Dear Rachel Claire,
Hey! It's me. I mean. . . it's you, in 10 years. There are so many things I want to tell you, but at the same time I don't want to ruin the surprise. I know that 10 years seems forever away, but it's really not. It'll be here before you know it and you'll be looking back, like I am now, and wondering where all the time went. I'm sitting here thinking of all the things I could tell you to save you a lot of mistakes, pain, and heartbreak, but I know a lot of those things are necessary to make you (me) the person you will become. So, I'll just give you some little golden nuggets of knowledge to get you through the rough times.
First of all, quit moping and bellyaching. Moving to Arkansas is not the worst thing to ever happen to you. It's certainly the most life changing up to this point, but you really are quite a drama queen and you need to chill out. Quit taking life so seriously. You aren't a tragic heroine in one of those novels you love so much, get over yourself. Buck up, get out there, make some friends, and life will be so much more fun. Seriously, you wasted way too much time feeling sorry for yourself up in your room. Actually you wasted too much time feeling sorry for yourself in general. However, keep reading those novels. That is going to come in handy later and one trait of yours that never changes is the fact that a good book can make you forget all your troubles.
Don't be embarrassed. Ever. Don't ever not do something because you are afraid of looking dorky. In fact . . .
Quit caring what people think!!!!
I know exactly who you are thinking of right now. All those people whose approval you secretly wish you had? None of them matter. In fact, in 10 years, you won't know where any of them even are or any other aspect of their lives. Don't be afraid to be a nerd. Don't be afraid to be who you are. You are a dork. You are not one of the "cool kids." You used to be. In Tennessee you were the big fish in a small pond, but this is friggin' Lake Superior and no one knows you or cares. Instead of the drama and moping we were talking about earlier, just embrace it. Trust me, you don't really want to be one of the cool kids. Oh, and you should've been in band. This is one of those things you didn't consider because of the whole "caring what people think" thing, but you shouldn't have cared. You would've had a blast in band. Now your French horn is moldy and collecting dust in an attic somewhere at Mom's house. You were good. You should've stuck with it.
Don't wait until your junior year to get involved in choir. That was the most fun you had at school. Go for it now. I know you avoided joining things at first because you were scared. Don't be scared. Quit being afraid of everything. The things you are afraid of don't matter.
Quit judging everyone. I know the look you are giving me right now and I know what you're thinking. You are appalled that I would suggest that you judge anyone. Stop lying to yourself. You have a tendancy to be a bit self-righteous and I know you think you're standing up for your faith but all you are doing is making Jesus look unappealing. You have alienated a lot of people because you feel victimized and you think that you are better than they are. They are mean to you and so that makes you think you have a reason to believe that you are a better Christian. Get over it. People will always be mean. Learn how to be comfortable enough with yourself not to care. You're kind of a baby...
Don't worry, you'll grow out of that.
Go visit your Mamaw more. She loves you so much and she is so proud of you. Indulge her. Let her show you off to all those ladies at the retirement facility. One day you are really going to miss that. Hug her every chance you get.
This boy that you are interested in right now. I get it. I know why you like him. He's cute, funny, smart, popular...all the things you think are important. There's nothing wrong with him, have fun. But don't give your heart away. Just wait until you meet your husband. He is all the things you want in a guy and a lot of extra things you didn't even know you needed. I know you've spent a lot of time imagining him. Don't even bother. You didn't come close. Nothing you imagined was anywhere near as awesome as the awesomeness that is your husband. He's smart, sexy, athletic, funny, ambitious, determined, full of integrity, honest, kind...
He balances you out in a way that you desperately need and you do the same for him. Oh, and his family is seriously the best. They embrace you as one of their own from day one. You really don't stand a chance. There was never going to be anyone but him.
Your life is going to get so much richer in the next 10 years. There will be a lot of bad days, but the good days are so much better that they will make up for it.
It seems like this is as good as it gets, but it gets so much better.