Monday, December 23, 2013

Published 8:44 AM by with 2 comments

Letter to My Past, and December Projects Day #23

Prompt for day #23: childhood memories


IF YOU KNEW ME WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN OR YOUNGER, READ THIS:

Dear fellow home-schooler or parent of home-schooler,

I was a weird combination of super shy and super wild. If you looked at me during a conversation, I'd clam up. But send me out into an ultimate frisbee or soccer game, and I'd turn into a crazy whirlwind. I'm sorry for being annoying both ways. But I'm glad that you didn't judge me too harshly, because I have a lot of wonderful memories with everyone in Idaho, going on field trips, nature hikes, camping, park days, and play dates, besides all the supplemental classes I took. Oh, and ignore my terrible sense of fashion. I had an obsession with Little House on the Prairie for a while, so long dresses were in vogue (in my mind) until I was about fifteen. Unless, of course, I was pretending to be an elf, or a Redwall warrior, or a magician. Much gratefulness goes out to everyone for not squashing my spirit. I would have been bullied if I'd gone to school, probably. But instead I remember having an awesome childhood, with a group of friends who would climb trees with me and imagine that our bikes were horses.

Love,

The Girl Who Had Her Head in the Clouds


IF YOU KNEW ME WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN, READ THIS:

Dear college students or youth group friends,

You really helped me mature during these years. Going to college early was a big leap, but I'm so glad that I did. I was able to solidify my desire to be a musician, study what I loved, and gain some more confidence in who I hoped to be. Attending a youth group helped bring me out of my shell. I also realized that I was pretty weird, which was both good and bad, so this was a pretty formative time. Thank you for not making me feel like an outsider. Or a freak.

Love,

The Girl Who Was Discovering


IF YOU KNEW ME WHEN I WAS EIGHTEEN OR NINETEEN, READ THIS:

Dear University folks and friends and church,

I was still fairly immature when I moved from Idaho to Missouri. Mostly I was torn up because my parents had just separated. I'm honestly not sure how I made it through the first year of university. I dropped below a hundred pounds, barely ate, worked like a madwoman to get A's, tried to practice my guitar night and day, and had to adjust to living on my own halfway across the U.S. from my family. It was a hard time; I made some poor choices. I'm sorry if you were on the receiving end of those choices. I found that (naturally) we change whether we like it or not: what matters is HOW we change. And I unfortunately got a little more cynical, bitter, and headstrong. I'm sorry. Keeping my head above the water was the goal, but I wish I had been more open to positive change. Thank you to everyone who helped hold me up!

Love,

The Girl Who Stumbled


IF YOU KNEW ME WHEN I WAS FINISHING UP COLLEGE, READ THIS:

Dear everyone,

Halfway through my time at the University, I changed my life path. Instead of being a performer, I realized that I was being called to be a teacher, instead of just using teaching as a part-time job that would get me through college before I moved on to grad school or the world of competitions. Part of it was that I felt led to work with children. Part of it was that I don't have the razor-sharp determination that it takes to make it in the competitive zone. But it took a lot of angst before I was able to make this decision.

I still made some really stupid choices that broke friendships. You'd think I'd have learned after the mistakes of the past few years, but I didn't. Also, I thought way too much of myself. So if you thought that something I said or did was arrogant, it probably was. I apologize.

A big thank you goes to my church friends. I was THIS close to swearing off established religion forever, due to a lot of hurtful circumstances with other churches in the past, but ya'll came along and proved that the church is a place where messed-up people can come to find real Grace. You didn't reject me because God didn't reject me.

I really did enjoy much of this time working towards the guitar performance degree. Memories of late night conversations, reading books aloud to a circle of friends curled up with tea, playing our music for each other, dinner parties where we would experiment with new recipes like roast duck, expeditions all over St. Louis, study sessions for exams while watching football, walks in the nearby park... there are many lovely memories. There were just a lot of my own personal issues as well that needed to be solved or resolved during this time.

I'd like to think that I came out of the university as a stronger, more secure individual, who learned from her mistakes and was intent on growing into a better person, one who can let go of anger, embrace forgiveness, and look with hope to the future. I couldn't have done it without the support from my family and the friends who stuck by me. And over the years, you have all helped me in more ways that you can imagine. I am full of gratitude.

Love,

The Girl Who Grew


Girls Can Be Wise Men, Too



      edit

2 comments:

mountain girl said...

So beautiful and insightful. Knowing yourself and your milestones of growth is such a big part of maturity and change. Thanks for this window into your past!

Lyssa said...

Thank YOU for your kind words! It's been helpful for my growing process to learn how to deal with my past, and writing letters is a great beginning.