Monday, May 3, 2010

Notes to Self--Sweet Sixteen

I am writing these notes to my former self about once a month.  When I was growing up and a young woman I used to long for someone to give me advice and tell me that it was going to be okay.  I wanted someone to help me make decisions and avoid the pitfalls.  I didn't have that person then, but I look back now and give myself the advice I wish I had been given.


Dear Mary,

From the look of this picture I would guess it is around 1969?  You have contacts and you are sweet sixteen! It was the groovy era, but you and your family were as traditional and non-modern as they come.  And that is a good thing.  You have family values which will take you places the help you to resist some of the temptations of the world out there. You were afraid that you wouldn't be savvy enough to handle yourself in big cities and real life, but you were. And you are now the shortest member of your family.  Even your little sister is taller at eleven!

The groovy era passed and then came back tamer with bad fashion but without the hateful self involved edge that it had in 1969. In the future there will be different hates and more introverted self involvement.  But in 1969 what you wanted to know was--what should you do with the rest of your life?  It looked like you were going down the road to become a school librarian.  And you did that, and you liked it. It was a good choice. You knew your own mind even then.

Like so many girls at sixteen you thought that you were ugly and fat and no boy would ever like you, ever want to marry you.  But from the future I can look at this picture and say--you were cute as a button and any boy would have to be crazy not to love you.  And one did. Like most of the hopes and fears that you had at the time this picture was taken, things worked out.  Not to say other unexpected problems didn't crop up, but most of your fears at 16 turned out fine.

If I could give a piece of academic advice I would say--don't take physics, it wasn't for you.  And in college, take that junior high education course you registered for and dropped because you might need it someday.  And wisely, after this picture, you stopped making your own clothing even though you were a Betty Crocker Future Homemaker of Tomorrow. That was a good call, my dear.

Love to you,
Your future self

8 comments:

dandelionmom said...

So hip and so sweet at the same time! What a girl you were--I surely would have loved you for my babysitter-I bet you would have read to me too! :P

Future homemaker of tomorrow? more than a tad redundant no? I think in honor of Mary then I will be present homemaker of today for the entire day today until it is night. While I sleep I will be future homemaker of tomorrow -unless a child wakes me up...then I will throw the whole business out of the window. Betty Schmocker!

Mary said...

In high school there was a test that the girls took that gave an award called the Betty Crocker Future Homemaker of Tomorrow. It was a really big deal in my high school. And I won it. I got a pretty little silver charm and a certificate claiming that I was a Future Homemaker of Tomorrow. In 1971 that was not something I was very proud of, but these days, considering my lack of cleaning and cooking abilities, I have to take what I can get in the awards for homemaking. I don't think I make Betty especially proud though. (And yet another blog post wasted in the comments.) LOL

abroadermark said...

Cute as a button is right, little Miss Mary Ellen. If I would have been a teenage boy in 1969 (instead of an adorable 5 year old little girl), I would have loved you - for sure. :D

dandelionmom said...

WHOA! ABM! You were already in Kindergarten win 1969???

I wanna see the charm! I actually like to save things for tomarrow...maybe I am a future homemaker too--not an award-winning one though. If there was an essay question you could call yourself an award-winning author you know...

Mary said...

There were a lot of alegbra questions and things on paint and what if situations. It was mostly multiple choice and I excell at that. Too bad there isn't a career in multiple choice.

I will look for the charm. It can be a Tuesday Treasure for someday. LOL

Dawn Farias said...

I LOVE LOVE this note! Really, I do. A whole lot.

Amanda said...

LOL, Mary, this would have to be a favourite feature for me, on your blog...

I love hearing you talk to your younger self. You give good advice ;) There is a calm reassuring feeling I get when I read these, not sure why, as it is not my younger self you are talking to! lol

abroadermark said...

I'm with Amanda. I think Notes to Self is my favorite feature too.

And yes, Dandelionmom, I am the older twin. That's why I get to be Thing 1. :D