August 16, 2010

a letter to my high-school self

the following letter was inspired by another blog i read called '20 something letters' by cassie boorn (http://cassieboorn.com/). it's a collection of letters written by women writing to their younger selves about the different things they wish they had known and the different things they will learn. it inspired me to write a letter to my high-school self, and i hope you enjoy it.

dear high-school charissa,

at this point in your life, you resemble eliza thornberry. after only 2 years at a new school you will be called into the crazy world of high school. you will feel nervous and scared. that's ok. you end up surviving. 3 of your new friends will move away, leaving you totally alone. but you will make the cheerleading squad, which makes you feel somewhat better, and you will think it is the greatest thing in the world for about a week. you will make a 'b' in geometry and will think it's the worst thing ever, but you totally get over it. once you lose the braces and glasses, you look kinda cute. you will be invited to the prom as a freshman. this will be a big deal. but you will choose to use sunless tanner. this will be a grave mistake. sit by blake in english. he will turn out to be your best friend. oh, how i wish you knew that once you start liking yourself, everyone else will, too.

congratulations, you survive your bottom locker days and make it to sophomore year. you trade the cheerleading squad for the debate team. it completely changes who you will become. you operate much better as a nerd. at 15 you start taking voice lessons. keep taking them, you become an allstate musician. you also start taking spanish. stick with it. one day you know how to speak it. but it's not all perfect. you will get an urgent call. you will hold your grandfather's hand as he passes away. he will tell you you're beautiful. you should listen. after you watch him leave this earth, you will never doubt that there's a heaven again. you take driver's ed. you almost cause your instructor to suffer a heart attack as you stop in the middle of an intersection. keep driving because you do in fact get your license. but you name your little white corsica "the beast." what are you thinking?

you're a junior, sweet girl. and every year seems to get better. but after 4 years at your school, you will still feel like an outsider. at 16, a pizza hut delivery man will hit and total your car. you will never eat at pizza hut again. you will suddenly become terrified to drive. drives will become filled with prayer. keep driving and keep praying, GOD is teaching you to rely on HIM. and you eventually get over that fear. not much later, a doctor will remove your tonsils and adenoids. it will hurt. don't panic! girl, we both know how much you love to talk, and you will talk again. that surgery changes your life. you are dared to go a year without chocolate, and you totally do it! i wish you knew that you can do anything. you finally get that cell phone you've been waiting for. and you finally get to wear that makeup you've wanted, but in a short time you will realize you're far prettier without it. you travel the country debating people from all over the nation. you make boys cry! but i wish you would learn to tame those arguing skills and use them a little less on your parents. you will start falling for a boy. keep falling. it won't last forever, and you'll be ok with that. but years later, that boy will help remind you that wonderful boys do exist and that you will find one.

senior year is a blur. it's a rollercoaster. it's the hardest year of your life in many ways. maybe i shouldn't tell you that. in school, you will always come up just short. you will get 2nd place in almost everything. people will try to stifle you, to give you limits, to put you in your place. and there is nothing you can do about it. the odds are against you, but don't fear. satan will throw constant curveballs at you, but against his wishes your faith will only grow. you will find your identity in CHRIST and not in the praise of other people. you will look to HIM for your validation. and years later, you will be thankful for the struggles and the tears and will not want to change a thing.

i'd like to tell you that you will eventually figure it all out. that you will totally fit in. that you won't feel like an outsider. but that day never comes. you always feel different, never quite fit in, and always feel 2nd best. but you realize that it's just a season of your life. one of refinement. one of developing your character. and your inner beauty. one of preparing you for what's to come. hard lessons that will make you wonder if the rest of your life will be the same way. but college...college is a totally different story. :)

love always,
22-year-old charissa

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