April 11, 2000

Thanks for the imageprompt!

What would you tell your 11 year old self?

(this is me at my Great Grandma Cleo’s house in 2000!)

***************

Dear Ali,

Happy 11th Birthday! I know you are absolutely loving life in San Antonio and enjoying  5th grade at ACCA.  You should know, that if you really want to be Evan Walker’s girlfriend (!) mom won’t actually kill you. John John will have his first “girlfriend” when he gets into the second grade and she handles it just fine. It’s not everyday that the most popular guy in elementary school likes you so…YOLO! “YOLO” means “you only live once”… I know. It’s dumb.

So this summer you’ll be moving to Germany. I know you’ll be devastated. I know you don’t want to leave Texas and I KNOW that you feel like the Army is the dumbest job in the world, but I promise you this: you will end up loving it more than you could ever imagine. You will get to see famous places all around the world (more than once) that some people only dream of. Enjoy it! You are going to fall madly in love. Trust me.

Middle School sucks. There is no getting around it. Don’t bother trying to convince mom into homeschooling you (Actually, do. She will keep the Court of Justice letters for years to come and they are absolutely hilarious). Sixth grade and eighth grade will be really hard for different reasons, but you’ll get through them relatively unscathed. Seventh grade, however, will be one of the funnest years of your life. You will make three friends that bring you more happiness and memories than you could ever hope for. I don’t want to go into specifics because the difficulties of middle school really help shape you into the person you are today. It will be hard, but you will do just fine.

I will give you three bits of specific advice though: (1) Sun-in highlights are ALWAYS a bad idea, (2) Harry Potter is going to change the world. Don’t be embarrassed that you love the books (3) Do NOT dye your hair “ugly german purple” in the 8th grade. Your long-time crush will tell you so himself in Ms. Fox’s history class and you will want to shrivel up in your seat and die.

Lastly, love Emma. I know you two don’t get along. I know you think she is crazy and she thinks you’re mean, but love her anyway. Believe it or not, you two are going to become inseparable best friends. She is going to be the person you worry about, protect and laugh with the most. You spend a long time getting annoyed over silly things instead of appreciating that her craziness is what makes her so wonderful. Do yourself a HUGE favor and start delighting in her now. You won’t be sorry.

Your life turns out pretty stinking amazing. You will walk through some pretty dark times, but God is always faithful and you have an amazing family that would do anything for you. Embrace who you are and know that it’s okay to be shy in middle school. You got this, girl!

27 year old Ali.

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