An Essay I Wrote at Age Twelve
"Hopes for My Life and World"
First off I think I should get a job, nothing drastic, maybe something like a waitress for a restaurant. I do think this is important during my teen years because I don't think I should depend entirely upon my parents and I don't think they would want me to either.
Also while I'm young I would like to have some of my writing published and if I'm lucky I'll make a little money off of that.
One of my greatest hopes is to become a professional pianist. I have always loved music and it is very enjoyable for me to play. I would also like to learn to play the violin.
I do plan on getting married. I'm willing to wait for the perfect time because I would never rush into a life long disision [sic] such as marriage.
I also want a house if I have to get a small one at first it doesn't matter I will take it step by step.
After I'm married I would like to have children, the number doesn't matter I have always loved children and I wouldn't mind having them.
Maybe in my free time I would like to teach piano lessons, because I like to teach and I love the piano.
I want to travel very much, although if I ever do it, it will probubly [sic] be when my kids are grown and married. The place I want to go to the most is Vienne [sic] Austria.
I know that while I grow and change the world is growing and changing too. I hope these changes will be good. That young people would not be influenced by evil. That the leaders of the countries would be strong in good beliefs, and the people would learn to be more mercyful [sic] and understanding.
A Letter to My Twelve Year Old Self (at age 36)
Dear Twelve Year Old Self,
You will get a job, when you are fourteen. Your mother will take you to get a worker's permit and you will wash heaps and heaps of dishes at your uncle's food commissary. You will work many hours in the summer. You will enjoy being in the midst of your aunt and uncles who work there too. Eventually, your grandmother will teach you how to mix the spices for the secret recipes.
You will have some of your writing published, but that won't happen until you are nineteen, after you have traveled abroad three times (on your hard earned dollars from the commissary and love gifts from friends and family). You will be commissioned to write a book of moral lessons for a children's ministry. You will be given a check for $250. You will take the check to the commissary office and have a copy made for a keepsake because it means you are officially a writer.
You will read a short article about Eliza Lucas Pinckney and you will become intrigued. You will begin to compile research on her. Soon you will have amassed so much material that you will decide to go to college to see if someone there can help you figure out what to do with it all. Besides you will be feeling lonely for other people to discuss your passions with. You will find out however, that most other people are not there for the same reasons you are.
Unfortunately, you will always be too introverted to play the piano much in public, but that will cease to bother you over time. Many of your piano students will perform however. One of them will go on to study at a conservatory of music after learning the basics from you. He will honor you in his final recital along with his master instructor. He will say something like "you introduced me to the love of piano". He will major in "public performance" in college.
The desire to play the violin is just a passing fancy. You will hardly ever think of it again.
You will meet a cowboy.
At first you won't be interested in him, but over time he will begin to win your heart with his honesty and integrity. One special Valentine's Day, he will give you your first kiss on a red sofa, a moment after your grandmother steps out of the room.
You will get married.
Many of your piano students will come to your wedding. You will insist that a piano be placed in the middle of the reception hall so that your students can play their favorite music for the wedding guests.You will live with your husband -- first in a basement apartment, then a small farm house. At last you live in the house of your dreams, where you hope to grow old.
Six weeks after you are married, you will find out you are pregnant. You will take a long walk and pray a long prayer of thankfulness for this news. You will know deep inside that you are embarking upon the most important work you will ever do: mothering. On this walk you will ask God to give you five children in ten years.
And He will.
After you give birth to your fifth baby, you will take another long walk. You will say another long prayer of thanksgiving. You will call that day, "The First Day of the Rest of My Life".