Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I Think About--Advice Someone Should Have Told Me

I’m pretty sure that everyone has issues with themselves.  I even wrote about it in my post about keeping it real.  Anyhow, I was on THINGS I CAN’T SAY and Shell wrote a letter to her twelve-year-old self-explaining what she wishes someone would have told her.  I love this idea and decided to give it a shot!  I later discovered this was an idea that Pink Moss created and she is turning the whole idea into a blog (and maybe a book).

Here’s my take.

Dear Reagan (age 12),

Put down the book.  I know you can hear me.  I know you can multi-task.  I know you love to read.  Put down the book and listen.  I want your full attention (and get used to hearing this because your future husband will say it. A LOT).

Listen to me.  For once, don’t learn by disaster! 

Never, I repeat NEVER let Randean do your hair for school picture day.  If you do she will make you look like a horned dinosaur.  And mom is going to make you wear a multi-colored cardigan with a cheerleading bear on it.  This combination will result in a hideous school picture of epic proportions.  If the photo disaster happens, resolutely refuse to get photo re-takes and let the picture be a living reminder about how cruelly you were treated.  Will you be totally embarrassed about the awful photo?  Sure.  Will you giggle on the inside when you tell the person looking at the photo about how awful your sister was to you?  Yep.

Do not use Lip Smackers chapstick.  Your freshman year your lips will suddenly become allergic to the acid in it and you will end up looking like the Joker.  And then you’ll have to walk around putting Aquaphore on your lips and people will joke that it is KY Jelly.  Don’t use Carmex or Blistex either.  Find a natural water based chapstick and go with it.

Wear your glasses and do your eye exercises.  Keep the glasses-free dream alive.  One day you won’t need corrective lenses (because they’ll be an eye surgery for you).  P.S.  Get the eye surgery no matter what Kathy Griffith thinks.

You’re gonna buy some black slouchy knee high boots in Canada.  Keep them.  In fact, keep the silver sandals you bought for prom too.  The trend is coming back and you’ll wish you still had them.

You are not athletic or a team player.  It’s cool.  I mean kids at school will think you are a total loser because of your general lack of athletic know-how but one day you’ll totally rock at rock climbing and road biking and running.  So you can’t play volleyball—there are worse things in life.  Maybe not at 12 but at 30+ish, you won’t give a dang whether or not you were on the team. 

What the kids at school think about you doesn’t matter.  I know it feels like it does now but it doesn’t.  Long after you graduate when you’ve forgotten them and they’ve forgotten you, you will still be in contact with your closest friends.  Those relationships matter; cultivate them. 

And by the way, you’ll be smokin’ hot for your 10 year reunion and so will your hubby.  (In fact, hubby will have been on the “must date list” for one former schoolmate.  He never gave her the time of day.  She’ll pretend she doesn’t recognize him at the reunion but you’ll know the truth.  And it’s kinda worth it—though there’s no use being spiteful.)

Be in a school play.  You’re gonna be awful but do it.   Sometimes you have to learn who you are not in order to become who you are. You are not a good actress but at least you’ll know that from experience.

Do not go to prom.

Be prepared for Cubby to die.  Don’t force her to live in pain longer than necessary to ease your own hurt feelings.  The cat you get after Cubby is going to be a royal pain in the rear.  She’ll bite your friends, torture and terrify Ami and will be hated by your husband.  Get her anyway.

When you turn 16 do NOT give your drunk friends a ride in dad’s green truck. They’ll puke everywhere and you’ll have to clean it up.  Dad will never let you forget it.

Skip going to see a Goofy Movie. If you don’t skip the movie, get a motel room to avoid driving in bad weather.  Do NOT let Bethy ride in the back of the car. Have your parents drive you to wrestling state.   I'll be honest, you’re gonna be in at least ten car accidents.  Be prepared and wear your seatbelt.

Now really listen to me here.  The summer of 1996 will be a blast but when you break up with the guy
you are dating—stay broken up.  If you don’t stay broken up then please, I beg you, on July 4th get into the suburban with your dad and don’t look back.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?  Get. Into. The. Suburban!

Wear sunscreen. In about 10 years a song is going to come out and it will make you laugh at the irony of this advice but heed it anyway. When you are 30 and don't have crow's feet and your skin looks 20, you'll be glad you listened. 

Mom and dad do not have a secret stash of college money anywhere.  Study hard because you’re gonna need scholarships.  And when that teacher tells you that you aren’t “college material” fill out applications by yourself.  One day you will get your Ed. D. and you should consider inviting said teacher to your graduation.  Maybe not.

Mom is going to get really sick.  There is evidence of her disease now that you aren’t recognizing (like how it takes her 4 hours to give you a 15 minute lecture).  Don’t do or say anything to her that you’ll regret.  One day your relationship with her will change and you’ll wish you were better to her. Take my advice and be good now.

You’ll have to work jobs where you serve your peers (and handle raw chicken—ewww!).  You’ll live in a trailer and drive junky cars.  This builds your character and humility.  One day you’ll appreciate the experience of not being handed everything.

You hate Randean but this will not always be the case.  Mend bridges now.  It’s worth it, I promise.  Don’t be too ticked about her pink mustang.  It blows up.

You will be involved in a massive food fight.  Roll with it.  It will be one of your fondest memories.

Have fun in college but do not compulsively honk car horns at Megan’s house or bad things will happen.  Be Dave’s designated driver when he goes to a party at the end of the fall semester.  And when the guy wearing a cross comes up to you, be your charming self.  He’s God’s provision for you.  Treat him as such.

Your marriage will not be perfect.  Your husband will say and do stupid things.  You will be hurtful.  You will feel like roommates---you will feel like enemies.  You will blame him for things that aren’t his fault.  He will make you apologize.  Listen to him.  Follow him.  Lovingly submit to him.  You’ll never be more grateful if you follow this advice.

It’s gonna be hard to love a few of your in-laws.  Love them anyway.  They may never like or love you.  Love them anyway.

Be there for Kim because she’s gonna need it.  She’ll be there for you.  Again and again and again.

Don’t let Josh take Griffon for the night.

The move to Cheyenne will be worth it.  Linda will not be a good neighbor but be a good neighbor to her--even when you don’t want to be--even after she’s done being your neighbor.

The doctors are wrong.  You will have children.  When you are in your twenties you’ll have a dream that you have four babies and you will.  Only two will live.  Your relationship with God will sustain you—even through this.

Don’t be afraid to fail.  Apply for school and jobs and volunteer.  Do not be afraid to fail.

Look in the mirror.  You look awkward and gawky and greasy.  Everyone feels that way at this age. You will grow into your nose. You might not ever like it, but you’ll grow into it. Remember that you are the daughter of the King and the King delights in your beauty (and so will your husband).  There are some photos of you in your early 20s that you’re going to want to keep. Trust me, the Cat in the Hat photos will go a long way.

Finally, most importantly, find and know and follow Jesus at any and all costs.  That’s really all that matters.  Love Him and let Him love others through you.

Get into the suburban,
Reagan (30ish)

I can't tell you how therapeutic writing this mock letter was!

Want to know what I think?  I think you should do this.  If you blog, post it and send me a link.  If you don't blog, e-mail me a copy at and tell me whether or not I can publish it.

I'd really love it if you would send your own letters to Pink Moss and participate in her project.  For more information, click here.

I'm so excited to see your response to this!

(P.S.  If I had a scanner I'd share photos of my hideous 6th grade school photo and the cake fight.  Probably not the Cat in the Hat photos ... well, maybe ...).


  1. What a wonderfully written made me laugh and cry!

  2. Wow, this was great. I can imagine how therapeutic this would be, I'll have to give it a shot when I have more time to write.

    And good for you for following and trusting in God through all of your trials and heartaches. That's a hard thing to do.

    BTW- I would so love to see those photos! ;)

  3. I love your letter! Did you send it to Pink Moss? I did mine for her project that she is putting together- all these letters to our 12 year old selves.

  4. @Deb--I'd like to see what you'd write to yourself--or your daughter!

    @Amy--looking forward to reading it. Hope you find time to blog soon! As for the photos, as soon as I get a scanner!

    @Shelly--Do it!

    @Shell--No, should I?

  5. My friends! I am so excited because I think I am going to launch the new site on Mother's Day! (If I can pull it together that fast!)
    (project in my daughter's eyes)
    I think I will add letters as I get them day to day so it is an ongoing project. Thanks for helping out!!

  6. I love this idea! I'm going to have to work on it this week. I have too much to say to my 12 year old self!

  7. I thought that nothing could top your tribute to sisterhood, but I was wrong (I know, I know...). This is absolutely your best blog yet and I fully have every intention of copying your idea (shocking) and writing a letter like this for my kids. By the way, I think that I was slightly bi-polar in reading this...laughing hysterically one minute and crying the next. I am quite certain that Jeff thinks that I have issues now. ILY

  8. This is awesome. I am going to work on my letter and will post it this weekend!


{Reverse Psychology}
I DO NOT like comments. Whatever you do, don't leave me a comment about this post or your thoughts or any connections you have to what I wrote. Seriously, I don't care.
(Did that reverse psychology work???)