I stumbled across this picture on a guy's facebook page who I went to school with a looooooong time ago.
Can you find me?
My son asked if the row of kids at the top were the cool kids. Yes, they were. :)
And....heh. I am not with them. I'm not even sure who the girl is that I'm sitting by. It looks like I'm half-heartedly clapping while casting glances to the side of me. Who was I looking at?
This looks like around 6th grade.....so, about 1989? I bet you're wishing you had a pair of stonewashed denim jeans right now.
A year later I would find myself moving from the humid swamps of southern Florida to the cold mountains of southern Utah. Wow. What a change that was.
If I could go back and have a chat with myself, this is what I think I'd say to 11 year old Erin...
"You're cute. Yes, the pink glasses may have been an unfortunate choice, but you're still cute. And so what if some of the girls are all mega-busty? Be patient. You'll get there (ok. Maybe not the mega part...)"
"Nope. You don't have a closet full of trendy clothes. Find your own style. Who cares what the "cool" this is. And who cares if you don't fit into the mold. Make your own mold."
"Ignore boys. They're stupid. And most of them will only look at the mega-busty girls. They grow out of it eventually....well, a couple of them do. And besides, there is this super handsome tall cowboy growing up on a farm in southern Utah right now. He's busy changing sprinklers, riding horses and 4-wheelers and being too shy to talk to girls. But someday he's going to work up the nerve to ask you out. And it will only be the beginning. You're going to have all kinds of crazy adventures with him and your brood of happy kids. So, keep your eye out for him. Although the first time you see him....it's just not the right time. Wait about 4 more years. You'll have better hair, you won't be 13 and the glasses will finally be gone."
"And about that brood of happy kids....you're going to be blessed with a whole house full of them! They are going to be loud and wild and totally and completely wonderful. You are going to love them like crazy. Be patient with them. Remember what it feels like to be 11. Listen to them. And squeeze them every chance you get."
"Find friends who love you for who you are, ones that build you up and help you feel good about yourself. Don't worry about the mean girls that like to tear others apart to make themselves feel better. You're going to meet quite a few of them throughout your life....everyone does. 'Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." -Eleanor Roosevelt"
"It might not seem like it now, but someday you will have loads of friends who are awesome people. They will inspire you and teach you and be so amazingly great to you. They'll invite you to lunch. They'll bring you random surprises. They'll want to be in a writing group with you. They'll drop by just to visit and chat. They'll call you up to hear how things are going. They'll get free tickets to plays and invite you to come. And they'll like you for the quirky, happy, creative and sometimes odd person you are. Just wait. It gets better."
"Write more. Write about your childhood, about your hurts, about your happy days. Write about your dreams and your wishes. Write short stories and novels and poetry. And don't throw away the sappy sad "deep" poems you write when you're a teenager. I could really use them when I'm having a rotten day. They'd provide me with a good laugh."
"You're going to move. It will be exciting and so fun. But it will be hard, too. Moving into a small town where everyone has known each other since birth can be tricky, to say the least. Just laugh. At yourself. And others. And especially at those who like to harass the new girl. It will give you fodder for creating brilliant villians someday. Ok. Maybe not brilliant villians. But definitely evil ones."
"Also....about your hair. Um, yeah, it might take awhile. But eventually you actually like it. I know. Weird. And get this? You start getting perms when you're 13. And then when you're about 29 you stop. And soon after realize your hair is naturally curly. Crazy, but true."
"Oh...and one more thing. Someday you are going to look at your life and be so so grateful. For all of it. Because it made you who you are. And the wonderful thing is? You really like who you are. So much. And that is a great thing."
If you could go back and tell your 6th grade self something, what would it be?