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I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing endeavor

So it occurred to me that two of my nieces will be starting junior high this year. The rest of them are on their way to becoming teenagers as well, and by the time I finish this blog post they will probably be all grown-up and beautiful, because that's how fast they are becoming women instead of little girls.

My fears:

  • They are gorgeous
  • They are pretty much innocent, and entirely good
  • Junior high is scary, and teenagers are insecure and mean
  • High school can be just as bad, and let's face it, that's right around the corner too
  • Teenagers don't listen to their parents, or direct advice from any adult source (usually)
See the problem?

Why I'm writing this:

I am putting together a book for my nieces as a "you're starting junior high" gift. It is temporarily called "What I Wish I Knew" and follows a similar format as the Chicken Soup for the Soul series... just a collection of lists and stories, personal accounts, inspiration and advice from various people who might help them succeed.  I'm going to need help with content, as I'd like to make the entries mostly (if not all) anonymous. I don't want them knowing who is giving them such wonderful advice and personal experiences, as it may discourage them from listening! You know how they are... :)

My goal:
  • To avoid sounding preachy, churchy, etc. as much as possible (while still being honest)
  • Girl-to-girl talk, as opposed to parent-to-child talk
  • Think "outside the box" (I hate that phrase), give them advice or point out things they aren't used to hearing all the time
  • Keep it pretty PG, but be honest... you know my style. :)
"Nieces' Night In" - December 2010 - Just four of my 9 nieces (two of them live out of state, and three more live in Japan)

If you have any input for these young girls as they enter a whole new world of pressure, pain, fun, and knowledge, please feel free to send me some thoughts (preferably by the end of June, so I have time to assemble everything before school starts). A list, a narrative, a quote, whatever you've got that might help my favorite little girls... e-mail me, leave a comment... whatever it takes to get your point across. Please include how you would like to be referred (anonymous, your real name, a fake name, etc.) so I can give credit to (or not give credit to) those that wish it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to read this, and especially to those who take time to think back on their formative years and submit some content. I am sure we can put together something amazing! Hopefully what we create can be useful beyond my own little family, and maybe even be published for the public to benefit from someday.

As for me, I am starting with a narrative about a very important day in my life, back in 2002. I will be posting it as June's "what if" story on the writing blog, for those who want to read it, the last week of June.

4 comments:

  1. So I'm trying to think if something to help you out with the niece book.. I have no memory of jr high and high school.. I think I'm good at blocking things out.. But I'm thinking! Love you!

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  2. I love this idea! It's so selfless and I'm sure they'll LOVE it!!! Thank you!

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  3. Happiness is a choice (for most people). Relying on external things (boys) to validate your existence will just make it a total emotional roller coaster. And they are not a reliable gauge of your worth. I know you said you didn't want it to be churchy but the most important memory of high school for me kind of revolves around that. So you can use it or not. When I was a junior I was super depressed. The reasons don't even matter (and some are kind of embarassing to the grown up me, but others were from some rough stuff), but I really hated myself and my life and I felt that I had zero reason to live and the only people who would really care that I was gone would be my parents. I couldn't ever rationalize away how much they loved me. (In fact when I got my patriarchal blessing one of the questions I went with was how long was my life going to be because I was hoping for an early death, and when it said that I would have a long life, that made me sad. Which is totally dumb because now that brings me a lot of happiness that I can be here with my kids for a long time.) My friends that I had been close to since 8th grade had decided to become very goth and start doing some pretty crazy stuff. But I knew that wasn't for me and so I really didn't have friends. I hung out with my parents a lot. Anyway, it was as I looked back, years later in college, and wondered why I didn't get into more trouble or what made me last out that terrible year, and the ones after that, that I realized it was because I read the Book of Mormon every day. I had started when I was 15 and I can't really remember why, but I KNEW that was the reason I was guided away from situations and people that would have had some long-term life damage. It was as though the blessing I received (and I couldn't see it until I could look back years later) was micro-guidance that helped in keeping me safe. It is hard to pin-point the exact things it did, but it is just the overall feeling of what might have been and why it didn't. I still read it everyday and it is so hard to explain how or why it helps or makes such a difference, but it does. I also realized how much my family is always there/here and I shouldn't trade my loyalty of family for friends. Life is truly about choices and sometimes you just really have to fake it till you make it. Even as a mom or wife or sister or daughter I just have to act the way I want to be and then I sometimes get the breakthrough where I am not "faking" it anymore. I genuinely feel the desire to clean or weed or do some other unpleasant task, or I feel happy in a stressful situation or I can not let my emotions run my mouth. I would also say to tell the truth. I lied and lied until I was in my early 20s, and now it is hard for me to feel that people can trust me, and especially don't lie to yourself. I know the whole faking it thing seems like a contradiction but you know the person you want to be and you need to act like that person in order to become that person.
    I know this was a lot and if it is not what you are looking for that is okay. I always felt badly about not doing your marriage thing. I had a lot I could have said about that :). I hope you know who I am. Good Luck with this.

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  4. EmmaLee, of course I know who you are. :) I remember your family very well, and I will definitely use your input! I don't want it to be a churchy book, but whatever is true and real for the people submitting, that's what I'm going to include. I think everyone's input is so important! It's also nice to know that people who seemed like they had it all together (like you) were struggling with the same feelings I was. It's so crazy how we don't know that others are going through a lot too!

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