this week's topic : if you had five minutes and were able to travel back ten years, what would you tell yourself?
this was the hardest topic i could possibly imagine doing, because facing everything that has happened in the past ten years is extremely difficult. theoretically telling your thirteen year old self, is worse.
the second i would see her, i'd tell her to sit down & take out a pen and paper - this would be a lot of information in a short amount of time, and our memory is not the greatest. first i would start with the little things : even though braces suck, keep them. they'll be worth it. but please please please don't lose our retainer; stop picking at your face now, so that you don't keep doing it at 23; enjoy your little cousin that's on the way - she is our 'mini-me'; don't worry about the baby fat, you'll lose it in two years - but lay off the ice cream when you get older; give high school your all, because you will go to and graduate from a great university.
she would nod and write things down, but then she would impatiently say "but what about boys!?" well... that could take more than the couple minutes that we have. i would tell her the main things though - the crush you have at 15? just leave it alone because it's totally not worth it. but the boy you fall deeply in love with at seventeen? let it happen. his name is jeremy and he will be one of the most important people in your life. know that you cannot change him, but cherish the time you have with him because he will be gone before you know it. and if you ever have the urge to call and talk to him [specifically on a particular day in december], do it. i'd also tell her that she will eventually meet an amazing man who loves her, supports her and takes her as she is.
i would then tell her that, sadly, she is not living in california. yet. however, she made it out of michigan! but not that far... just to illinois - north of chicago. and no, she doesn't have a big girl job. yet. but she is searching and hoping for something perfect to fall into her lap.
the most important things i would tell her would be about her mother and her grandfather. i would explain to her that the sudden death of her grandfather would shake her and her mother's world - so she needs to spend as much time as possible with them. don't turn inward and become bitter with everyone and everything, because it does not fix anything or bring him back to life. and remember that even though she is so similar to madre and butt heads often, know that she loves you and would do anything for you.
even though i would wish for more time to talk more about everything, i would leave her with some pieces of advice. music will become your best friend. turn to it when you need guidance or relief. keep pushing and strive for bigger and better. never settle. never lose that independent stubbornness - it is what has gotten you thus far. and finally, be strong. even though the next ten years are going to be a roller coaster, you will get through them alive and well.