Though I wouldn’t want to change things from the past because I know every joy and pain I experienced helped me grow, there are some things I wish I could tell my younger self…
Remember that lurpy, buck-toothed, quirky, unbelievably hyper, coke bottle eyeglass wearing, full of sunshine, smart girl that always got an A on everything? You know, the one that all the “cool” kids made fun of and the teachers adored?
That was me in elementary school.
In Junior High, I became the tomboy wanna-be “rebel” girl. The one who wore lots of flannel and construction boots, loved 60 rock and seriously old-school country, played the drums and poured out her heart to her guitar. Yep, the hormonal one who desperately just wanted to blend in, but, who’s gangly body became womanly overnight. The girl who needed good friends but didn’t know where to look for them. The one who got soda pop dumped on her head while walking up the stairwell and suspended for punching a pervert in the lunchroom. You know the one.
High school came and brought a whole new crop of challenges. I was tall, blond, still quirky and hyper, and trying hard to hide that I really was smart (well, except in math… oopsies). I had lots of friends in lots of circles, but didn’t let anyone close. A cheerleader at a school where cheerleaders weren’t “cool”, a Mormon Bishop’s daughter, a tomboy wanting to be pretty but not knowing where to look for true beauty. The one that loved poetry, wrote song lyrics, spent hours in the mountains with her brothers because that’s where she felt safe. The girl who let others push her around, who listened to what the stupid boys said, who didn’t have a clue who she was or even who she WANTED to be. The one who spent many Saturday nights still pouring out her heart to her guitar, hoping that it would be her ticket out. The girl who wanted to desperately wanted to sing in the choir, but was told her voice just couldn’t cut it. The girl who tried to control her world with food and exercise. The one who counted down the days until graduation and ran like hell when the final bell rang. You know the one… the girl who on the outside looked like she had it together but on the inside was trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered little soul.
It wasn’t until after a very destructive relationship, a battle with an eating disorder, moving far from home, dating “lost boys”, meeting some nice ones but not being ready for them, lots of tears, growth, more time in the mountains, still not fitting in, lots of love from my family, learning from truly beautiful girls, living, growing up, lots of laughter, dating more fixer uppers, driving a little red pickup truck, dreaming, 4 different majors, spending time petrified on a stage, having the most loving Bishop, and some very callused guitar fingers, that I finally realized my potential.
Yes, I totally understand that all those years weren’t wasted. My spirit was stretched, refined, and molded into who my Savior knew I could be. And, yes, I do know that I still have a long way to go. Even though I know all that, I still wish that my younger me would have known that she had much more power than she gave herself credit for. She was created for greater things than she could have ever imagined. I wish she would have seen that the mean people in life are just that, mean. They only have power if you give it to them. I would tell her that one day she’d marry the most funny, loving, happy, wonderful MAN she’ll ever know. That one day she would have 4 crazy children, who would love her more than life itself. (I pray that they learn faster than I did.) Little Missy, life is what you make it and it can be good!
But most of all, I would tell her not to waste all those years trying to fit in…
because she was meant to stand out.
If only I had found this SONG all those years ago when my closest friend had 6 strings.