Thursday, December 01, 2011

December 1: 36 Going On 13

Good Morning! Here is our first prompt for our brand new Reverb Broads blogging group for December. In case you missed it, our group of witty, lovely, intelligent bloggers will be writing on a variety of clever, interesting, silly prompts for all 31 days of the month. Go here or here to learn more and join us in the writing madness! So let's get this thing started:
December 1: Reverb Broads Prompt: "If the you of today could go back in time and give advice to any of the previous yous, which age would you visit and what would you tell them?" via Kristen at
Dear 13 year old me,
Oh dear. You've got a rough few years ahead of you, my girl. Buckle down and focus on school: study, read, devour everything you are interested in and throw yourself into getting smarter, funnier and stronger, it's one of the few things you have control over at this point in your life. Flirt with boys more. They are just as terrified as you are, and if you make the first move you aren't a slut or an idiot. It's ok to figure out what you want and figure out the best way to get it. Even boys. Hang on and have faith in yourself. Find people who will listen to you and understand you. Don't be so scared, I promise you will be ok, in fact better than ok, eventually. That eventually seems a long way off, but it's closer than you think.  I know this time is terrifying and strange, turns out that divorce often is, but you need to tell someone you trust about everything that's going on. I mean everything. You need to open up and ask for help. Soon, because you can't protect your mom or your brother because you are a child still,  and your father isn't the bad guy. It's too complicated for you to understand on your own, so don't try to handle it yourself.
This is sort of our issue it turns out. We don't do well asking for help. At 36 I still struggle with asking for help, feeling weak, feeling vulnerable, so it's sort of the 36 year old pot calling the 13 year old kettle black. But your world has sort of collapsed. So I'm saying it anyway. And I know you don't have any idea how to process it all,  but just keep going. Get out of bed everyday, make sure to wash your face and hair a lot, because puberty is doing a number on you, even at 36 you still have greasy hair after just one day and a shiny face, it certainly slows the aging process, but dang, wash the mug every night. Spend the night at your grandparents more. You'll miss them later. Let your grandma paint your nails and teach you how to play Kings on the Corner, and swim in their pool until your fingers turn pruney. Eat their crunchy Grape-Nuts and watch the Royals game with Pa-Dad. Go for a long walk when things get stressful at home. Grab your Walkman, play that cassette of Dad's, Paul Simon's Negotiations and Lovesongs, Paul Simon is wise and music will help save you.  Put on that black houndstooth skirt that you love with the pink fluffy sweater on days you feel your worst and look at how gorgeous and young you are. Take that in. You are at the time in your life when you can do or be anything. Be brave. You will survive it all. What seems incredibly life or death right now you will have almost entirely forgotten by the time you turn 14 or 15.  And get ready, because the next five years are insanely hard and horribly exciting all at the same time. And it's ok to still play with Barbies now and then. No one has to know. 
Love, You


Kat Walsh said...

That was both beautiful and funny. You are so talented! Don't forget to remind your 13 year old self of that! What a writer you are Kassie... I love this.

jastereo said...

Love this. I'm betting the 13-15 year old Kassie could have used the assist! But made you who you are. Guess that's why we can't go back right?

Kristendom said...

Shocking that we both picked the same age to advise - and no doubt neither one of us would have listened to the advice at that age. And while it would have been helpful, Joe's right - thank goodness we didn't, as it made us who we are now - two pretty kick-ass broads.

lanie@ plumb tuckered said...

Awww, I'm all verklempt.