Do you ever read something from your past that now causes you to roll your eyes while you think, ‘Was I really that way?’ Time to share a bit from my journal, but what? I know. This one in particular being it causes my eyes to roll each time I read it a bit more than most.
August 22, 1983 (sixteen years old) Summer’s almost over and starting my junior year is at hand. I don’t wanna go! Oh, God, why is growing up so confusing? Why do ages matter? Why do I feel if I were eighteen, everything would be easier and better? Why do men play such a ridiculously important part in my life? Why are all my writings about the male persuasion? Why don’t I write about my run to the beach., or how important friendships are, or, better yet, how much I love Spyro Gyra (jazz band) and why I dread the school year? Why? I guess I’m just frustrated because my hair’s too short, my body’s too big, and my bank account is too small.
If you read a few entries before this date, you would surely see what was too important to me during those teen years, causing me to feel this way. I’ll give you some clues with a few other writings.
May 29, 1980 (thirteen years old -7th grade) – – – Diary, today went so good. Edgar and I had fun. Tracy and I think the guys will love being around us at the class picnic. (I hope so.) I hope it goes good because today Edgar and I were talking, looking in each other’s eyes, jump rope couples and more.
(I’m giggling as I’m reading this.)
July 6, 1980 – – – Today I told Robert that I wanted Jeff to call me. Then tonight on the phone Sue told Robert I didn’t like Edgar that much anymore.
Those are only two from twenty-million others like that my last few years before high school.
Then high school – LOOK OUT
October 22, 1981 (fourteen years old – 9th grade. Excuse me. I mean freshman) Things between Mike and me went okay today…sort of. Marvin told me not to break up with Mike and if I do, don’t go with Greg. Greg says to break up with Mike. I felt some waves between Greg and me starting right then.
November 18, 1981 – – – I’m so happy. Today I found out from Beth that Tom wishes I would like him. There is no holding me back now.
You get the gist of what I’m talking about. (I can’t help but laugh whenever I read these.) If I was at my current age, forty-nine, talking to me when I was thirteen, I would certainly say a few things like…
Me, now listen to Me. I look at what you are going through and want to pass on a few words of advice. Don’t waste your time! Focus on what really matters. But that means you must first learn what really matters. Focusing on who likes you and who you think you like should not be at the top of your list.
So far, God has sheltered you from so much of what other girls your age are doing with guys. Keep it that way and don’t get onto the road so many are on, putting a relationship with some guy in front of everything else. Actually, I take that back. There is one relationship which does need to come at the top of your list. That relationship with Christ. He should be your focus. If you, Marianne, could cling earlier to Him than when I, the older Me actually did, then you would write about your run to the beach, or how important friendships are, how much you love Spyro Gyra. And I bet if you did that, then you wouldn’t dread your senior year as much.
You are still young, Me. Too young to feel you are ready for a serious relationship. Now I know, Marianne, that we ladies may feel we’re ready for serious relationships early on, but no. Wait. Your mind and body are not ready. Instead, focus on talents you have. Learn now because later on, believe me, I know you’ll wish you did. Work on those weaknesses you sense you have in school. Yep, Me, I know what they are. Study more, and heck, work even harder playing that saxophone before you sell it like I know you’ll do right after you graduate.
And let me tell ya, your mom and dad need to know you are there. Not just physically there, but your heart and soul as well. They need that. Spend more time talking with them about your days. Don’t just answer ‘fine’ when they ask ‘So, how was school?’ then wander off thinking about this guy or that guy, or gossiping on the phone with friends. Spend time on what’s valuable and not just wondering if Todd, Greg, or whoever thinks you’re cute.
So, Me, I couldn’t help but pass you a little bit of mental-floss I wish I was given when I was your age. Put God first, seek to please Him, and put your efforts into what matters now. Your time to start a relationship isn’t quite here yet, Marianne, but it’s the perfect time to start one with Christ.
And, Me, one more thing I want to say. Remember what I wrote when I was sixteen?
Why do ages matter? Who do I feel if I were eighteen, everything would be easier and better?
Here is a short piece from my very next writing, close to two years later:
May 14, 1985 – – – Well, it’s the annual look back at the journal. A quick update. I graduate from Highline High School in twenty-nine days. I’m eighteen now and no, life is not easier at eighteen.