dEAR younger me

Don’t be afraid to swear. You don’t gotta just practice yelling expletives under water in the pool. You’re just gonna end up with a nose full of chlorine water and some funny looks from the neighbors. And if you’re really worried about God finding out, don’t you think he’ll be able to hear you while submerged in any medium? Now, Mom on the other hand — that’s another thing.

Stop getting mad and scared when you can’t do something right. Please remember that you’re not going to be good at everything. Heck, you’re not gonna be good at anything the first time. So, just accept that. You’re not stupid. People aren’t gonna be mad if you don’t understand something at first. You’re growing up. And growing up just means learning how stuff in this world works. And this world is a really curious place to be.

Ask questions and don’t stop asking them. Ask them for clarification — ask “why do you love me?” and “who said that?” and “why do you do it that way?” Ask about the lives of your grandparents and their parents and their parents. Ask about building things. Ask about how relationships are supposed to work — ask for examples. Ask about your future. Don’t feel afraid to ask because you’ll wish you would have some day. Because someday there’s not going to be anyone to ask.

Dude. You can’t pedal your bike as fast as the neighbor girl because you don’t know how to properly gear a bike. It’s gonna be harder to pedal, but then your legs aren’t gonna go a million miles an hour as you rock a whopping 3mph. Just practice, ok?

Don’t try to be like those other girls. The ones who stopped wanting to run and play in middle school. You keep on running and playing basketball and getting sweaty at recess. Talk to anybody who will talk. And never, ever tell anyone that they’re anything less than beautiful. Beauty isn’t a pair of white Adidas shoes with pink stripes. Or big boobs — or boobs at all. Beauty isn’t perfectly straight hair. It’s not tight shirts with capped sleeves. Beauty is whatever you think is interesting, important, and cool — and how you display that when you present yourself to the world.

Tell Gramma & Grampa B that I love them.