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.