by Maria Schulz
I wrote these letters in response to a blog post prompt from a site called The Daily Post. Every day, they send out topic ideas to inspire bloggers. This one caught my eye and I thought I could have some fun with it (I hope you do too):
Write a letter to your 14-year-old-self. Tomorrow, write a letter to yourself in 20 years.
Ready? Here goes.
Take a Letter, Maria
Wow. You’re 14 years old! You managed to survive in that boy-filled house that not only had all of your brothers, but all of the boys from your brothers’ bands, poker buddies, neighborhood kids, and some people you didn’t even recognize. These boys ate all of your food, banished you from your own living room, hijacked the television set, and taught you how to box, just so they could punch you in the mouth. Bravo!
You made it!
This September, you will start High School. You’re leaving the safety and security of your tiny elementary school, filled with people you have known and loved for the past 8 years. You’ve known them so long, you can’t imagine NOT knowing them.
These are the people who have taught you how to keep your sense of humor even in the most bizarre situations. Remember that time the altar boy’s hair went up in flames at a funeral? Or the time Maureen, Lillian, Nadine and you threw a dummy dressed like Jesus Christ out the window in a To Tell The Truth skit, and the people downstairs thought a real person jumped out the window? Do you remember the day Sister Meg told you that Hell was expecting you? Somehow, you learned how to unearth comedy gold from it all with those friends by your side.
Let’s hang out near St. Robert’s
I know you can’t imagine this now, but here’s the thing: you are going to LOVE high school! You will meet people from all different backgrounds. It’s not scary at all—it’s the coolest thing ever! You’ll make friends who come from down the block or around the world, have different skin colors, speak different languages, and practice completely different religions. No, everyone is not Catholic! You are going to laugh a lot, and unearth comedy gold with these people too.
Lots and lots of people
Guess what? Some people will have crushes on you. No, you are not the most unpopular person on the planet. No, you do not have to stay home singing “At 17” by Janis Ian every Saturday night, wondering how you’ll survive the pain of Valentines that never came.
You will meet many teachers that give their blood, sweat, and tears for you every single day. Sure, some of them will be lemons. But the majority of them will be working hard and rooting for you. One of them will eventually become your cheerleader, friend, and mentor. He’ll introduce you to his wife and kids, and make you believe in yourself. There could never be enough time with him. He’s the one who will make you want to write.
Just remember: high school seems like it takes forever, but it goes by in a flash. Keep smiling, and even when the boy you adore asks someone else out, know that there is someone AWESOME ahead. (I promise).
Look around you and enjoy your family. Soon, your brothers will move away, get married, or chase their dreams across the country. Your grandparents and parents will get older and need help like never before. You’ll have the best nieces and nephews! You’ll even get married and have children of your own.
But right now, these people from this time in your life are all around you. Try to savor every minute. Make sure you kiss your mother and father. Listen to your grandmothers’, aunts’, and uncles’ stories.
Life is beautiful, even for us Queens girls who are non-Beauty Queens.
XO, Older You
20 Years later….
Oh my gosh—are you really 20 years older? Geez, you’re old. LOL. Does anyone use LOL anymore? Probably not.
How did you ever make it this far? I can’t believe the yodels and Pac Man cakes haven’t killed you yet. Did you ever get the hang of public speaking, or are you as bad at it now as you were 20 years ago? Did you ever finish your 2nd book? Are you retired, or do you have to work until you’re 100?
If my Dad is following in his mother’s footsteps, he has just celebrated his 101st birthday. Did he ever get his Joe Pesci moment? Is he finally a star?
Millions and billions of stars
Are my husband and I able to spend our winters in Key West and our summers in Newport? I’m hoping that we hit the lottery over the past 20 years, because I like the beach and I want to eat steak and not cat food in my old age.
Are my girls happy? How many grandchildren do we have? Do my sons-in-law love me, or do they want to give me boxing lessons?
Better start working out
Did Tales From a Hungry Life: The Musical ever take Broadway by storm? Is my father starring as himself? Did Cyndy Lauper co-write the songs with the newly reunited New York’s Unemployed? Who stars as me? My brothers? My family? Sister Clara?
Now available on amazon.com
Did you just celebrate your 25th year blogging?
Wherever life has taken you, look around and enjoy your family and friends. I’m sure they are still supporting you and making you laugh even now.
Peace out girl scout,
Snack Cake Heaven
Whether it’s 1980 or 2035, a piece of cake in your lunchbox is a thing of beauty. Here are recipes for 10 homemade Ho-Hos (Yodels, for the snack cake novice), Twinkees, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Suzie Q’s, and more.
So, Hungry Lifers: what would you write to yourself as a 14 year old? What would you say to yourself 20 years in the future? What’s your favorite snack cake? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!