Dear 16 year old Mindy,
One of these days, you will be 52 years old. I know that sounds ancient to you. Trust me, it is NOT. Sit still and listen. Really listen.
Girl, stop trying to hide your boobs. No one is looking at them the way that you think that they are. Well, some people are but it is a good thing.
Stop being so shy. They like you. They really do. You just do not understand that because you are so insecure. You are going to lose that one day. You won't realize that it is gone all of the sudden. It will be a really slow thing. It will be both good and terrifying all at the same time. Just keep breathing and moving forward.
Pay attention in Speech and Drama class. I know you already love them but pay attention. Those 2 classes are going to teach you what you really need to know about your future job and how to act in life. They will teach you more than you will ever learn in high school or college.
You are going to get a scholarship to go to college. You won't go. I guess some people would tell you to just go to college right out of high school. They don't know about the ~whispers~ baby. I won't tell you that. It might have worked out wonderfully well but it would change so much of what you have now. You will eventually go to college. You won't be a speech and drama teacher like you think you are going to be. Though, you do have the shape for it. You will go back to college and you will love it. You will find a career in criminal justice that you will think was made just for you. You will eventually teach. You will love it more than you could ever think possible.
You are going to marry him 2 times. Poor Silly girl. He will divorce you 2 times. You will think you are going to die and never be happy again. ~laffin~ You will be so surprised when you learn differently. You will get 2 amazing children out of those marriages. Even though you will go through a whole lot of heartache because of your choices with him, you will come to realize that it was alright and you would not change it if that meant you did not have the two people that know what your heart sounds like from the inside. There will come a time when you have no feelings for him. Not even bad ones. That will be good for you. That will be sad for him.
You will learn more about yourself in your 40's and 50's than you ever did up until that time. You will meet amazing people who will stay with you for the entire adventure. You will also meet people who will be there with you for just a season. That hurts your heart and always has. You want to hang on to people. You will need to learn to let go sweetie. I promise you, it will be fine. Not saying it will not hurt...I am saying it will be alright.
You will find your tribe. Some of those people will hug you physically when you need it. Some will have to do it though the internet. They will have your back no matter what. They will also be the first to chastise you when you are wrong. You will love and trust those people so much.
I FORGOT! You don't know what the internet is! You will LOVE it! Oh my gawd girl, you will so love it. It will open up so many opportunities and windows for you.
You will learn to crave adventure and travel. You will go to places and meet people who you would have never in a million years met. You will not have a kidney harvested and sold on the black market. I wish....I wish so much that you would get the opportunity to do that sooner in life. Keep your eyes open sweet girl. Get a good suitcase, book and backpack and hop on a plane the first opportunity you get.
Someone is going to come along and make you face who you really are. It's okay. Just remember, that person is a *for a season* person. Be thankful for those people and allow them to go in peace. It will change your life.
Your daddy is going to get sick. If that is not bad enough, he is going to die unexpectedly. You won't be ready. I don't know how to prepare you for it either. He will leave little pieces of himself behind and you will catch them out of the corner of your eyes sometimes. I will tell you this: This summer, at 16 years of age, daddy will drive you around on the country roads of Donley County on the back of that old little motorcycle that he tinkers with. I believe it is an Indian. You will wear shorts and get the tops of your legs sunburned. The wind will blow your hair and you will smell his tobacco. You will hold on tight to his waist and y'all will just drive you around for hours. It will be glorious. So much so that you will remember it years later.
I promise you life is so much bigger than what you know right now. Collect pieces of people. Be thankful. Drive with the windows down. Be kind. Stop being afraid. Start over. Write more things down. Get a breast reduction. Never apologize for who you are. Love even when it is hard or hurts. And hang on sweet girl, you are in for one hell of a ride.