Five Minute Friday: Thirteen


Gentle Reader,

Slipped into the chat near the end because my laptop wasn’t turned on and I sort of forgot that it was Thursday. Because my husband has been gone all week and my dogs won’t let me sleep. I don’t know what they think they’re doing, staying up all night. I give them before-bed treats. Tuck them in. Let them know they are safe. They don’t care. Their world isn’t right and they will let me know that they don’t like it.

Kate says: thirteen.


Thirteen was twenty-one years ago (next Friday). I wonder what my newly-teen self would think of me as I slide into the mid-thirties?

I think she’d be very surprised that I’m not a journalist. There was no other career she dreamed of. She would be equally surprised that I still live in the town which she thought of leaving. Her goal at the time, which she shared with exactly nobody (that I can remember), was to head off to New York and attend the Columbia School of Journalism. Makes me laugh now because a) I hate crowds, so why did I ever think I could live in a big city? and b) I’m a huge homebody/family gal who would never move that far away, unless God said “go.”

She would be glad to see that my teeth are straight, because she got braces that year and her mouth hurt all the time. She would like that I let my hair do its own thing now, because she brushed and blow-dried it straight every single morning (which never really worked; usually by lunchtime she had waves and ringlets popping up). My two fat, neurotic dogs would delight her. She would be quite pleased with my book collection.

I think 13-year-old me would like 34-year-old me. And I like 13-year-old me. I didn’t back then. Everything was horrible because middle school is truly the worst time of life. Young me thought she was weird and stupid and ugly and awkward and that nobody would ever really like her. I see now that she was funny, highly intelligent and a loyal friend who just didn’t know how to choose the right people to be loyal to.

Gosh. Writing this hits a tender spot in my heart. Yes, young me, you are beautiful. Thirteen is hard, but it will pass. It really will.




13 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Thirteen

  1. When I was thirteen, I was not small, and tended to throw people through windows if they displeased me. Teachers, too, and once the Headmaster. He was not very amused, but the Assistant Head (yes, called the AssHead) was.

    But the Head got his own back, by enlisting a couple of coaches to toss me through a third-floor window into a tree, and thus we were quits, and always remained friends.


    1. I love this story. Reminds me of a guy I was good friends with throughout middle and high school. He built himself a big ol’ truck, one that barely fit beneath the awning between the school parking lot and the front door. He got in trouble all the time for driving through there as fast as he could, but he never quit.


  2. Awww, Marie. I loved this post. Your words mirror so many of my own thirteen-me impressions. It is truly amazing what a decade or two can do to our perspective, isn’t it? I wonder if anyone truly gets through thirteen without some of those insecurities poking their heads up . . . at least sometimes?

    You are an amazing woman, and I bet you were a fun teen!


    1. I don’t think anyone makes it through middle school without an awkward, insecure phase. At least, nobody I know did. One of my goddaughters is about to enter those years and I just want to hold her close. I know she’s got some storms ahead.

      Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear 13 year old Marie, you did not become a journalist but at almost 34, you are a courageous truth teller and I am constantly nurtured by the words of your almost 34-year-old self.


  4. Lovely, Marie. I will need to contemplate how I saw myself at thirteen. If we could only recognize, at the time, that the things we worry about are not important. We spend so much time trying to change the ways God made us. Thirteen year olds need to just embrace their beauty-in all its awkwardness.



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