Dear 15 Year Old Me

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Coinciding with my birthday post, I was really happy to see that Heart to Heart gave me this excellent tag. Tags like this make great writing prompts.

Rules:

•  Post the tag and image above.
•  Mention the creators of the tag and link back to their blog.
This tag was created by Everyday Magic With Jubilee and Mom Life With Chiari. You can click on the highlighted names to check out more inspirational posts from their blogs. Make sure to tag them in your post so that they can read your letters of encouragement.
•  Thank whoever nominated you and link back to their blog.
•  Nominate 5 other bloggers that you love and notify them by commenting on their latest blog post (I’m a bit of a rule-breaker here. I’d love to hear what your answers are, but I also don’t want to pressure anyone)

Often times we may wish that we could go back in time and give our former selves advice and words of wisdom. If you could go back in time, what would advice or encouragement would you give to yourself?

Dear 15 year old me,

1. Don’t be hard on yourself because …

you belong somewhere else.

It’s Saturday afternoon. Most of the people I know are drinking at a bonfire at the lake. I’m not invited but it’s OK. I’m in my room. Depeche Mode is playing. (“WHAT’S THAT STUPID NOISE?!?!” a classmate asked the last time I played it on the bus).

Sometimes reactions are like that but mostly I’m invisible. The talk that most have of sports, last weekend’s party, and who’s got the fastest car really doesn’t interest me. I prefer playing in the town band – and even a local jazz ensemble to those talks. I would prefer to read a book to going to a party. And while I think cars are cool, I’m not old enough to drive alone just yet. I’m still content with my bicycle, and my two feet will take me surprisingly long distances if needed.

2. The relationship you’re in ….

Does not exist and you won’t have a serious relationship for another 6 years! But take heart, that one will be amazing and continue to this day. It will be so good it will inspire people to make an animation of it over 25 years later!

3. You will get through this because …

You like your own company and are good at being alone. The few friends you have and their families are really good. You’ll be friends with them for life.

I hear my parents voices getting louder. They tend to not know how loud they’re being when they drink – which pretty much starts whenever they wake up. I turn up “Master and Servant” and it mostly drowns them out as I read my book.

Eventually, though, they are actually yelling at each other. It starts every day when there is only one beer left in the fridge and they’ve had so much to drink that they’ve both lost count and nobody knows who is entitled to it. Time to go.

I put on my sneakers, ask Cindy the dog if she wants to go for a walk. Of course she does. She’s at the door like a shot. As I walk through the kitchen, my parents’ argument has escalated to each insulting the other’s mother. It’s OK, though, they’ll be asleep by the time I get back.

I walk up the dirt road until I get to an even smaller road leading in to the forest. This one is so rarely travelled that there’s tall grass growing up the middle of it. It leads deep in to the forest, parallel to a small stream. I continue to where the road turns left, back toward another well-travelled road. Instead, I hop across the stream on rocks and just start following the stream itself.  Cindy just splashes through. As I follow the stream she runs ahead, crashing through the brush, then turning back every now and again to make sure I’m still there.

I’m now not only away from my parents’ arguing, I’m so far from everything that I can’t hear even the rare traffic that passes on the nearest road. That road is probably a good fifteen minutes walk from me. The only sensory input I have is the sound of wind in the trees, the occasional bird, and the babbling brook which is getting quieter as I walk upstream. Before I go home today I will find where this stream starts, coming from a spring up out of the ground. It is a beautiful, sunny day and the air smells of water and moss. Things might be difficult at home. I may not exactly fit in in school and even my best friends don’t know what’s happening at home. But it doesn’t matter. I have a place.

4. Don’t get caught up in thinking …

too much about yourself.

There’s a lot happening in my life that many would look at and think “This is so sad.” My parents both drink a ton and are drunk more often than they are sober. I have maybe 2-3 friends in the whole town and am effectively invisible to everyone else. If I think about it, especially if I put on some of the classic music from my teenage years best suited for navel gazing ,  I can work myself in to a good amount of self pity. But when I focus on what is actually happening – playing in the band and hanging out with a friend, exploring the woods with my dog, I can see that life is actually pretty good.

5. These experiences will help you learn …

who you are.

When I was 15 I became more and more solid in who I was. I watched my preferences develop and diverge from those of my family and others around me. I knew where I did and didn’t fit in – and I was OK with that. I was confident I would find my people someday – and I did.  Being able to embrace who I am and be the person I want to be has been the source of much of my happiness throughout life.

13 thoughts on “Dear 15 Year Old Me

  1. Oh my! You are a living example of God is in the details! All your posts have so much of depth n details in it… you seem to have faced some real battles and emerged strong! Your experiences can be an inspiration to others reading… Thus the goal of such challenges is achieved! Best wishes always … n ThankU 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It’s always motivating to hear such kind feedback. All the more motivating to read that magic word: “inspiration” from a reader. Above all, that is my goal as a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I never went out late at night either before I had a license. After that I was pretty much allowed to if I wanted to. Fortunately my parents both started early. They were rarely up later than 10-11 at night so I usually managed to get uninterrupted sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting post. A sneak peek into what shaped you to be YOU. Enjoyed it. That video of you and Sage seems very interesting but the audio driver of my laptop conked off so i will listen to it another time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! That year and 16 were a big, changeful year for me as was 21. All of those brought me closer to the person I am today. The further back I look, though, the less it feels like me. Fifteen is really where it feels like the same self making the decisions today is making them if that makes sense… (I haven’t had my coffee yet so I’m a little less articulate than I’d like 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

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