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letter to my 10 year old self

dear katie

i was thinking today about how different life is than what i thought it would be when i was 10, and thought that maybe by communicating that would be important. so here it is. no pulling any punches.

you will not walk the path you think you will. dance will always be important, but you won't be teaching it. that doesn't mean stop doing it. you need it. it is, and will probably always be, your true lifeline. you will continue to push yourself physically and you will do very well. but always stretch. really good, for a long time before you dance. this will help you avoid a major hamstring injury that wrecks your chances of performing at the state fair. seriously.

enjoy the lake as much as you can. you won't get every summer there. unbelievable i know.

you and mom will fight a lot. try to listen to her more and get your brain wrapped around her thoughts before you answer or say anything back. she really does love you more than you could ever begin to understand, but its hard to see it when the bickering goes on the way it will. just try to slow down. see what she's really saying, and know she loves you.

you will know about 20 brian's in your life. they are good guys, particularly one who you'll meet at 22. he will become your best friend. he will be the guy who takes care of you, loves you, is there for you, gives to you like no one else. don't ever-for even a second-take him for granted. even when the friendship changes and you aren't the same people, don't take him for granted. and make more of an effort to stay in communication.

about 2 years later you'll meet the other best friend who will stick by and get you in ways you never knew you needed to be gotten. pj. he will be there. he will move to texas and it will suck. you will miss him. but perhaps that old addage is true- because your adoration for each other will grow, just like your respect and need for that friendship. hold onto him, and really listen. he is wise.

you will work with teenagers and they'll be your kids. you will learn a tremendous amount from them. they will change your life.

spend as much time as possible, and then some more with your grandma b. you only get 15 more years with her. make them count. you are the light of her life, so even when she's impatient and old fashioned with you, listen to her. hear the stories again. and go with her to the cemetary to plant flowers. clean the roof and the gutters in the spring, and when she calls you at work one day and tells you she needs to go to the doctors, when you get to her take a moment to hug her. it'll be the last chance she can hug you back.

spend as much time as you can with mike and sue too. you only get 14 more years with susan. and they need to count. you will miss her more desperately than you could ever think. and losing both her and grandma within a year knocks you down, but not out. so go with her to chemo, sit with her while you watch ryan play lara croft, and watch her paint every chance you get. in fact, get her to teach you something about it.

be nicer to steven. he will be the only man who has your back forever and ever. and he is a good guy. he's your brother, and he is the one person in the world who gets all you've been through. i promise that this will be true. you will appreciate him more and more as time goes by, so start now and things will be even better later on. he will be your best friend, he will be there always, and he does love you. a lot.

accept that a knight on a white horse doesn't exist. and be grateful. because with him you'd end up in a hot stuffy room in a corsetted dress sipping tea while he drones poetically. B-O-R-I-N-G! you need a man who is fun and funny, honest and genuine. a man who will play with your hair and call you baby. you need to trust that you will find that guy who wants you to be his sexy girl but sweet as pie when you meet his mama and sincerely love her as much as he does. you will find that man who holds your face gently in his hands when he kisses you and wants to hear about the frustrations with work and can rub your back and make you realize that nothing but that moment matters. he will be himself and you need to accept him as such, because he will take you exactly as you are, flaws and all and love you like you've never been loved. THAT is the man you will wait for. and it will take a while....... longer than i even know i think.

take more pictures. of everything.

keep reading. you will thank me for this too.

start learning the muscles of the body- particularly the legs and shoulders. again, you'll appreciate it later on.

take a real lab science in college, chemistry or biology. even though astronomy with matthew & alisa is fun, it'll get you nowhere later on. and ministry, while you will love your kids, will probably not be the end all career-wise.

bet on the red sox in 2004, trust me.

don't move to parsons st. trust me on this one too.

whenever possible, save money. don't spend it frivolously. you'll need it later.

keep trusting people. there are some who aren't worthy of that trust, some will hurt you pretty bad. but most do deserve trust and patience. and you will be rewarded with great friendships that you not only want but need.

in about 6 years you'll be best friends with a guy who will become the one every other man is measured against. he'll leave you in a really permanant way. and that will be painful and tear you up really bad. but his leaving doesn't mean he didn't care about you, and it didn't mean God wasn't there. in fact, and it may take a while to figure this out- but God undoubtedly cries the day he dies. because for this world to lose him is a tragedy. but heaven's gain is tremendous. and you will see him again.

remember you are loved. more deeply than you know. and that will make everything different.

kate (at 30)

(author's edit)
ps -august 24, 1993, call that guy i mentioned, gary. it may change the entire rest of your life, it may not. but if you call him like you planned instead of letting student government run that evening and cause you to forget, you will be more at peace with yourself for the following 10 years. please.


I love it Kate, its absolutely beautiful. I might copy you sometime with this I just love the idea.

6:13 AM  

Now the question begs to be asked: do you think your 10-year-old self (or teenaged self, for that matter) would have followed this advice had she received this letter?

3:22 PM  

i believe, my dear friend kate, that this was the most poignant, read-worthy, heartfelt, moving and complete pieces of literature ive read in a very long time.

10:58 PM  

amy-thanks! :)
erin- i have no idea. i want to hope that she would, but i really don't know. i have tended to be pretty wayward lately anyway, so probably i would have listened up about my grandma and aunt susan, but i don't know about anything else. you knew me...well in the teenage years, do you think i would have listened?
peej- aww! you're the bestest!!

3:48 PM  

Wow...that's probably one of the best blog entries I have ever read. Glad I happened to click on it...great work, interesting concept.

10:52 AM  

Man, finally catching up on friends' blogs and I read this. How touching and creative! Keep writing...:)

2:34 PM  

hey kate! This was beautiful!

I set up a blog so come check it out!

Carrie (one of your "kids")

10:23 AM  

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