Last night I sent off the first five chapters of the book the huz and I are working on. It’s a super fun to write, YA, zombie apocalypse, three book series. I found myself bursting with nervous energy after I hit send and I ended up on the floor with the large rattan chest I keep my memories in. I’ve kept special baby clothes, photos, my graduation tassel thing, and even the bouquet from my wedding day. Apparently I still have a large bag of the notes I got in high school as well. Remember those intricately folded wisps of paper we would pass back and forth in the halls?
I read through all of them, passing most of them on to Hannah so she could read them too. Not all though. Some of those things should probably be burned. I can see her, three years from now, waving a tattered piece of paper under my nose…
“But MOM! Why can’t I do blah blah… YOU did it!” Oh god. I better go destroy the evidence now.
Anyway, it was nice to remember what it was like to be a teen. I am also so glad I’m not that girl anymore. I obviously don’t have any of the notes I wrote to my friends, but I can sort of piece together what I must have written by reading their responses. I wish I could reach back in time and hug myself. Or perhaps give myself some advice. Looking through the eyes of grown up me, it’s really clear that teenaged Joni Rae just needed to be loved. I was so hung up on being loved by someone, anyone, and almost all the mistakes I’ve made can be traced back to that need. I hope that if I do nothing else right as a parent, my kids will know that no matter what they are loved and accepted unconditionally, just as they are.
But it wasn’t all sad. Hannah and I sat there giggling, as I explained the stories behind some of the notes. She thought it was funny that most of them were as badly written as the texts she gets from her friends. It makes me sad that Hannah won’t have a pile of notes like this to read with her daughter. She’s passing the same notes, only now it’s all done via text. I told her she should revive the art of passing notes when she is with her friends. I hope she does.
Last night I emailed one of my high school friends:
I just found a pile of the notes we used to send in school. We were both so horrible to each other. I’m sorry for that. If only we knew what we know now, huh?
I hope life is treating you good.
I was afraid of her response, but she replied this morning:
And all over a guy. It’s definitely funny to look back at things and wonder just what any of us were thinking when we were younger. I’m sorry as well and your message honestly made my day. I’ve been following your blog a bit and you seem really happy and I’m thankful for that.
I’m really glad I sent that message.
Do you have a cache of old notes from school? If you do, find the time to take them out and read them. You might be surprised at what you discover.