Friday, March 1, 2013

A letter to my 15-year old self

During a recent trip to the book store, I found myself flipping through the pages of a hard cover  collection of letters by celebrities to their 15-year old selves.  Since then, I have often wondered what I would tell my 15-year old self.

I look at my own old daughter Melissa, well into her 15th year, and I see a young lady full of life and spirit.  Most evenings, when home work is complete, she'll sit on the couch and pick up her guitar and start strumming away, sometimes adding her sweet vocals to the mix.

My 15-year old self longed to be so much like the 15-year old young lady at marvel at now.  I longed to step into the spotlight and mesmerize audiences with my amazing talent.....but alas, my lack of said talent, along with an inability to sing on key, kept that dream at bay.  Instead, God blessed my beautiful girl with that ability.  Perhaps he just wanted to save it for the next generation, or perhaps the blessing is that I can now revel in my daughter's gifts from the perspective of a mother, and know that those gifts are also my own.

So as I watch my own daughter evolve into such a remarkable young woman, I try to remember how I perceived the world when I turned 15.  Shy, insecure, with a stream of never-ending crushes on boys whose names I no longer remember.  So full of wonder for my future.  Would I ever feel pretty, thin, or at least comfortable in my own body?  Would I ever find someone who would love me?  Would I ever experience the joy of becoming a mother?  Would I use my love of writing in a way where I actually might make money?   Would I go to college?  Make new friends?  Travel?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES.  However, I would not reveal that to my 15-year old self, for I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, or run the risk that my words of comfort could cause actions that would change my future and the place of contentment and happiness that defines my world now.

So, to my 15-year old self, I write the following words.

Dear 15-year old Lisa,

You will experience joy and endless laughter.  You will find friendships so strong their bonds are unbreakable.  You will discover the love of a man only found in fairy tales.  You will also learn that, at times, life may throw challenges at you.  Tears and heartache will fill your heart...but it will pass, and you'll be better and stronger for it.  

Quite simply, please Lisa, just follow your heart and I promise, everything will be ok.

With love,
Your 47-year old self


And to my own daughter, who, despite her active life full of music, friends, laughter, and love, still asks herself some of the same questions that once plagued her mother, I write the following words.

Dear Melissa, 

I lack the ability to gaze into a crystal ball and reveal what awaits you in the years to come.  But I can say with near certainty, my words of wisdom to my 15-year old self are the same words I will share with you.  

Quite simply, my dear sweet girl, just follow your heart and I promise, everything will be ok.

With love, 
Your mommy



Mother and daughter bonding during a recent trip to Disney!


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18 comments:

  1. I have no idea what I'd tell the 15 year old me. I'd have to think about it. But, what you said would be good for all of us! Maybe I'll just use yours. ;)

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    1. Feel free to borrow any part of mine Michelle!! Thanks so much!! Lisa

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  2. I love this. I love that you said, "You will also learn that, at times, life may throw challenges at you. Tears and heartache will fill your heart...but it will pass, and you'll be better and stronger for it."

    Storms do pass, and we do face many challenges. But it's awesome to read that you have found such happiness, and I think this speaks to the 15 year old in all of us! Thanks for sharing ...

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    1. I think it's good to know that life won't always be a picnic, but that things do turn out ok! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments!! Lisa

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  3. OHHHHH how sweet! My son is 15 and I think a letter to him might just improve his dubious outlook on high school. Happy to meet another 47 (well, as of 3/11) year old blogger :) Yippee for us wisened ones :)

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    1. Yes but in April I add another digit - 48 - yikes! I don't feel that old! But it's nice to meet another mom of a 15-year old. It's hard for them to see their world beyond the walls of high school - but an exciting world awaits them. Tell your son, like I told my daughter, everything will be just fine!

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  4. Beautiful letter! I also wished as a young girl to play the piano but it never happened so I hope my children will play an instrument later on in life!

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    1. My husband played the guitar as a teen, so when my daughter expressed an interest in music, he dusted the cobwebs off the guitar and gave it to her, and she was hooked! Now she plays better than he plays!! Thanks so much for your comments!

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  5. This post is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. I would have loved to read what I would have written at 15 to myself. I do know that at the age of 19, I found out that I was pregnant; instead, of going off to college like I expected to happen. I don't regret my choice's but they are far different from what I thought would happen when I was younger and envisioning the dreams of my life. :)

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    1. Life tends to throw unexpected curves at us! There are so many things that have happened in my life that I never would have planned or expected, but made me a better person! I am so glad that you have no regrets with your choices and that you are happy!

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  7. Such lovely letters you wrote! Maybe I should start writing one for my son, too. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! When my daughter was a baby I wrote her letters all of the time, but then as she grew older, I stopped. At least now I have my blog to chronicle her high school years!

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  8. You gave me something to think about. When parenting I try to remember what I was like and what I was thinking when I was that age. The conversations always seem to go smoother!

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    1. It is really hard to remember what it was like that long ago! I think I tend to be naive sometimes. But I try to be sensitive to my daughter's feelings - knowing that I was once in her shoes. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Lisa

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