy it, kiddo!
P.P.S.  Use the talking storm trooper to barricade your room. Catherine hates it, and the two of you will share lots of laughs over it later. "HEEEEELP!!! THERE'S A STROOM POOPER!" Yep. Just like that.

Dear Fifteen-Year-Old Me,

Boys are stupid.
High school hierarchies are even more stupid.
Really, really, REALLY stupid.
I'm sure you've started to figure out that high school is not like those ridiculous Olsen Twin films you binged on over the summer, but, allow me to reiterate: high school is not a fairy tale.
At least you've stopped stalking lizards in the church landscaping. That's a plus.
Eventually, you'll cut your hair, get your braces off (then partially on, off, partially on again), and you'll ALMOST learn to not dress like a homeschooler. You will, however, keep on singing, playing the piano, scribbling, doodling, and you will soon have your life changed FOREVER in more ways than one:
1. You start reading Lewis again, and HOLY CRAP SO GOOD
2. You read Lord of the Rings for the first time. HOLY CRAP SOOOOOOO GOOD. Obsession material, even.
3. You decide you absolutely MUST study in London and visit Oxford because um, Eagle and Child pub, and um THE INKLINGS. And accents. Yes, definitely accents.
4. You'll finish your book, spend a year editing it, and then leave it alone for eleven years debating on whether you'll actual rewrite it or not (the jury's still out on that one . . . )
5. You meet your future husband.
No, it's not who you think it is.
Be ye warned: if male classmates ask for help with English homework, they're not doing so because they sincerely want a conversation for like the first time ever. They just want you to explain the symbolism in the poetry assignment they didn't read. You are being used. Smile coyly and ignore them.
But you won't.
You'll be too excited to be noticed to care.
And I suppose that's okay.
Oh! And you get to be a big sister again! Next year, you'll meet the first of your two new sisters. It's amazing! And, just a plus, they're pretty stinkin adorable. If you can, find an age-defying solution now. They just keep growing up . . .

Dear Eighteen-Year-Old Me, 

Well, now, we've had some adventures, haven't we?
You found the alcohol stashed in your roommate's dirty clothes pile (that's the last time you surprise her by doing her laundry, isn't it?), read Harry Potter, got your ear cartilage pierced (Dad argues he never gave you permission to do that but you know he TOTALLY DID), skipped classes, spent weekends on the beach in Pensacola without adult supervision, and have found yourself one of the few sober almost-adults on campus.  You've also discovered that there is way more of a culture gap between Florida and Mississippi than you ever expected.
Sure, your new experiences are mild and, all-in-all, fairly harmless. I mean, you don't do drugs, smoke, drink, or even date, but the fact that you're even in the presence of alcoholic beverages is such a scandal for you.
Keep up your gig, though. Your standards are weird, but, as much as you get teased for them, your friends adore and respect you. You'll be pals for ages. Plus you're getting a bunch of awesome stories you'll remember even if you wish you didn't. 
Also, take that link to your Xanga blog off Myspace. 
You know, the one with all your angsty, pubescent rants?
Mom finds it.

Most awkward Thanksgiving break EVER.

Dear Twenty-Two-Year-Old Me, 

Welp, you did it.
You studied in London (life goal! CHECK!)
You got your Bachelor's a semester early (life goal! CHECK!!!)
And you married that man. ( CHECK CHECK AND CHEEEEEEECK!!!)
HUZZAH!!! WHOO-HOO!!! HECK YES!! and all other cheering sentiments.
Don't worry--you guys will figure out how to work out the stuff that seems impossible. You'll go to counseling for it, but you'll make it. In fact, you learn stuff, get better at that communication thing. It's all good. It gets better.
Keep track of all those crazy library incidents--they make great stories. Like the woman who cast out the demons who stole her DVD, the fellow who wouldn't read the Bible because he'd seen the movie, the cockroach in the DVD case, the gentleman who told you that you should model for Black Man magazine, the flasher, and many more. Also, remember those ridiculous romance novel titles: From Here to Paternity and The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable Girl especially (I mean, REALLY?!?)
Also, stop buying pregnancy tests.  Just because your period is two days late does not mean your birth control failed. Stop peeing on that stick! No, not another one! STOP IT!!!! You're ridiculous.
But don't worry about it right now.
Also, when Chris recommends hiking Lake Jessup instead of Blue Springs (because, um, MANATEES), tell him you will hike Blue Springs and ONLY Blue Springs.
Five miles is only a small number on a computer screen. Also, fourteen-foot alligators. Like lots of them. AVOID LAKE JESSUP.

Dear Twenty-Seven-Year-Old Me, 

Well, we've made it this far. Now what?
It's been the most challenging and rewarding year so far.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah, I hear you whining and I will kindly remind you that your hormonal teenage crap ain't got NUTHIN' on my twenty-six-year-old crap so SHUSH.
Maybe it doesn't get easier.  Maybe Chris's job never quite fits, maybe his ears just keep getting worse, maybe you never get this whole maybe-one-day pregnancy thing figured out. Maybe those relationships you're struggling with are never resolved, maybe you never get to say everything you've ever wanted to say.  Maybe there's never a house, never deep roots, never the standard American Dream nuclear family thingamabob. 
But you know what? That's okay. Who ever said you're defined by those things anyways? That they make you valid and valuable? They don't. 
Because life is an adventure, and any adventure worth its salt has tears and dark tunnels and the kind of uncertainty that makes you sick to your stomach.
But it also has sunshine, and a Hero who comes to your rescue, because, really, as hard as you try, you just can't save yourself.  Your swords are twigs and your battle cry is a whimper.  But you've got that Hero at your side, and He's holding you up, making you of sterner stuff that no dragon can withstand.
So drink in the sunshine.  Breathe in the beauty around you. Treasure the good relationships blessing you. Take the sweet, laughing moments with that hubs of yours and hide them in your heart. Pocket all these shining things, take them out when the road is dark, and marvel at them. Aren't they lovely? Isn't it worth it all just to hold these things a little closer? Oh, so very, very lovely.
The road is long and hard, but you've been given such gifts. There are always good things in the bad.  There's always light in the darkness, even if it's peeping through the cracks. 

Because God is good, so good, and He is so much bigger than all of life's question marks.


  1. Love these letters. :) My slightly younger sister was the one to drop anything to chase lizards and frogs and bugs for a very long time. I myself have never seen the attraction. Life is an adventure, and it's worth it, even in the really hard stuff.

  2. i love this so much. that last picture of you is so good. and that wedding picture is perfect. i just love everything about this. sometimes i just want to go back and shake myself at all the things i did and said that make me so embarrassed to look back and admit. but this is just great.

    also singing in the bathroom. YES.

  3. Thank you! Chris happened to snap that one while the cat and dog were competing for my attention. I'm way too easily amused by furballs ;] And the wedding pic is one of my favorites!
    Oh my goodness . . .there are so many embarrassing moments I'd love to erase.
    Bathroom singing is the bomb, right? ;]

  4. Life is totally worth it!
    My brother and I would drop EVERYTHING to catch all manners of creepy crawlers. Catherine was so-so, and my baby sisters not at ALL. I love all kinds of animals, and, honestly, I was so nonathletic that catching lizards made me feel good at something physical or stealthy or something. Not entirely sure. Oh, childhood . . .

  5. THanks for your sweet comment today on my blog! It was so fun to hear from you:) I wanted to email you back to thank you, but didn't see an email!! Have a great week, and look forward to getting to know you more!! love Katie

  6. Oh sorry! The email is :] Thank you so much! Looking forward to getting to know you, as well! :]

  7. Aw i love all these letters! So very sweet.

    I'm hosting a giveaway, I would love if you would follow along and enter to win!


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