Dear Me

As of today, I am eighteen.

I’ve changed considerably during this time period – for the better, I hope, though it’s hard to tell when looking at one’s self. I’ve measured the change in my looks through the Zoo picture-booths, odd as it may sound – take a look.

You can see my loss of braces, and my gaining of contacts – which I wear half the time, allergies permit.

It’s weird, watching yourself grow up. Remember those days when you were smaller, and you looked in the mirror and thought “What will I look like in a year? In ten years? Will I like how I look? Will I be ugly?” I had one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments about a year and a half ago, when my mother and I were shopping at the Avenues.

We had stopped by the bathroom and I was re-applying my lip gloss, fixing my hair – girl stuff, you know, and I looked to the left. There was a little girl, probably about five or six, and she was staring at me with an expression of profound awe on her adorable little-girl face. I knew what that look was, but I was used to feeling it myself rather than being the subject of it. It’s the “Will I ever be as cool as the older girl?” expression – and I realized that I’m being watched. All the time. Everywhere I go. We all are; and I wondered what kind of image was I portraying, the older I got? Am I being a good example to all these little girls who look on me as ‘the cool older girl’ I always looked up to?

Gail Carson Levine once wrote something that has stuck with me through the years. She said “There is a bridge spanning childhood and adulthood; we can never go back.” I thought this sounded awfully grim, and was determined that it would never happen to me. Sure, my looks would change and so would my mentality; but the instant I read that sentence I began to store some childhood magic in my pocket so I could take it out and look at it, no matter how old I got.

I think I’ve done it. Sure, I’ll never be able to fully hold the wonder, blind faith, innocence, and magic of when I was tiny again. Some parts of childhood you let go of just by living and knowing. And then there are some things you never give up.

Things that were never meant to be given up.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

I did a lot of things when I was little that I don’t do anymore. I don’t end every sentence with “And Tigger, too! Oo-hoo-hoo-hoo!” I don’t squeal “Stop-a kickin’ ME!” every time somebody bumps me under the table. I don’t gallop around the house on all fours, getting rug burns for the sake of pretending I was a wild horse. I don’t need to hear Dr. Suess’s Sleep Book to go to sleep every night.

 Never, when I was small and getting up early to toddle downstairs with a fistful of crayons and an enormous stack of paper, did I see myself where I am now, commissioning art, character designing, illustrating.

Never did I think I would become a geek who could name the Star Wars systems, who gave Vulcan live long and prosper signs to random people, who remembers the names of various Korean singers and calls dad ‘Oppa,’ who knew the ins and outs of fairy tales. Never did I think, when creating highly imaginative stories about super heroes, horse-taming girls, and my blond, cobra-killing heroine Amanda that I would one day be totally devoted to writing.

I’ve done a lot of growing up, but I still have a lot to learn. This past year has been a year of learning for me. I’ve learned so many spiritual things – God has been showing me I need to root my main monster of Self Centeredness (I need continual nudging). I’ve learned so much about the writing craft that some days it feels I could float it on an ocean and not sink (very handy for the times my book gets shipwrecked).

I’ve learned to be a little lighter, I’ve learned I love to make other people laugh, I’ve learned that I can’t actually fly, which is why I lean out the car window and pretend I can. Or I write about it.

I’ve learned that it isn’t scary to walk up and say ‘hi’ to random strangers.

I’ve helped some friends through tough times, and it’s made me stronger. I’ve grown closer to my family, and my little sister especially (we have too many private jokes to count, I’m sure, as evidenced by the odd notes on the eraser board between our rooms).

I’ve cried a little and laughed a lot.

It has been a splendiferous year, in spite of its tough times. I feel as if I’ve grown a lot as a person;  as if more and more I’m becoming ‘who I am’ without wandering about the forest of life trying to find my way. I don’t know what this next year will hold, but I’m excited about it. I feel caught somewhere between London and Neverland; and I hope I get to stay there, though I might feel the pains of ‘growing up.’ I’ve never been in the habit of writing to myself, though I’ve done it once or twice before. However, as this is a fairly large birthday – the marker of my first step into something like adulthood – I think it best I should give myself a few reminders.

Dear Me,

 This year, you are going to remember –

Life, while it isn’t about you, is yours to make beautiful.

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, do crazy things, and live outside the box.

Remember to keep your priorities straight, since you obviously can’t do the same for your head.

Don’t let anything crowd God’s space in your heart.

If you want something, you’ve got to work for it.

Try new things.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself; as long as you’re pleasing God, it doesn’t matter what others think.

Make 17 proud, and make 18 a year to remember.

~ Yourself

 

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23 thoughts on “Dear Me

  1. xD all sage things to remember.

    Here’s one more. You are an immortal being inside an earth-suit. While the suit outside changes over time, the biggest changes are going to happen inside.

    Changes that will make you a being of radience and Christ-Likeness, one where when others see you say “My, but she looks like her brother Yeshua Bar Yoseph, I knew they were related at once” or a being of such petty self-souredness that they exclaim “My, but I would never know that she was related to the King. Poor dear, she looks nothing like Him. What a pity.”

    You’ll be one, or the other.

    The good news is that the Ruach Kaodesh, if you allow Him to, will work with you all your life long, to achieve the first option.

    Coram Deo, Merry Hearted Whirly-Gig. All your life long, on this side of eternity, and the other.

    Happy MERRY Birthday.

    Love and MORE squishes,

    Michelle

  2. It can certainly be thought-provoking to look back at what we used to be like years ago and see how we’ve changed and how we’ve stayed the same…

    I imagine one reason you might be be much happier about turning 18 than I will be about turning 20 is you nearly have a book published and have other things you’ve done and created (such as artwork), but I haven’t done anything like that and I should be much farther along in life at my age. :~\ Sorry, I shouldn’t keep talking about myself, especially not on your birthday. 😛 Anyway, I hope today is at least somewhat special for you. 🙂

  3. My dearest Myvanwy – You (even you, with your huge immagination) cannot begin to know how much I love you, how proud I am of you, and how much you enrich the world just be being in it! Always and forever, Naneth ♥

  4. Mirriam dear, though I already wished you happy birthday, I’m saying it again. Happy birthday! *hugs* This was a really wonderful post, and it made me smile the whole way through. I loved the zoo photos– they really did show how you’ve grown and changed. I loved the little anecdote with the little girl, and the bit about the crayons. So happy birthday, Mirriam. I hope you have a absolutely fantastic year.

  5. Wow – MIRRIAM! You’re amazing, unnie. I love you forever and beyond.
    (And by the way… for ‘dad’ it’s Appa. Oppa is boyfriend or a friend that’s a boy. >.<)
    I love you so very, very much.
    Keep on being the awesome girl I know – 18 will be good for you. I'll follow you in three months. ^_^ (If I live until then… heh.)
    It'll be FANTASTIC. XD
    We'll share 18 together, too – hopefully I'll be able to say the same thing.

    Saranghae, unnie!
    – yeondongsaeng Hannah

  6. Hi! Just joined your blog (and I think you have a beautiful way of writing!). I just turned 18 too, and you’re right, it is a pretty important year. I like your list of thing to remember. And yes, it’s sort of like being caught between London and Neverland. But the best part is, London or Neverland, you never have to stop imagining! Happy special 18th…

  7. I love that quote—she said it in “Writing Magic” and the full quote (because you left out the bit about burning behind you…and I love that imagery. ^_^) is:
    “When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you”

    Happy Birthday! ^_^

  8. Aw, Mirriam! Hugs and a very, very happy birthday to you! You ave officially gone from the brilliant girl you were when I first started reading your blog a few years back, to a brilliant young woman! God bless you!

  9. This post is full of all kinds of coolness . . . But hey, what was I expecting? You wrote it, so of COURSE it’s full of all kinds of coolness! 😀

    And I sent your package! Yay! 🙂

    Hope your birthday was marvelous!!! ❤

  10. A very, very Happy Birthday to you, Mirriam!
    I pray that your eighteenth year will be full of fun and blessings.

    I loved this post and I just want to say that it has been a pure pleasure getting to know you over the past few months:) ‘Meeting’ someone who’s a Steve McQueen fan and who loves all of the geeky shows that I do (and introduced me to a few, too;) has been awesome.

    OH MY WORD!!! Did you really gallop around the house on all fours pretending to be a horse?!?! Me, too!!! I really and truly thought I was the only person in the world who did that=D

    Love and blessings,
    ~Tasha~

  11. Verrry inspirational post 🙂 I look backwards a lot and think of times when my brother and I would play Indians or my friend and I would build forts for our Beanie Babies from cardboard boxes and…. I really miss it. But then I look forward and think of all that’s still coming….

    P.S. I LOVE that Gail Carson Levine quote. I read “Writing Magic” several years ago and I still remember that quote vividly. It’s also a great example for why we should never throw away our writing. It helps us remember what we were like then.
    *instantly remembers an old novel stuffed in the closet and blushes scarlet*

  12. “I feel caught somewhere between London and Neverland; and I hope I get to stay there, though I might feel the pains of ‘growing up.’”

    I love that! Happy Birthday, Mirriam!!! 😀

    – Marian (from all-that-is-gold)

  13. Happy birthday, Mirriam!!

    I know I’m two days late, so instead of helping to make your special day wonderful, I’ll wish you a wonderful year. Grow in Christ and stay childlike. Learn lots and don’t forget the things that matter. 😉

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