I found a new friend, Dena, at the Normanist Theory. (Read her. She’s in my list of blogs that I follow.) I’m borrowing her idea for this post. I was struck by her, “To my eight year-old self.” Storm is 8, so that is probably a good part of why I find this so intriguing.
Normally, I shun this line of thinking. I’m of the opinion that if you are happy where you are today, then you can’t think that you should have done anything differently. Even the smallest change in your earlier life could drastically change your present. (Think Back to the Future.) I am deliriously happy with my little life and my little family and my little house, so if pressed for an answer to, “If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?”, I’d have to say, “Not one damn thing.”
So for the purpose of this list, I’m alleging that my eight year-old self will totally ignore my current 30 year-old self. Having known myself when I was eight, this is probably true anyway.
1. In September of your ninth grade year, you’re going to find yourself at the top of a staircase holding a huge stack of Cds. Put them down and hold onto the railing.
2. You know that boy, Harrison at your school? Be nice to him. He’s going to love you.
3. Don’t follow a boy to college. Go somewhere worthy of you, and when you get there, go to class. Everyday. Rain, sleet, hangover, just go.
4. Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Tell the truth.
5. Spend more time outside. Take the books with you if you must.
6. Don’t worry about your body. Days are soon coming when you will hate it. Cry about it if you have to, but don’t worry. It all works out.
7. Ask questions. Even when it seems silly or you feel stupid.
8. You shouldn’t worry about sharks so much. Educate yourself, but don’t be afraid. I’m 30, remember? No shark attacks, yet.
9. Don’t smoke. It’s not cool. It is disgusting. And Dawn hates it.
10. Who’s Dawn? Oh. In December of 2004, you’re going to go to a Christmas party just around the corner from your house. There’s going to be a woman wearing a red scarf. Memorize her. Don’t let yourself forget anything about this night.