First, girl–you totally need to learn to relax. You take everything so seriously! That stress you let build about every little thing in your life, especially all that worrying about what people think about you? It’s gonna put you in the ER when you’re 25. So, please! Start believing now that your worth is not based on how you perform and what you produce, but on Whose you are.
Ok, got that off my chest. Now, to what makes you happy–those dreams to write a book someday? Hang on to them. You may want to let go of the idea they’re gonna be a memoir and begin to wrap your mind around becoming a cookbook author. I know it’s a stretch. But a cookbook is a great start, and you’re gonna learn so much in the process. Set the memoir on the back burner. Memoirs are for people who’ve matured a bit. Which you have not.
Which reminds me–you’re a late bloomer. I’m just warning you, you may think you’re something special finally wearing your first bra at 14, but it’s gonna be THREE MORE YEARS before Aunt Flo arrives. You will play with dollhouses for at least another year or two, and you won’t bother to get your driver’s license until you’re 21. But eventually someone will ask you how you like your coffee, and you will treasure that as proof that you’re finally entering the adult world. NEWS FLASH: You will struggle with not feeling like a grown up until after your third child and your 30th birthday, and then you will finally be satisfied that you have arrived.
Ah, yes, the children. I get such a kick out of you, girlfriend–you are so excited about being a mom someday. You even have a preferred birth order for your first children…boy, girl, boy (just like the family you were born into.) Good news: It’ll happen just the way you hope. And that girl’s name you’ve had picked out since you were 8? She’s blonde and her eyes sparkle as bright as the meaning of her name…
…As you get your baby brother ready for bed and make him laugh so hard with the silly games and tickle wars you incite that Mom has to tell you BOTH to calm down, you wonder if you’ll be able to love your own children as much as this. Don’t worry. It’s more awesome than you can imagine. (Oh, and all that time you spend taking care of those younger siblings? Potty training and teaching them to read? You will be SO grateful, because you’ll enter motherhood with a few things under your belt, which will allow you to enjoy it even more than your worry-wart self would have otherwise!)
You worry a lot. Gosh. You worry about your education. Guess what? At 18 you’ll pass your GED with flying colors, even though you’ll choose to quit formal studies at 17 so you can put all your efforts into your home business. You’ll go on to feel you got one of the best educations in the world, because you were taught, most of all, to love learning. You’ll discover what an asset this is when you realize, sometime in your twenties, that the learning never stops. So, you’ll be embracing new learning opportunities with joy for the rest of your life.
You worry about if a guy will ever notice you. Oh, and you worry a LOT that he’ll be short. You are so not ready for this: Yes, he will be shorter than you, and you won’t care. See? You’ve totally shut me out. You were SO not ready for that one…
You worry about friends. You worry about not having anyone in your life you could ask to be a bridesmaid. Silly girl. What you don’t realize is that, in 9 more years, your little sisters won’t be so little anymore, and it will be a no-brainer to ask them to be in your wedding because they have become your best friends. See? Told you it was silly to worry!
You long for friends constantly. You blame everything–living on the homestead, being raised ultra-conservative, but especially yourself–you know your shyness is perceived as a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, and your fear of initiating conversation or stepping out of your comfort zone creates a barrier between you and others. I have great news—that shyness is not your natural personality, it’s a symptom of your issues with self worth. You will grow out of this and become one of the most extroverted people you know. Yes, you’ll have stretch marks from this process!
And you will have friends. Friends who know you really well, as in, they’ve seen the crazy side of you, the failure, the scars, the weakness, the sillyness, the hopes–and they love you anyway. You will find acceptance, love, accountability and, best of all, that feeling of community and belonging that you cry for in your bed at night. You will have friends who will do crazy things like
- throw a garage sale together overnight,
- run a 5k,
- press 80 gallons of cider in one day,
- go to blogging conferences together,
- vacuum each other’s houses,
- write embarrassing letters to our teenage selves,
…and best of all are just a phonecall away when you’re in a crisis (whether that’s ‘what to wear to a cocktail party’ to ‘how to see God as a loving Father’).
I’m telling you, it’s gonna be worth the wait.
So, go on. Bury yourself in another book, fill yet another journal with your atrocious spelling, and quit worrying about the woman you will become. God really does have a plan for your life. It’s gonna be awesome. I promise.
Fondly, with a reminder that I’m not laughing at you but with you,