I have this large, gray storage tub full of letters.
Every once in a while, I lug the thing (which was stored inconveniently in my garage) out to an area where I can properly look through the tumbled up mess of ink stained paper. I get into these fits of nostalgia, but it’s been quite a long time. Maybe 5 years since I’ve opened up the lid and peered inside. A friend of mine from high school sent me something on Facebook:
It reminded her of the days we’d sit in class, passing notes back and forth to each other. She and I had a way of drawing up comics; crudely drawn stick figures representing the key players in our world. Just thinking about our jokes and wit brings the biggest smile to my face! I still can’t get over the fact that we were even allowed to spend so much time on them!
So, here I am in my living room, lid sitting beside the dusty tub, a few dead spiders ringing in the occasion (poor guys, they never knew by climbing into the pile of letters, they wouldn’t find a way back out). At some point, I’d managed to consolidate everything, so even a few letters post-high school were in the mix. Every diary and journal I’d ever poured my heart into were also there. Random pictures. Nolan decided he wanted to help me, and proceeded to rip out some of the letters and let them fall around his head like confetti. I was very protective of all of it, and decided it was best to only peruse a few, while Nolan was around.
I didn’t realize how eye-opening the experience would be for me. I noticed how in angst I was. I am sure most teens are. Yet, I had all of these wonderful individuals (and some who turned out to be not so wonderful) who loved me, and appreciated me, and I remember strongly how much I didn’t feel that. I didn’t feel loved. I felt hopelessly lost. I was this beautiful girl who had a lot of admirers. The vast amount of letters from various boys can attest to that, yet I felt so ugly. What is that about?!? If I could tell myself at 16 a few things, I would say:
1. You are smart and capable.
2. You are beautiful, inside and out!
3. Those boys you pursued who were assholes… why?!? What about the nice guys?
4. Appreciate these moments, because it won’t last forever. The good and the bad.
After reading only a few of the letters and comics, and the “Santa-Grams” (my high school tried to be cute, and have students send little letters to each other around the holidays) I felt incredibly loved, and blessed to have who I had in my life. Even the assholes. They all taught me so well, and I wish I would have allowed my friends and loved ones more of an opportunity to break through that impenetrable shell I’d put up, so that I would have really known that I mattered to them, and how very much they mattered to me. They didn’t see me as some ugly, stupid girl. I meant more than that, and I will always mean more than that.
In honor of this, I’ll be posting a few of my comics on my blog over the next few days. I don’t have anything for you today, though. I’ll have to sort through and find just the right ones to showcase. I am very excited to do this!
Fitness tip: You don’t have to drop and do crunches in order to tone your midsection. Something easily done (and helps a ton with your posture) is to suck in your gut. Seriously. Suck it in, and stand up straight and tall. Keep it sucked in. But don’t get to the point of painfully holding it in so your ribs show. Pull your midsection in just enough to where you can feel your posture improve and lengthen. You are working those abs and you don’t even know it!