To My 11-Year-Old Self

[ This post is a little different than what I normally go for. I feel that I typically attempt to stay light hearted and happy on my blog. I will occasionally rant about work or something, but for the most part I just haven't been able to bring myself to get a little personal. I think it's time to change that. It's time to be honest and reflect on my life...both the good and the bad, because ultimately, they both made me who I am today.
My good friend Hannah posted something like what I'm about to do on her blog yesterday. (Make sure to go check her blog out!) When I was reading hers I found myself getting a little emotional because it was just such a personal reflection, and it also made me begin to think about my past. I immediately wanted to do a similar post. So, here it is. I'm not going to hold back, and for once, I'm not going to be ashamed of some of the things in my life. ]
Dear 6th grade Miranda,
It has been a while. But at the same time, it seems like I was in your shoes just yesterday. You're 11 years old and in your first year of middle school. You are shy and insecure, and you feel like there really isn't very much about you that is special. Middle school, especially the beginning of middle school is proving to be tough, and it feels like it will never end. Don't worry though...it does indeed end. More quickly than you think, and on a much more positive note than it began.
I can still see you sitting quietly in your desk, being the "smart girl" and doing your work while everyone around you talks and jokes. You're chubby, your acne is in full swing, and you have a country bumpkin gap between your front teeth that is large enough to stick your tongue in sideways. Your hair is fluffy, and looks funny because the top half is an awkward length. The previous year you had suffered from an obsessive compulsive disorder that caused you to subconsciously pull your hair out, and it's still growing back. Don't worry, it all comes back, and you will eventually have hair that receives lots of compliments. Your acne will clear up, and braces will fix your teeth. Keep your chin up, everyone has their awkward phase.
Middle school will be trying, but looking back now, I'm pretty sure that's what the point of middle school is. You will have first fights with your friends. You will even lose some friends, but you will gain new ones. You will try out for volleyball twice, and you won't make it. That's okay though, because you will still play soccer and volleyball outside of school . You will become quite the drama club geek and love it. You will sing in talent shows and act in three different plays. Your love for the arts will develop, and drama club will account for some of your best middle school memories.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade you will grow tired of being chubby, and you will starve yourself and lose 30 pounds in just a few weeks. It's not healthy and you know it, but you don't really care because you are getting so much positive feedback. You will eventually begin eating normally again and gain a lot of it back, but it's okay. You're going to be healthy and active, and that's much more important than being "skinny."
You will have your first "boyfriend" in the 8th grade. You will "go out" for almost an entire month, and spend hours talking and laughing on the phone. He will break your little heart and end things with you through a letter, and you will spend a night in your bed crying. It will feel like the end of the world, but the next day your mom will take you to dinner and a movie and you will forget all about being upset. Plus, you will remain good friends with the guy and watch him grow into a fine, successful man. Trust me, he wasn't the one anyway. ;)
High school will come around, and you will be so much more mature than you are now...or at least you will think you're more mature. The most important moment of your life is going to happen in 9th grade. You're going to start going to church and youth group with friends, and you're going to meet Jesus Christ. He is going to save your soul, and make you realize that life is so much more than you ever thought it could be. You will go on mission trips, and rock out at Christian concerts. You will begin striving to live a life for God.
Through church, you're also going to meet another boy. You will think he is the most adorable thing since Justin Timberlake. You will date him for over two years, and you guys will be the couple that makes parents change their minds about high school relationships being meaningless. He's going to be a perfect gentleman, and he will give you your first kiss at the top of a ferris wheel. Your parents will love him, he will become a major part of your life, and then he's going to break up with you and you will feel like you will never smile again. You won't eat or sleep for a week, and it will take you forever to get over him. Again though, he wasn't the one. I promise. You will eventually be friends again, and you will see him grow into a perfect gentleman...just for someone else.
You will become a member of the colorguard/winterguard in high school, and it will be one of the most important things in your life during high school and your first year of college. Performing will bring you out of your shell, and you will have lots of opportunities to be creative, and travel to competitions. Your freshman year of college, you will even compete in the world championships with your independent guard. You will try your hand at instructing for a while, but eventually life will get in the way and it won't be able to be a priority anymore. You will still miss it everyday, but sometimes things just have to be let go.
High school in general will be jam packed with the best memories and friends that a girl could ever ask for. I'm telling you, you won't believe how blessed you will be by the time graduation rolls around. Just make sure you savor every second of it, because it will be something you wish you could go back to when it's too late.
Your first couple of years of college will be confusing...to say the least. You won't know where you want to go or what you want to do, so you will get an AA degree at a community college close to home. You will work part-time jobs that you hate, but in the end you will be thankful for the experience. Those couple of years are going to seem like a major fail in your life, but just remember that it's impossible to fail if you're trying.
There's also another guy in your life, one that you've been dating since your senior year of high school. He's a year older than you, and very talented in his life's calling. He's an all around good guy, and he's going to be crazy about you. You will date for more than four years, and somewhere along the way things aren't going to seem right anymore. He's going to ask you to marry him, and you're going to break his heart. You will feel like the worst person on the planet, and you will wonder if you will ever be forgiven. I have to tell you, please don't beat yourself up over this. You have to remember, it's okay to change things for the betterment of yourself...even if it involves a really tough decision. God will always tell you when something isn't right, and situations will always improve in the end.
When you're 20 years old, you will move to Tallahassee to begin your junior year of college at The Florida State University. That first year is going to be really difficult. You will be in a new place, you won't really know anyone, and you will work a job that makes you crazy. You're going to stay really stressed out, and even contemplate moving back home. But you won't, because you're stronger than that. You're stronger than you give yourself credit for. Always keep that it mind. Things will change dramatically in your senior year. You will get a better job. You will rush a Christian sorority and meet a ton of new friends. You will grow to absolutely love FSU, and Tallahassee in general.
Your senior year won't be all smiles though. Your Grandpa will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and his battle will only last a few months before he passes away. Your family is going to suffer, and you're going to hate being in a different city while having to deal with it. No one in your family has ever died before this point, so your world is going to fall apart a little. It will be the most difficult months of your life, and it will take a long time to come to terms with what happened. You will still cry every time you think a lot about your Grandpa, but that in itself is a blessing, because it proves that he was a great influence in your life.
Life will continue to roll on, and everything will continue to change. You will graduate from FSU, get a full time job in Tallahassee, and begin your adult life there. I see that doubtful look on your face...you're going to be successful, I promise. You're even going to meet another guy, a highly successful young man. He's going to be a perfect God-loving gentleman, and you're going to feel like he has to be in your life. You will be friends for a long time first, but you will eventually become much more. He's going to make you smile more than you've ever smiled in your life, and you're going to realize why it never worked out with anyone else. You're going to need him, and he's going to need you. You will know the relationship is going to be nothing less of a God send.
I don't want to lead you to believe that life is going to turn out perfectly, because if you learn anything in the next 12 years it will be the exact opposite. Even at the age of 23, you will wonder where life is going to lead you next. You are very impatient, and I can tell you from experience that that isn't something that will change! :p I can't tell you the secret to life, because I have come to realize that there is no such thing. Life isn't a problem you can solve...it's one that you have to take step by step. It's a journey that can only be taken day by day. You have to learn to love and appreciate the good, but you also have to learn to cherish the bad, because without it, how would you even know the difference between the two?
Stay true to your family...love your friends. Live an active, fun-filled life. Live a life that will be pleasing to God. Don't ever let yourself be miserable because you're too afraid of what you have to go through in order to become happy. Travel, read books, and suck up every opportunity that comes your way. You really are so much more than you think you are. Please remember that.
Your 23-Year-Old Self

Vicky Hunt said...

You know you made your mama cry. I love you oh so much and couldn't be more proud of you. From 11 to 23, everything before and in between, I have always loved you. Forever, Mama

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