Laundry Man

Pixabay, laundry room, suspenseHe was a teenager. That’s the first bit of information I should share with you before you judge me.

From the age of 13 to 15, he changed from a huggable, lovable son who bought  me flowers to a changing-voiced male who thought that most of what I said was either simple, silly, or just plain stupid.

I understood. After all, I wasn’t ancient enough to not remember how I felt as a teen. Continue reading

NOT NOW!

Not now, you’re too young,” my mom insists when I’m 10.

Not now, you’re still too young, “my mom asserts when I’m 12.

Not now.  Wait until you’re an adult. By then you won’t want them,” my mom concludes when I’m 16.

But now, I’m 18, a sophomore in college, and my mom lives thousands of miles away.

I’ve wanted this for so long. My girlfriends tell me to go for it. “You’re a grown up now; there’s nothing to be afraid of,” claims my roommate Pam.

Yes, my roommate and I have the same name, and she matches me in so many other ways: she wears her brown hair long; she thinks she’s in love with her boyfriend; she’s tall and nice-looking; she’s creative. But she has one thing I don’t. Continue reading

Letter to Myself, December 28, 1969

Dear Pam,

Believe, believe, believe in yourself. Truly, you’ve got to believe me in this. (Ha, get it? Believe in yourself/believe in me?).

Yes, we’re one and the same, only I’m you more than 35 years later. Strange, huh?

But you believe in strange things, don’t you?

Trust me when I tell you, you’re beautiful. You’re not fat. You’re not awkward-looking. And you’re not uncoordinated. In a couple of decades, you’ll be running 10-mile road races. You’ll be stretching in amazing yoga positions and walking an hour a day.

letter to younger self

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you wrote a book with that title now, you’d make a fortune! You’re probably puzzled about what that expression means, but basically, continue like you are.

For a teenager, you don’t worry much now except about the large things, like “is something wrong with me because when I look out the window, trees turn gold and white and I feel like I’m flying?” and “am I really an alien who was placed here on Earth to mingle with the creatures from a different planet?”

Keep asking those questions – they’ll entertain you throughout your life. But you’re so right to not worry about whether that red mini-dress is too short, or if Bev is shunning you because her boyfriend Tim pays attention to you. In fact, Tim will leave Bev for you, but that’s another story, and I’m not supposed to tell you your future; I’m just permitted to leave you words of wisdom for that future.

Oh, be nicer to our brother. Chuck is so off your radar now, but pay more attention to him. Decades from now, you two will become good friends, even though you never live near each other, and you’ll fly thousands of miles to vacation together, and go to each other’s kids’ weddings. He’s a good guy. Stop treating him like a door mat.

Here’s another word of advice that will knock your socks off (and by the way, feel those fluffy thick socks you’re wearing now? I’m still wearing the exact same kind of socks while I sit here typing to you, oh so many years later). KEEP ON WRITING. Right now (in 1969), yes, I know you have your diary hidden in our underwear drawer, and those two short stories you wrote are stashed between the third and fourth books on the second shelf of our bedroom bookcase. Guess what? In the future, not only will you stop hiding your writing, you’ll share your stories – personal pieces as well as your fiction –  on a public ‘web’ forum for friends, family, and lots of strangers. Okay, Okay, I lost you here, but I’m not lying. Truly.

Finally, your love for our sweet dog Suzie, and her love for you, teaches you to be a good friend, a warm and loving mother, and a faithful companion to several special dogs in your future. Give her a special hug tonight.

And after mom closes the bedroom door, let Suzie hop up and sleep with you.

Happy New Year!

 Love from your future self, adult letter to teenaged self

December 28, 2012