Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear 4 year old Me,

Life is so worry-free for you right now. Cherish the moments! And enjoy that new baby brother while you can because he won't stay a baby for long and will choose to marry the love of his life when he is only 18!

By the time you are 22 (yep you make it to 22!) you will have lived and learned more lessons than you probably should have, but that is what will make your life so exciting! 

No matter how many times your parents tell you that one day you can pay Tonya back for beating up on you, and they won't punish you for it, they don't mean it! You WILL get in trouble. And it really doesn't make you feel better to finally get fed up and then push her off the front porch..in fact, you feel pretty guilty about it to this day even though it happened at 9 years old. I know you will think school is tough, and making sure your best friend invites you to her birthday party every year of elementary is the most important thing that is on your mind. However; later on down the road, a few more important things come up. Like 8th grade graduation and having to say goodbye to all the friends you grew so close to your first 14 years of life. It will be sad, and you will lose touch, but no worries! Facebook comes along a few years later and you can keep track of them all pretty well ;) 

Later you will enter High School in Spearman, even though that wasn't really your choice of school. You should really try to enjoy it more, and get grounded less! You would probably have more fun. Don't get me wrong, you will have fun anyway, but making it home a couple minutes earlier would save you some tears and boring nights at home while everyone else is enjoying themselves. You will have a lot of "firsts" in high school. First boyfriend, first tennis meet, first car (which you still have by the way), first detention (with many to follow), first homecoming, first prom, first heartbreak, first "F" on an exam, and first big solo trip which will be to Washington D.C. (don't be scared! It will be some of the best 10 days of your life.) And I know more than anything, you have the desire to get the heck out of Hansford County! Let me tell ya, you end up missing it more than you know...maybe even enough to move back one day!

After high school, you will go to college!! Yes! You get to go to the school you will want to go to around the time you are 6 years old. I'll leave that one as a surprise for you to figure out. But you learn a lot during these 4 years and you change more than you can ever imagine. You turn out to be VERY weird and GOTHIC on top of that. JUST KIDDING! You do change a lot, but not that much! Things to think about to prepare yourself for these years:
-You may think going to class isn't important, but get off your butt and go. You will regret it if you don't. Trust me on that one. 
- Try not to fight with your sister when she decides to move to school with you. You will miss her more than you think when she is gone. 
- Quit wasting your time and go get a JOB!
- Even though you love each other more than anything, it just wasn't meant to be. But try to keep your head up. At the time you will feel like everything is falling apart and you WILL feel miserable, and you will definitely miss him. Just know there are better things to come and that those 2 years spent together were not wasted years. It turns out pretty well for you :)
- You get to broadcast for National News, but try to calm your nerves! You sound kind of funny on the first newscast with a shaky voice!
- I won't spoil the surprise for you, but you succeed very well in what you end up picking for your major (even though you change it a couple times)!
-Most of all, don't be afraid to have fun and be yourself. You end up meeting great people who love you just for you! And turns out two of your best friends during your last couple years live next door to you!

I won't let you know what happens, or if you graduate. But you do have a fun time and learn a lot more than just what they teach you in class along the way. 

One more thing I want to prepare you for. You will experience some pretty heavy losses in your life. It breaks my heart even now to know the pain you will go through. 
Nobody would ever expect to lose their sister in fourth grade.
Or even 3 grandparents in the year 2001. That one is going to be tough. The ten day search for Granny and Papa is long and devastating. But try you best not to blame yourself. They wouldn't want you to. They wanted to go watch you play basketball in Gruver, but you had no control of the tragic events that follow on their helicopter ride home. So just treasure every memory you have with those two amazing people. Trust me, you will miss them EVERY single day of your life. And you will still cry thinking back on the pain you and your family went through when losing them. And you will cry when you think of your mother and the loss of her own mother and father.Your faith will be tested but you have so many supportive family and friends that are with you every day.
Then when it is Grandmother's time to go a few months later, you see death in a more rewarding light. She is finally free from suffering, but it still makes you sad to see her go. She always carried herself with poise and confidence and that is something you will always strive for.
Your first year of college you will lose the boy you have now made your boyfriend. Another tragic accident that takes a HUGE toll on your life. Again you blame yourself, but it is not your fault. His mother is hurting and has nobody else to blame for this horrible accident and the pain her 19 year old son had to go through during those last four days of his life. You will never forget him, and you won't sleep much for a while, but again you turn out okay. And someone comes along one day and rescues you from all this pain. I think that's why God put him in your life. To rescue you. That is why you will always love him.
Less than a year later, your last grandparent gets to be freed from pain. Try to go see Grandad one last time. You won't regret it! He was a mountain of a man. And your brother turns out to look just like him so you have his memory every time you see Haden. It reminds you of all the times when you were a little girl and would watch for him to come down our dirt road every day so you could climb up on his lap and find a Saf-T-Pop sucker hidden in his shirt pocket just for you!
You will also lose a friend in high school, and an elementary teacher, but with communities pulled together, you all make it through. 

You may not end up turning out how your parents wanted you to, but you are happy. And let's face it kiddo...that's all that really matters in life. Thank your parents more often, and try to follow the rules. There are moments you will think that life is miserable, and there will be moments you think life is great. You will always have good stories to tell along the way and a great memory to make them feel all the more real.

Cherish all your precious moments. And take as many pictures as you can....who knows, you may end up loving taking pictures and make it a personal business! ;) Never know if maybe one day you find out how cool it is to be behind the lens!

Don't worry about what others think. Dare to be different, because you are! Your free spirit and big heart will get you far, even if others think it's not cool to be different!

You have a lot of great things to look forward to in your life. So go ahead with full force and enjoy it! Also brace yourself...you will face challenges and tough times but it will all work out for you! By the time you are 22 you will still have a lot of unanswered questions about your future, but that's why it is the future. Just live for now..for the present. And trust that you do turn out alright. Just a few words of advice so you can enjoy your future more than you already will! You make a lot of mistakes but it all leads you to THIS MOMENT in your life. So just do your best and learn from the bad....and you will be alright!


Me at 22 years old

P.S. Don't run into that girl in the basketball tournament before your Junior year of high school. It will really put a damper on things when you end up in a huge boot for 6 months and physical therapy and problems for the next two years!

"Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places." - Anonymous

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