What if you could write a letter to your younger self? What would you say? Would it be witty, wise, or warning? I am unabashedly stealing this idea from Angela at Becoming Me...but she encouraged us to join in so I guess it isn't really stealing, right? Just want to be clear that it isn't my original idea. Like Angela, I'm going to start at age 15, there was so much I needed to know then. So, if I could write a letter...
Dear 15 year old Loretta,
This is your older, hopefully wiser self speaking. Creepy? Yeah, a little, but listen up because this is important.
First of all, embrace your name. It isn't going to change, you will always and forever be Loretta, just go with it. It can either be an old lady name or the name of a unique, creative young woman...you get to choose. Try not to wait another 25 years to come to terms with it.
There is so much I could say to you, but it really boils down to one thing. Appearances aren't everything. Your status and what others say about you aren't everything. I know you are trying to make up for a lot of hurts, a lot of insults and teasing, but you aren't going to get over it until you realize that they were wrong. One day you will begin to see yourself as Christ's beautiful bride and you WILL realize that in the face of that all of the old hurts begin to slowly fall away. Until that day comes, hang in there.
Listen to your mother when she says that clothes aren't everything, that anyone who judges you based on what you wear is not worth your time. No, she shouldn't have brought home that awful peach polyester shirt and expected you just to like it; she had some learning to do about letting you express your individuality, as well as learning that peach is really, really not your color at all. But you could have handled that discussion better, and she was right. You may find it hard to believe, but 25 years from now you will have realized that it is more important to be yourself than it is to follow the crowd, and yes, you will actually begin to embrace shopping in thrift shops and consignment stores. No really, it's true. Trust me, I'm sitting here in awesome jeans and shirt, both from a thrift store and loving it.
Be yourself. Let others see the zany side that peeks out from behind your quiet, introspective front a little more often. Don't wait until your senior year to do it.
It will seem like the end of the world every time you don't get the lead or sometimes even a part in the school plays. Try not to cry too many tears over it. You will eventually realize that you were never born to be a leading lady, but you will make one heck of a director and stage manager. (And that persistance that kept you trying out every single time? That's a good trait, embrace it. It will pay off when it comes to getting into concert choir...trust me on this.)
Learn this lesson now; revenge and holding grudges are weapons that cut those who wield them, sometimes worse than the ones you use them on. Let it go.
Open your heart and let people in.
Don't get that spiral perm.
Don't let others steal your dreams.
The Color Purple is not a good movie to go see by yourself on the day your little brother comes home from soccer practice to tell you that the first guy ever to ask you out has changed his mind.
Faith is not a set of rules.
You have more strength in you than you realize.
Oh, and all that daydreaming you do? There's a bigger plan behind that, one that goes beyond just trying to escape from where you are. You'll figure it out one day, trust me!
With love, your older self.