I just finished reading What I Know Now, a compilation of letters written by famous women to their younger self. One of them said "Speak the truth but ride a fast horse," and I just loved that.
So it makes me wonder- what would I tell myself? I'm only 21, so I'm far from being wise.
I'd tell my 4 year old self not to call the call the "Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please hang up and try again" woman "That d*** lady" to my mom. That spanking hurt. You'll remember it 17 years from now.
When you're 5 and Daddy has to take you out of church for talking, don't come back in and tell mom "Daddy told me to tell you he spanked me" when he really took you across the street and bought you candy.
Learn math in first grade. You'll be behind until high school if you don't.
In 2nd grade, keep being nice to that mentally handicapped kid. This will be the first of many, many times you pull for the underdog. Just don't get too attached. You're going to be heartbroken for the rest of your life because you can't save people.
Oh, and also about 2nd grade-throw those dresses away. The red, yellow and blue ones? Yea. Those. Throw them away. You'll end up wearing them in every single picture for almost a year.
Amber Tucker doesn't beat you up at Space Camp, so stop worrying.
Be more outgoing in middle school. Be nice to the nerdy kids. Be nice to the freaks. You're not mean, but your not nice to them either. Keeya will make more money than you ever dreamed of. Be nice to the kid with one hand that likes you.
In 8th grade you'll have a teacher that threatens to fail you because you won't argue pro-choice in a classroom debate. You don't argue it and you make your first B ever. Good call. She wasn't very nice.
On those 3 mission trips to Houston- love every minute. This is the beginning of a lifetime of mission trips. Take a second when you're holding Mireya, the 3 year old little Mexican girl, to memorize the way it feels. It's about 110 degrees and you're on a bus without air conditioning. She has fallen asleep in your lap. It's the exact moment that you fall in love with little Hispanic babies. That mission trip high never leaves you.
Listen to Kari more. She's right about people. You're too infatuated to see it, so just listen to her.
Be a good role model for the girls at dance. You looked up to them, so make sure you're someone they can look up to.
The years you danced with LS will be the best ones of your life. Work harder and appreciate your teachers more. They'll teach you some of the best lessons that you'll take with you the rest of your life. They'll give you your work ethic and good posture.
Listen to the kid that sits in front of you in homeroom more. He turns out to be a really neat person. To date he's still the only person who can recite almost any Edgar Allen Poe poem.
When that guy dumps you for being a good girl and immediately goes out with another not-so-good girl DO NOT tell the whole school that was the reason. Yes, it's true. That is why he picked her over you. He told you that, but it's going to be classier if you just keep that to yourself.
Pay more attention in AP Econ. And bring a jacket, dummy, that classroom was freezing!
Remember that time you and Kari got stuck in a tornado and decided to drive through the storm to get to a show you had to do that night? Yea. Don't do that. It was dangerous!
Enjoy ever minute you're on stage. Even after you think you're too mature to dance around in sparkles, you'll miss the days of entertaining everyone.
Get to know the Mayfair girls better.
Enjoy the City of Children more. You end up frustrated because you can't understand the orphans because they speak Spanish, but don't give up. Hug them and love them like that's all that matters. You're there as a missionary, so stop acting like a child. You don't think they need you--and they kinda don't. So, take it in. Use this time to realize that these kids aren't wanted by anyone and realize how blessed you are to have 2 loving parents that are still married. Besides, this is when you decide to learn Spanish. That will help you a little later in Panama.
Don't regret going to UAH. You learned you didn't want to be a nurse there. You also learned you didn't want to get married in college there. Don't regret hanging out with those guys, either. They kept you entertained and made you think a lot. Also, this is when you first discover A.W. Tozer, David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot, and Watchman Nee. Each one of these writers will change the way you look at things and bring you a little closer to the Father. Remember that time you decided to go to the projects and give out money to the homeless by yourself? Yea. Don't do that. It was dangerous..and stupid.
Be careful during your first semester at UA. You're too skinny. Everyone keeps saying it's because your homesick, but don't listen to them. They'll find the fibromyaligia later and know that homesickness had nothing to do with it.
Use the Pensacola mission trip to get to know your brothers and sisters in Christ. It's a good opportunity, so don't miss out.
Your snap decision to go to the Darien Rainforest will be the best you've made so far. This trip will change your life. You'll see Indians that have never seen white people. You'll hold babies that won't make it through the night. One day while you're down there, you hold a little baby for 11 hours. You wash her face off because she produces too much glucose and the bees are attracted to the sweet smell of her skin. You'll never see her again because she dies that night. But, even while you're holding her, you know that was going to happen. This is what God looks like. Don't forget it.
Have more guts during your time at the Crimson White. You have ethical questions about some of the things they do. Stand up for it. You almost quit when they print g-d in the newspaper. I still can't make a judgment call about that one. You'll learn so much there, but you should have said something about that.
Still, be nice to the weird kids in college. Especially that girl in your JN 100, 311 and 415 classes. She doesn't live to see graduation.
Have more patience with the second Panama team. They mean well. This is the first time you'll ever get to really use your Spanish, so don't be so scared. The calling was to serve, not to have perfect Spanish grammar.
So, you make it to 21 and 4 months at least. Don't lose sight of what's important. When you first got to college, you made 2 Timothy 4:7 your mantra- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I hope I'm wiser at 42.