This year started off pretty rough with the loss of Grandma Pody. I know you miss her so much, and sometimes the grief threatens to overwhelm you. Know that she is always in your heart. The people that we love are never truly gone as long as we cherish those memories of our times with them. She shows up in your life right at the moment when you need her most. You wish for her to hear you sing one Mother’s Day when you’re unexpectedly chosen to sing the Schubert Ave Maria, and no family is present. You close your eyes, and you feel her hand in yours. She is your guardian angel along with Grandma Ernst and your brother.
You won the lead in the school musical Annie. You earned that part because you were the best one for the part. Mrs. K believes in you. To better your performance, she enlists the help of a voice professor at Beloit College. You learn how to control your voice and use your power. Continue to use that gift and your power. Do not let the criticism of others taint your opinion of yourself. In college, those comments won’t matter. In fact some of the girls who were jealous of you in high school were delighted to hear that you were still involved in theater after college.
Sweetie, the boy that you are dating is not the one for you. You will waste many hours and lots of tears on someone who is just too different from you. You deserve to be treated like a princess without any ulterior motives. You stand by your convictions and do not let this boy take your virginity from you. You also take the high road when this boy and his girlfriend (now wife) make your working environment miserable. Remember the wise words of your manager at the time. He took you aside and complimented you on your poise and grace. You will meet the love of your life and have two beautiful girls. Life will be a whirlwind of chaos with small children, but you will have moments where time stands still. Your family takes your breath away on a daily basis.
You are so beautiful, talented, smart and funny. Do not diminish your gifts or downplay your intelligence to get people to like you. If they do not like you as you are, then it is not worth to pursue a friendship. You will find out after high school who your true friends are. It gets better. You find your tribe in college. You find a group of smart and funny women who are unapologetic in the way that they lead and use their voice. You finally find your footing and your place. Then motherhood comes along and rocks you to your core. Again you find your rhythm. Just remember this for any stage of your life – it gets better.
Your 36-year-old self
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