(To begin the format I wrote this in was different. Blogger is glitching, and messing up the layout, so bare with the format until, or if I ever fix it)
Hey 14-year-old you,
You will be 24 in almost a month. In all honesty I’m still very much like you except without the excuses I would love to have. You’ve changed though, but the core of what is driving you at the age of 15 is still going to be driving you at 24. Your want in reaching perfected individuality. There is no reason you’re like that. You’ll try to figure out some basis for why you are, but you just are, and you rightfully should embrace the pride you feel in it. You’ll do stupid things like denying that aspect of yourself, but you shouldn’t. What I said might have just surprised you? The choker wearing, arm stocking, punky, Christian metal fanatic you is probably wondering how in the world could you reject your enjoyment of your open individuality? You will though.
I had to drop my tendency for the metal, punk fashion as soon as my tenth grade year started. I haven’t wore that gear since then. I never took it back up in my spare time to wear, nor did I take it back up once I graduated. I think this was the first time an aspect of that personality left me. I drifted for a while until a new style found me called “emo”. I think you’ll enjoy the emo phase much more as you also gain senior high school responsibilities and you meet some of the most memorable, enjoyable people in this time of your life. I wish I could tell you to embrace this more. You really won’t be as sad as emo suggest you will be. I am trying to remember everything I liked about you, and everything I disliked about you. You seem to be that pivotal moment in my life when I chose the route that I did. You favorite band was Demon Hunter, you wanted to be goth so bad, but couldn’t afford it (sad faces), you were dedicated to making sure art was on your class list, you loved Emily Dickinson, and you wanted to be a music journalist. You are now probably some hybrid of creative, artsy adult, and you veer on being a lame concert attendee with a bunch of twenty year olds on a college campus one day. Don’t worry, I have cool aspects to share with you, but you’re definitely not where you thought you would be. Here are a list of things I would like to share with you, my fourteen-year-old self.
1. Getting a car is going to be one of the biggest highlights of your life along with graduating college. For some reason you don’t get excited though. You won’t realize you suppress excitement till much later. You will graduate high school, and shrug it off. You will somehow achieve the almost impossible by getting out of college with no debt, yet I don’t think I truly realize how amazing some of these feats are. There was one moment you allowed yourself to get excited about a job you thought you had though, and found you didn’t really get it. You’ll feel so stupid about celebrating something you didn’t have that the disappointment will be overshadowed.
2. Your dream of going to Toccoa Falls College was a weird one. Simple as that. Why didn’t you just go to Emmanuel College from the get go as you end up doing? If you wanted to get away from home you should have went straight to UGA. I’m now trying to get into grad school at UGA. In your first, and last years of college your life will change dramatically though into something different. You will acquire your first stalker.
No, don’t laugh. I’m serious. It gets scary.
3. You enjoy your ability to be feminine. I know you’re resisting this aspect of you right now. You don’t want to be girly, or whatever. One day you will love dressing up, and wearing bows. You will also realize at the age of 22 that you are physically attractive. You will find yourself in a battle of what to do with this from that moment on. You’re probably convulsing in disgust as you read this right now.
4. You will sign up for Facebook in 2007. You will regret signing up for Facebook in 2012.
5.Your faith will change when you are twenty years old. You will still have faith, but you will lose the way you feel it now. Thankfully, your ability to believe in Christ never disappears. It’s questioned, it’s scrutinized, you threaten to leave it, and you even try to erase it for a while. You will find your way back to it though. Ravi Zacharias will become one of your regular listens. You spent many days listening to him in your search to feel your faith again. The biggest lesson from this is that when you pray lay it all out. Emotions, thoughts, pain, joy, and everything else. I admire my twenty-year-old self for surviving that time in my life. My faith in Christ is much more complex, and real because of it.
6. You adore Ireland at this time in your life. You will take a French class in the 11th grade, and slowly fall in love with France. Your fascination will further grow with the movie, Midnight In Paris. The sites, the scenery, the culture, the art, and your want to be there will deepen to where you think about it often. You will eventually want to study there. I wish you had studied French so much harder than you did so you could have really spoken the language. You also really enjoy music from France, but can’t understand it. I’m sure your metal driven ears shriveled at this.
7. There will be a guy you meet in the 11th grade you treat really awful. You will think life is paying you back for years down the line until you have your first perhaps real boyfriend at the age 21. Then another odd thing will happen to you. 3 guys in a year’s time at different times will tell you that they love you. This will leave you confused about yourself, and shape who you are more than you care for it to. Without further delving into it you will be shocked as who you are now in contrast to what you do through this phase in your life. Don’t worry, it’s nothing terrible to dread, just not what you envisioned.
8. You won’t embrace the community, and friendship that you had the chance to while in high school, and college, and you will regret it. The few experiences that you allowed yourself to trust, and enjoy people are some of the best moments of your life, so be thankful you’ll have those to treasure. It’s not a lost cause though as I believe I still have the ability to fix this.
9. Good news! You still like strumming that guitar, and you have a much better one now. Sadly, the angst ridden songs are all gone though. You’ve matured, and when I write songs again they will be more mature also. You’re better at it though.
10. Right now, you’re a recluse. Way more than at any other point of my life. Your middle school years were dark, and they kick started that phase of goth fascination. It’s okay. Do it proudly. You’re hurt, and that doesn’t go away. It just changes, and is manifested into different things. You despise your parents right now, and you will still have your falling outs with them, but one day you’re going to realize they are there no matter what. Even when you’ve lashed out in the worst of ways.
11. You seem to have a passion for helping females, and I wish you would have realized that sooner than later. I’m a strong personality. I have my weak moments, but I’m not a victim, and never will be. Playing victim is a waste, and I’ve always wanted to channel this into helping other women. In the 12th grade you will motivate a few girls and the idea will be birthed. When you realize how protective you are of other females you feel further enlightened by how much you want to be a support for them. You will better understand how fragile, erratic, gentle, emotional, and passionate females can be. You’ll feel a strong urge to empower other females to be not as men are, but to be the best at what they are as females. You will struggle to fully love being a female yourself, but you will learn to, and continue to find the beauty in it.
12. Lastly, this list went on so much longer than I expected it to. I can’t change what will become of my fourteen year old self in ten years, but I can reflect, and know that even if it doesn’t feel like it I’ve come along way. I often have said I wish I could redo my high school years, but I refuse to think that now. It is what it is. I’ve made much worst decisions than I could write here, and I’ve had some of the best moments of my life, which I could never share here. Draw encouragement from your imagination, and feel proud of your quirkiness. You will have some great opportunities, and your wish of being a music journalist isn’t dead. You interned at a newspaper, and you made your own music magazine. It’s a slow process, but you’ve always preserved even when you least wanted to. Sincerely, Your 24-year-old self.