- My Younger Selfby TAB_that's me
This work has reached the exceptional level
short story for contest - 760 words
My Younger Self by TAB_that's me
The Do Over contest entry
Artwork by avmurray at

Looking back at my younger self, a step back in time--a giant one indeed, I wish for that child more peace within for who she was back then.  I know, though, without a doubt, I would never go back, even knowing what I know now.  Each moment I lived is a stepping stone in life.  It's my story, my heart, my soul.  I've grown and I've learned.  I'm still learning--it's all part of the journey.
But with that said, there are definitely some things I would do differently, and things I would say to that little girl who still lives inside me.

One piece of advice: don't start picking your nose, it's a nasty habit and hard to shake.  But since you did, be prepared for the teasing from your childhood classmates.  When they tease you, instead of hanging your head in shame or looking away pretending they don't know what they're saying, try flicking a booger at them and say, "Eat this!"  That'll teach them not to tease a snot-nosed, booger-picking kid.  At least you didn't eat glue like them.

As for being the last picked for the team because you were 'fat', well that was just plain mean.  You were an active little roly-poly girl who liked to romp and play outside, unlike the kids today who only play video games and watch TV.  It wasn't your fault for being on the chubby side when your mama fed you cookies and milk every night before you went to bed.  Besides, you lost the weight before those important teen-aged years.

Speaking of the teen-aged years, do not, I repeat DO NOT, get into a brawl with Sherry over some stupid boy.  It's not her fault she liked him too, and he liked her back better than you.

Okay, young naive one, here is where your life could have changed.  Maybe, just maybe, if you had told even one person--friend, sister, parent, school counselor--you liked girls just a smidgen better than boys, your life might have changed drastically.  It was a different world back then than it is today, so only God can say how it would have changed--you might not have lived to see this day.
Even with that said, I would still plead, "Go for it, just once at least." What if you'd tried to kiss Julie, the one you really liked?  Okay, not a good idea, I guess.  We both know she would have told everyone and you would have hung your head in shame, and cried for days and weeks on end.  But we do know now, you could have kissed Violet and turned her head.
Though your mama expected too much out of you, and you never could please her enough, things could have been so much worse.  I believe she loved you the best she knew how, and you turned out just fine.

Yes, of course, you're a little broken but isn't everyone in some way?  The glue of God will see you through.

I know there are some things you coulda, shoulda, woulda changed, but you know now who you are, and where you belong.  And the most important thing to remember is if you would have had a Julie, Violet or some other gal, you'd never have gotten married and had the two kids you have today.  Yes, maybe you would have had some kids, but they would not be the ones you know and love with all your heart.  The ones you grew into who they are--kind, caring and smart.  And don't forget the whole new generation--five little boys and one little girl, all wild like fire, for life.
Life wasn't a bed of roses for ya, not then, not now, and it never will be, but you were loved and treasured beyond a doubt.  Many thorns will scar your heart but like a callus toughening your skin, those scars will toughen your soul.
Through your life's journey, you'll develop a spiritual awareness to soften up the hard knocks and blows.  Your daddy and grandparents would be quite proud.

So, my dear little one, know that every step you took--right, left, forward or backward--every bump and bruise you endured, helped me to grow into the woman I am today.  And I, as a still roly-poly adult, am a part of you.  You are my child inside, and I am your mature voice nagging at you to follow the right path.  Take my hand, hold your head up high, and together we'll reside.




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