September 3, 2012

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda...

Lake - 1982
Yours truly, circa 1982

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t want to go back in time and tell this little girl some things about life. 
I think we all feel that way, right? 
Coulda, woulda, shoulda and all that? 

I wouldn’t mind the chance to tell her “stick up for yourself!”
or “it’s ok to make mistakes” or
“stop chewing your nails, because trust me – it will take 25 more years and some serious fortitude to kick that habit”.

I’d kinda like to tell her that it’s ok.  To have grace for herself.
To avoid those girls in 7th grade who made fun of her clothes – what did they know?
To go ahead and ask that boy to the dance, because turns out?  He had a big crush on her.
I’d love to whisper in her ear “confidence is your most amazing attribute” or
“you’re going to be stronger than you ever thought you could be” or
“people will get your humor someday…trust me.”

I’d love to whip myself into this photo and sit awhile with her.
Maybe say “avoid ranch dressing…it’s the end of the line for us” or
“save those letters your mom wrote you” or
“don’t be afraid to forgive…”
Maybe even tell her she’s all kinds of good stuff under there, even though it might not always feel like it’s true.

I’d like to give her a hug and say “PLEASE be a glass half-full person!” or
“apply yourself even more than you already do!” or
“you’re worth it!”
It wouldn’t hurt to tell her that she has a spectacular heart,
that she has great comedic timing,
or that she will be her mama’s light for years and years.  What a treasure…

I’d like to give her all the red flags in writing, all the pain in a bottle.
All the hurt in a book, so that she would know where not to step.
I’d love to point her to all the people who will love her well and good.
And I’d love to tell her what a difference having those people in her life will make.

and if I could work it into conversation…in no particular order…

  • Riding a bike with your eyes closed and hands off the handlebar that summer when you’re 9? Pink Huffy and all that?  Yeah, don’t.  Broken ankle.
  • Skip eating at Leatherby’s on the 21st of July in 2012…that was no good coming back up.
  • Drinking mom’s cooking Sherry in 85? Big mistake.
  • Nevermind the anti-biotics with sulfa… you haven’t seen a rash until you’ve seen that one.
  • Running too fast down Mark’s steep driveway?  Broken arm.  Walk don’t run.
  • You’re wrong.  Shoulder pads only make you look like a football player – not like Melanie Griffith.
  • Kissing Jeff Pulley in the model homes when you’re a teenager?  Meh.
  • That slumber party Gina Locke invites you to?  They’re gonna freeze your bra.  Don’t be a party pooper…it’s a J.O.K.E.
  • When Dad asks you when the last time you had your oil changed was – keep the “doe in headlights” look and say “what oil change?”.  Works. Every. Time.
  • When your fifteen and sitting at the table with Great Grandma and Grandpa…ask more questions about THEM.  They leave much too soon…
  • When that Roseville cop pulls you over for speeding and you make a joke, because you think it might diffuse the situation?   Yeah, not so much. $295.00 later kinda not so much.
  • When you tell God you won't be doing something, say like EVER EVER EVER going to Africa...(snicker) just go ahead and put it on the calendar as "pending" because you're SO going.
  • Turns out, singing in the choir IS good practice.  Keep it up, soul sistah.
  • The blue eye-shadow/blue eye-liner combo will be back in 30 years, so scale it back a bit…
  • Big hair is only a good look because you are a victim of something we call "the 80's".  It’s a terrible look.  Step away from the Aquanet, three pairs of layered socks, pinned jeans, rubber bracelets, and Exclamation Point perfume.  Do it.  Don't ask why. 
  • Please, please be a glass half full kinda girl.  Have I said that already?


and a million other coulda/woulda/shoulda’s….


Paula said...

Love it! If only we could step back in time with the knowledge we have now to better prep ourselves.....but then, we wouldn't truly be who we are today, would we? The best we can do now is pass on those beautiful words of wisdom to our own children in the hopes they will be wiser, stronger and better prepared to handle what gets thrown their way in their future. It's GREAT to have you back!

Christie said...

thanks, Paula...what a nice compliment!

crazy said...

Christie...Please find me and remind me too!!! This post is so full of truth...if only we could know what and where we would be 30 years later....Thanks for sharing. Ann C in TN

Anonymous said...

What a great blog. I loved every word. I remember a lot of those words too. Remember to tell yourself that you are cute and so talented.
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Love it!

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed reading your recollections and could/shoulda/woulda. But the amazing thing is that all those events made you the person I love, admire, and enjoy today. Even with the Exclamation Point perfume.