11.30.13 Truth & Wisdom
BY Krista Doyle
To my friends and family back home,
Over the past year and a half, I have disappointed a lot of you. In most interactions I have with you, you are quick to point out that I am not the girl you used to know, and that you are unhappy with the changes that are happening in my life. I pretend to be strong and sure in the face of your disapproval. I pretend that it doesn’t affect me because I know that these changes are for the better. And while I really do believe that these changes are necessary and more true to who I am, it is never easy to hear you tell me that I am a little less in your eyes because of them.
To my friends, I am still the girl who used to ride the back roads with you on your golf cart because we were too young to drive cars. I am still the girl who stayed up with you all night telling you secrets and listening to yours. I am still the girl who made dance videos with you in the church bathroom until 3am on the first night I ever drank coffee. I am still the girl who hugged you until you stopped crying and made you laugh by wiping the snot from your nose with my bare hand. I am still the girl who let you do the same when it was me who couldn’t stop crying. I am still the girl who snuck onto private property with you for the sake of a really good rope swing. I am still that girl.
To my family, I am still the girl who when she was nine, couldn’t sleep until she gave you a hug goodnight. I am still the girl who sits on the couch and rubs her pillow corners when she is feeling content. I am still the girl who danced in her diaper and a huge red hair-bow to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I am still the girl who used to get splinters in her hands from playing on hay bells with Zach. I am still the girl who made Tori stick candy up her nose on vacation. I am still the girl who was scared to open the door every time there were frogs on our porch. I am still the girl who loved riding with Paw Paw on his tractor. I am still the girl who made you watch Cry Baby, Homeward Bound, and The Little Mermaid about a million times each. I am still that girl.
But I am also the girl who is desperately trying to figure out this new season of her life. I am both confused and confident at the same time. I don’t even know how that is possible, but it is. I am still figuring out what it means to be a long-distance friend, daughter, sister, granddaughter while also staying present in my life here. I am still figuring out what my life here even looks like. I am trying so hard to figure out what I want, what I need, who I am, and where I belong while also trying to block out what everyone else in my life wants me to be. I know you are disappointed in many of the paths I have chosen to take, but please don’t forget who I have been to you. You know my innermost parts. You know me. Please don’t forget who I am because I am scared I will start to forget, too. Know that it hurts me to know that I have hurt you. It hurts me to know that you may see me as less of a person now. But I hope that somewhere, deep down, you really do want me to be happy even if my happiness is different than what you wanted for me. I hope that you are maybe a little proud that you raised me and influenced my life in such a way that I feel strong enough to fight to figure out who I am instead of passively accept what is expected of me.
But most of all, I hope that you don’t leave me. Because I am scared. Because I am confused. Because I am lonely. And because I can’t do this without you there to remind me who I am in my heart of hearts. Know that through all the changes, through all the confusion and mistakes, after all the wish I hads and wish I hadn’ts, I will come out on the other side better. Happier. Stronger. Smarter. A better friend, daughter, sister, granddaughter.
And I will still be me.