Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door

This week, WordPress is asking us to consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. They say: “Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.”WordPress also left us free to chose a topic out of a number that were given to us. The one I chose today is this:

  • Take us back to a specific time or event in your past: how would 15-year-old-you perceive current-day-you?

Hello dear friends

The Weekly Writing Challenge this week spoke to me on many levels and there were a lot of choices too, which I like, but the idea of writing about the vulnerable 15 year old that I once was, really appealed to me. In fact, I felt I had written about it sometime before but when? Was it on my blog? Or was it somewhere else? Oh folks, I’m always writing somewhere so I had no idea!

However, this afternoon, there appeared on my stats page a blog post that someone had found and read: A letter to my 16-year-old Self. Without even looking, up popped the very thing I was looking for! Therefore, I have reworked the post, adding and changing some things to present the letter to my 15-year-old self as per the WordPress suggestion … and I have changed the idea a little by writing from MY perspective now to my 15-year-old self.

Dear 15-year-old Theresa

You and I need to talk Theresa, for there are a few things you need to hear from ME, your 67-year-old self.  I do think it will make your life easier if you take note of what I have to say. I really hope that you do. Let’s get started.

You know it is not the end of the world that your mother won’t let you go back to school and study so that you can become a teacher! It may seem that way at the moment, but don’t let it send you into the depth of despair as it is doing now. Life seems so unfair and your mother and father seem lacking in understanding.

But, you will learn that sometimes, things happen for a reason and that you will become a teacher one day, but not in the way that you would expect; not in a classroom anyway. Teaching is far broader than that.  And you will find that your desire to complete further education will come your way in your mid-forties and no one will be more surprised than YOU when you actually achieve it!

Now Theresa, about this name of yours. I know your mother will not abide anyone calling you any of the derivatives of Theresa (such as Terri or Tess) but believe me – and I know you find this hard to believe right now – but one day what your mother thinks you should be called will not matter one iota to you.

When I was fifteen - taken at the beach

When I was fifteen – taken at the beach

In fact, as time come by you will not longer be dictated to by what anyone else thinks … although old habits die hard and you will always think of the formal ‘Theresa’ as your REAL name.

I know you are terribly shy right now and you find it hard to speak out when you are in groups, but it is only because you are young and have had little experience in public speaking. Don’t fret about it because one day, you will wonder how on earth you were ever shy! The fact is, you are quite a reserved young thing, prone to too much introspection and you are also far too sensitive for your own good. This will all change when you are older.

Now another thing Theresa, you let your two older brothers upset you too easily even at 15 when you should know better. You will have to learn to let what they say go over your head and pay them no heed. In fact, you are feeding your brother’s torments by your constant reaction to everything they do or say.

So your brothers called you “Usty” when you were younger and they said it meant “bad eggs?” And they were going to write to the Oxford Dictionary to have the word “Usty” included in it, were they? This is quite ridiculous you know yet you seem to believe them and I’m not sure why?

Even at 15, they continue to be tormenting bullies and what’s more, they think it is all very funny into the bargain. Typical boys picking on little sisters. At least your father was a great support to you, so appreciate him.

My mother and father when I was around fifteen.

My mother and father when I was around fifteen.

As you grow older, you will need to forgive them for their ‘crimes’ even though one of them at least may want to keep you pinned down to being a child and reacting accordingly. However, you will have enough maturity by then to know how to handle the situation and they will be surprised at how well you deal with them. So, don’t fret about them now; the relationship will improve.

Also Theresa, your relationship with your mother isn’t very good at present and you resent her controlling and dominating your whole life; she will not even allow you to do the simple things like plucking your eyebrows or shaving your legs!

She was brought up in another era. She frustrates you because she fails to understand why a girl like you with thick black  hairs on her legs, would feel ashamed of letting them be seen through your fine stockings! Honour her despite this.

But, I tell you solemnly, there will come a day when you will mourn the loss of your mother and you will laugh about those black hairs on your legs. And you will miss her more than you ever thought possible. It will be the biggest regret of your life that you did not appreciate her while she was still alive.

She will not live to a grand old age and you will feel cheated about that. In fact, you will find that the older you get, the more you will understand what motivated her and you will sigh and say “Oh now I know Mum!” But it will be too late.

All you will remember is this: SHE WAS MY MOTHER AND SHE LOVED ME … AND I LOVED HER! Keep that in mind when, as a 15-year-old,  you find her unbearable. It will help.

And I want to say, from the vantage point of the years, that I am very proud of how you handled yourself at fifteen and how you came through this very difficult and dark period of your life. I know you just wanted to die and didn’t know where to go for help, but your faith in God sustained you and you got up and went on putting your lost dreams aside and making the best of your situation by happily finishing school at 16 and going to work.

Remember … I love you always,

Your Champion

Tess xxx

To read more challenges go to:  dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/writing-challenge-shoes/

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