Last year she started a series called “IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME” and with it she asked certain bloggers
(YAY, I was one) to write a letter to yourself at 18.
I didn’t write a letter, instead I wrote a memoir post about looking at myself at 18 through the eyes of a 42 year gal.
It was honest, It was touching, and to this day, it’s still one of my favorite pieces (that’s I’ve written).
Jamie asked us, on the Anniversary of “If I Could Turn Back Time” to post our own letter to our site.
I’m glad to do it for her, to share it with you in this space, to read it again.
Thank you Jamie for giving us a place to remember and reminisce, it was truly a humbling experience to write for you.
IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME:
I sat across from her, looking into her as you do a mirror.
I squinted and sat back, contemplating her.
Her features and smile were so familiar, it was as if they greeted me in the looking glass every day, but her permed hair hardened with hair spray and her blue eyes that were unlined and void of any true sadness made me revaluate my first impression.
I leaned forward, my hand stretching to touch hers. A gold ring with a dark emerald green stone adorned her finger, the Old English K unblemished and sparkling.
I gasped, “Do I know you?”
She smiled, a mouth of silver twinkling back at me, and nodded.
I felt her urgency then, how she swung between desperation and delight for a glimpse into herself.
She regarded my mere presence as a gift, a prophecy.
I was caught.
I knew at once that my choices were limited.
I could talk to her, disclose and forewarn, scare her silly, whisper the juicy secrets she seemed so eager to have me impart.
I could prepare her; for the heartaches, for the roads that she would need every ounce of strength to travel and the grief she would suffer as she lost people, love and dreams.
I thought about tapping her hand and stroking her hair, begging her to make good decisions, to be careful about boys, booze and best friends.
Or maybe regale her with tales of her own shenanigans and moments that others may dismiss as mistakes and missteps. Remind her that life is only as serious as you allow it to be and that the pure act of laughing will save you every time.
How do you articulate the fact that those memories are the ones that will keep her warm when her world goes cold?
I could paint her pictures of the places she will visit, the lips she will kiss, the hearts that will take her in and let her stay a while, spraying the canvas with colors so vivid and rich that they charm and enchant her.
My voice could get conspiratorial, reminding her that it is her distinction and deep emotional side that will give her wings to help her fly.
In hushed tones I could remind her to stand out and stand up against all odds.
You do not need to be like everyone else.
So I lifted my eyes and met hers, peered into the same blue pools swimming in the same dreamy expression, and made my decision.
As I watched her face glow with expectation and hope for all the answers, I said instead:
“Sweet girl, young woman at the start of your path….you are going to be just fine.”
HAPPY FRIDAY and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Jamie’s beautiful series.