10 years ago I was thirteen years old and in 8th grade. Oh, middle school. 8th grade was a “banner year” of my life to say the least. We had recently moved from Colorado to Illinois, which was not just a traumatic move geographically (exit: mountains and sunshine; enter: humidity and snow that never melts) but also emotionally. My thirteen-year-old self was fairly convinced that my life was over and the likelihood of making friends again was slim to none.
Today when I was driving “Letter To Me” by Brad Paisley came on the radio. I was singing along and feeling reflective. I started thinking about what I would say to my thirteen-year-old self ten years ago. Thanks to Brad’s inspiration I decided to give this a try… so here is a letter to me.
There is more to this world than Crystal Lake, Illinois and jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. Experience it! Stop wallowing! Write a letter, make a phone call, and then get out there!
You will make new friends. Amazing ones. Friends that you do not know how you ever lived without. When you miss those friends in Colorado, call them. I promise, distance will not keep true friends apart.
High school will be a good time. Be patient with basketball and give it a try – a serious try – because it will change you for the better. Keep reading and writing and learning.
Follow your heart. It will get broken, smashed, stepped on. You will feel like you won’t recover but you will, I promise. Keep listening to your heart and things will work out better than you can even imagine.
Soak up every second at Iowa State because you will miss it. It might take you awhile to miss it, but you will. Your four years of college will be incredible but don’t buy into the idea that they are the “best four years of your life”. Make all your years your best life.
Hang on tight in graduate school. Remember the words that you hear on the first day of CSP orientation: Be where you are. Trust CSP, trust your cohort, trust your faculty, and trust the process. Lean into the discomfort of graduate school. You’ll probably miss that too someday.
I believe in you.
In the words of Brad Paisley, “I wish you wouldn’t worry, let it be. I’d say have a little faith and you’ll see”.