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*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 54: Be The One Who Got Away

13 Jun

Emily writes:

Dear me at 15,

The Author at 15

Your tan skin amplifies your slim, petite build and the darkness of long brown locks. Wisps of hair falling over your face highlight the green flecks of your hazel eyes. You don’t realize the boys think you’re cute. You think you will never have a serious boyfriend. And yet, you’ve set your sights on the coveted one, the one as brass and obnoxious as the trumpet he carries across the marching field. Your competitive drive and overwhelming desire to be liked, clouds your judgment, hinders your ability to listen to your intuition, and confuses obsession with love. When He finally asks you out, you are elated, but I beg of you, say no.

Do not go out with him, not once. He is unstable, aggressive and overly dramatic. He is driven by power and control. He will embarrass and belittle you in public, and then cry apologies privately, promising that he will never act that way again. Until the next time. He confides in you that his father beats his mother, and you will pity him, even justify his behavior. You foolishly think you can heal and protect him some how. But, you will soon start to believe that you are ugly and fat and ask permission to wear certain clothes, spend time with friends or participate in school events for fear of any repercussions of going against his will. He will isolate you. He will openly flirt with other girls in front of you, and then accuse you of being unfaithful.

Your spirit will be so broken, that you will put yourself in dangerous situations just to prove your love. He will push you to do things that are humiliating and against your will, and yet you will not tell anyone. You will stay silent because you believe him when he says, “This is your fault. You made me do this”. But you do not have to live that way. There are people that care about you, and they are not fooled by the sudden weight loss and dark circles under your eyes. They suspect that you did not trip on the stairs or are not too sick to meet them at the movies. They just don’t know how to confront you, plus they are scared of him too. After all, he is popular.

As hard as it will be, you need to find your voice. Don’t give him the opportunity to determine how you see yourself or what kind of value you place on your life. Don’t let him steal almost a year and manipulate years more by planting the notion that “you aren’t good enough”. Let him be in awe of your strength and character at 15. Be the one that got away, not the one He got away with.

I want you to know that you are smart, beautiful, well-liked and incredibly talented. Your heart is kind and unassuming. People find your humor delightful, your outlook on life inspiring and your ability to love refreshing. Years will be full of healthy relationships, when you take back your life. Just remember to love yourself.

The Author Today

Emily is a wife and mother who spends most of her time raising two daughters to be powerful, amazing women both physically and emotionally. Her blog is a place to document her life, and hopefully inspire others to be the best wife, mother and woman that they can possibly be. Her blog can be found at:


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Letter 46: The Spark

11 Apr

Dear me at 18:

The wind is in your hair. The sun is on your face. You’ve just shared a first kiss with a great new guy you’re seeing. You’re on a boat touring the Toronto Harbour and it’s a beautiful day. A beautiful date. Possibly the best date you’ve ever had.

Except for the fact that you don’t like the guy.

You’re trying really really hard to like him. You want to like him so badly. He’s cute. He’s funny. He’s sweet. He’s stylish. He’s got a cool job. He just graduated from art school. He lives in a super cool duplex in Little Italy. He is your recipe for romance, all rolled into one dude.

But the sad fact is that there is absolutely no chemistry between you.

You’re standing with your chest against the rails on this touring ship, staring into the water, wondering how the heck you could be so bored. Why there aren’t any butterflies in your stomach. Why you felt absolutely nothing when he kissed you.

This is the thing about romance: It’s all about a spark.

A spark. An indescribable something that makes your stomach turn upside down. That makes your breath shallow and your heartbeat race. That makes you need that person, need to be with them, near them, talking to them, talking about them. Thinking about them. All. The. Time.

It’s difficult to explain and totally impossible to predict where or when or how it happens. There’s no recipe for love. There’s no equation. You can have all the variables present and it still might not add up. It has a mind of its own and the one thing you can know for certain is that you are not in charge.

And, let’s be honest here: You hate not being in charge.

When you want something, you want it RIGHT NOW. And right now, you want to fall in love. And you’re getting incredibly frustrated that it’s not happening.

Half the excitement of falling in love is in the surprise of it all. The not knowing. The anticipation. The highs and lows. Without all those scary things, falling in love would just be… kind of boring. Kind of like the date you’re on right now. The date with the dude you thought would be your perfect match. Turns out, despite all your predictions, orchestrations, and equations, love is one thing that will never go according to your plan.

But hear me when I say this: I promise you, you will fall in love.

On the night that you meet your husband, you will return home to bed and be unable to sleep a wink. You, lover of all things slumber, near-narcoleptic, I-can-sleep-through-a-train-wreck you, will stay up all night tossing and turning because there is a pounding so loud in your chest that nothing can silence it. The butterflies in your stomach will beat their wings so violently that you will almost feel sick. It will be so overwhelming that you will wonder if you’ve officially lost your marbles (and you may very well have).

Here is the hard part: You’re just going to have to be patient. People say all the time that “love comes when you least expect it”. The tighter your grip on your dream romance, the further away it will drift. The fact is that in order for your life to go according to plan, you’re going to need to release control and have faith that you will be taken where you need to go.

Right now, this very moment, your future husband is out there. He’s walking around, living his life, waiting to meet you. You are on a crash collision course toward him. Don’t dig in your heels and attempt to rewrite the path that has already been laid out for you. Believe me, it’s a perfect plan, even though it might not look exactly as you want it to right now.

So do yourself a favour and relax a bit. Maybe have another beer to get yourself through this date. Be open and honest with the dude and you might have a chance to forge a friendship with a really great guy. Your soulmate is out there. It’s just not him.

And the next time you feel the need to manufacture some butterflies, resist the temptation. Believe me, they’ll be coming as soon as they’re ready. And there won’t be anything you can do to stop them.


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*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 43: A Permanent Commitment? No Way.

21 Mar

Rachel writes:

Dear me at 16:

I know you’re lonely. There’s an empty space in your soul big enough to swallow the Titanic, or at least that’s how you feel.

In your junior year you’ll get asked to prom by a classmate from your sophomore Speech class. Don’t go. He’s not a creep- he’s exactly the opposite. If the two of you go to prom you’ll start dating. You’ll date for almost 3 years. Long enough for his family to jokingly predict marriage.

Six months before you turn 19 you’ll wake to realize you don’t love him enough to marry him. You care for him a lot, but a permanent commitment? No way. So you call and break it off. He’s heartbroken and you hurt because he’s hurting.

Years later you’ll find out he still pines for you. That will make it worse. The most awful thing about this whole fiasco is that you will lose the boy who was your only friend in high school because neither one of you can talk to the other anymore. Your shared past is too painful.

So please, for the sake of your friendship and to save a good man from crying his eyes out, just say no.

Rachel Kestner is now an aspiring writer who currently lives on a small sheep  farm in Tennessee When she is not blogging at she is acting as a cushion for a black cat named Nightshade and a dispenser of carrots for a Miniature Horse named Lady’s Man.

Letter 42: Boy/Friends, Unicorns and Loch Ness Monsters

14 Mar

Dear me at 19:

You’ve just come home from a really tasty sushi dinner and a rockin’ concert by a Swedish Girl Band . You’re standing in your bathroom, staring in the mirror as you wipe away your mascara. You’re completely puzzled by the night’s events. You’re rehashing the evening, moment by moment in your mind, trying to figure out what the heck went so terribly wrong.

Allow me to clear something up for you: He likes you.

He doesn’t want to be your friend. He doesn’t want to be your “big brother”, even though that’s his self-proclaimed nickname and how he has positioned himself in your life thus far. He is into you. Big time. And, here’s a really big newsflash: To him, tonight was a capital D-A-T-E.

Looking back on the evening, I’m sure you must be piecing it together. He was wearing a dress shirt. His hair was different. He’d offered to pay the bill at the restaurant (though you declined). He made up a weird excuse for the two of you to go back to his apartment and asked to show you something in his bedroom (which you thought was super weird). And he lingered. Most importantly, he did a big time pout at the concert after you made a joke about your boyfriend (the one whom he knew you were dating). He’d stopped bopping his head. He was practically monosyllabic.

“What the heck is going on?” you might ask. “I thought we were friends.”

Let me fill you in on something here: The concept of the Boy/Friend is equally as fictional as the Unicorn, Loch Ness Monster and Santa. (Straight) Men and women simply cannot be friends. Sure, it might start out with the best of intentions, but sooner or later, someone decides to change the rules.

Whether anyone likes to admit it or not, there is always an unspoken sexual tension between (straight) men and women. Sure, we might try to act like high functioning, important and intelligent beings but ultimately humans are essentially a few chromosomes away from Chimpanzees. We are hardwired to procreate. The survival of our species depends on it. This makes it very difficult to forge meaningful friendships between members of the opposite sex. Because, no matter how hard we try to think of the opposite, we always just wind up thinking about sex.

Countless films, books and pieces of music have been written about exactly this narrative. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl become friends. Boy or girl falls in love. Tension ensues. Now, in the movies, this is almost always an excellent thing. Harry realizes that he loves Sally and they live happily ever after. What could be better than two friends falling in love?

Unfortunately, the real world is a lot messier. A lot of the time, the feeling isn’t mutual. And that’s the situation you are now in. You like your friend. You think he’s a great guy. You think he’d be a great boyfriend. But there just isn’t that indescribable spark on your end. That certain something special that makes you need him. And the fact that he feels that for you unfortunately doesn’t change anything.

Most unfortunately, this is where the road must end for you and your Boy/Friend. He is hurt. You are confused. And things are just going to get even more complicated. The best thing you can do is to tell him how you feel and allow him the space to quietly walk away, should he so choose.

Is it possible for a Man and a Woman to forge a meaningful friendship and keep it at just that? Maybe. Possibly. I mean, I’m sure that in the span of history, at some point, it might have happened. It could also theoretically be possible in the future. But in the meantime, I would suggest switching your hunt for the Boy/Friend to a mystical creature that’s a little less complicated.

At least at Loch Ness you might get a tan.


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