This is a fun post I found via OHML and COEX. Very therapeutic. Highly suggest it to one and all.
Dear 9 year old Mlouise,
You are in 5th grade and you just found out you have scoliosis bad enough to be sent to a specialist. This brings a whole new set of challenges to your life, including a not so fun experience with an x-ray technician. I look back at you and wonder how you handled this so well. All of it. I can't believe all that you have already been through in your life, from the FBI to your house burning down while your whole family was sleeping inside, its crazy to me that you were so put together. You get an absolutely AWFUL perm and started to realize that being pretty was something to worry about. You were freaking awesome at softball, although this was one area that you doubted yourself. You shouldn't have because you were great.
Dear 12 year old Mlouise,
You recently found out you have to have back surgery because your scoliosis is so bad. You wore a back brace at night for over a year and your spine didn't stop curving. You are now growing side-ways. Its a great look. Your grandmother just died and this completely rocked your world. But don't worry, because somehow for the rest of your life you will feel her with you. You get back surgery and you rocked it. Grew two inches in a 4 hour time period and now have a cool scar on your back that will be a conversation starter for years to come. You are in show choir and you LOVE it. Your dad has already been to jail and is back again. Your family didn't lose the business and things are starting to fall back into "normal." You start to suspect that your parents aren't going to be together forever. You start dying your hair blonde. I kind of want to go back and give you a big hug. You are cute and you don't think so and you are WAYYYYY to worried about it. You also fret about getting fat wayyy too much. xoxo girlfriend.
Dear 13 year old Mlouise,
You get your first solo in show choir this year and you rocked it. You don't think so though...but I have VHS video to prove it girl. I am so proud of you. You also help your basketball team in ways you never thought you could. You are a bit too caddy to your friends for my own taste...which is too bad but I know it was because you were so insecure. Again, wish I could go back and tell you how fantastic you were. You dyed your hair auburn for a hot second (and have a picture to prove it as 8th grade pictures were the next day)...this was not a good look for you sweetie. You had your very first kiss at the movie theater with your boyfriend watching "So I married an ax murderer." That boyfriend would go down in history as being one of the kindest. That break up was way too brutal for 8th grade though. You wore a white dress with white panty hose to your eighth grade graduation that you purchased at DEB.
A lot has happened in three years! You are driving a sweet teal Chrysler Lebaron convertible...and you love it. You are on the dance team, something you cherish and are thriving in show choir. All of the sports you grew up loving have gone by the way side and you have officially become a girly girl. Your parents get divorced. This doesn't come as a surprise but is so dysfunctional that you change as a person. You wore your heart on your sleeve before and now you bottle everything up inside. I so wish I could go back and tell you NOT to do that. I so wish someone in your life would have realized how badly you just needed a hug. You become your brothers rock and your relationship with him grows in ways you never thought possible. You get accepted to every college you apply to. You don't get into Butler University's singing program. You do get into Butler. You are so excited to LEAVE Dvegas.
You LOVE Butler. You are a sophomore/junior in college already...time sure does fly. You are dating the man you THINK you are going to marry. Turns out you are really wrong about that but learned a whole lot about relationships and yourself. You are in a sorority but most days regret making that decision. Although your greatest friends are a part of it and I am positive that is the only reason you stayed. You smoke a LOT of cigarettes. Its how you deal with most anything stressful (and lets be honest...goes hand in hand with the large amount of cocktails you are consuming). Your mom lives in California and this is cool and devastating all at once. Your dad dates a woman you loathe so going "home" is hard. You throw the biggest millennium New Years party Dvegas has seen. You didn't have fun though. Wish I could have told you to have fun! You are a bit more secure with yourself but in general you still worry way too much. You have great friends. Ones that do give you hugs when they suspect you need one.
You became a fair queen and handed off your crown already. It was fun for sure, but you didn't believe in yourself enough. I know it is because you didn't feel like anyone else did either, but you should have believed in yourself more. You were a great public speaker and totally could have won the state title. I am glad you didn't though. You officially graduate from college and officially find yourself BROKE. Your friends all left the city after graduating. You didn't. You got the worst job ever and hated going every single day. You barely paid your bills. But you are strong woman. You do pay them, you do go to work (most days), and you do look for something better. You are dating the man you will marry and he is and has been the best thing to walk in your life. Ever. You don't worry so much about anything when you are around him. Turns out that landed you a bit chubby for a while but turns out he loved you anyway. You find your dream job. You find yourself a bit more too.
You are engaged, and about to be married to P-Daddy. You are a homeowner. You are freaking rocking out at your job that you LOVE in ways many never thought you would. Your mom has remarried and is living in Tennessee now. You go on your first real cruise and learn how to play blackjack and roulette. These are skills that carry you well throughout the coming years as you will work mostly with men who like to take manager trips to casinos! You marry the man of your dreams on the hottest day of the year in a big ole church with no AC (with many other blips including a HORRIBLE DJ that people still laugh about today) and yet it still goes down as one of the best days in life thus far. You take lots and lots of vacations and go to places you never thought you would. You become Catholic. This is the most confident you have felt, maybe ever, about everything. Life is really good.
Dear 26/27 year old Mlouise,
You are a manager now and are working on a commercial construction design project that you love. You are a homeowner for the second time as you and P-Daddy have already sold and built a new home again! You are pregnant with your first child and you kind of hate it. Pregnancy hasn't been awesome to you as there have been a lot of trials. Two of your best friends are pregnant and as much as you want to love this, it isn't as fun as it sounds. You start to feel the most insecure you have in a LONG time and you aren't real happy about that. You quit your job because you think you are moving to Cincinnati for your husbands job but it doesn't happen. You lose your management role because of this. I want to go back and tell you that its all going to be okay and work out in the end. Because it did. Just not the way you ever thought it would. You plan your first wedding and realize in the mean time this may be something you want to pursue full time. You train for a mini marathon but are too freaked out to run it. You are the most sleep deprived you have ever been in your life and yet are still functioning (sort of). You deliver a healthy baby boy who rocks.
Dear 29 year old Mamalouise,
You kind of can't believe what you just wrote above. Its been a great life so far. Even with all the stuff. Because all of the stuff. You are really happy to be sitting here writing on this beautiful day about how far you have come... how many times the road of life split off and somehow you have always ended up on the right path. Your husband really is one of the best gifts that God sent you. You look at your son in awe most days because you cannot believe that you made him and how much he is like you (loud mouthed, opinionated, stubborn...all of the qualities I heart! :). You worry a lot and I want to tell you to stop. What you worry about is out of your control and you need to have more faith in God, take a few more deep breaths and pray. You have recently just fallen into a dream job and are grateful. You have really started to love yourself again and take care of yourself. You think all the time about what a gift this is. Your mom just moved back and this rocked your world a bit. But in such a good way. You are excited about the big 3-0 and what this next decade in life will bring. You are good at asking for hugs when you need them now. Life isn't exactly what you thought it would be, most days its better.