AN OPEN LETTER TO TEACHERS

Dear Teacher,

I don’t mean this to sound like a pick-up line but did it hurt when you fell from Heaven, because you are an angel?

I’m mostly not kidding. When you hear stories like those out of Oklahoma last week and Newtown last December, stories of teachers saving lives (sometimes by giving their own), you start to think they may be the greatest gift to human kind.

I’ve always had a fondness for teachers. After all, my mother is one. So are several of my closest friends. There was a time when I wanted to be one too. You were like a superhero and I spent many childhood days playing teacher in the faux classroom of our basement.

Teacher, we have a storied past, don’t we? In elementary school you had to stop me from putting glue on my hand and peeling it off like skin (thanks, Mrs. Robinson). In middle school you exposed me to the first book that changed my world, (thanks, Mr. Hertlein) and took me on my first overnight field trip (thanks, Mrs. Spector).

In high school you taught me basic geometry (thanks, Mr. Wade) and American literature (thanks, Mr. Timmons), exposed me to U.S. history (thanks, Mrs. Morrison), and prepared me for writing college papers (thanks, Mr. Hopkins). In college you encouraged me to think about what good works could be done with my degree (thanks, Dr. Davis), and in graduate school you made some of that work a reality (thanks, Dr. Arterton).

Intermixed with all that math, science, history and English, you found time teach me about kindness, compassion and humour. You (along with great parents) made me want to create a life with meaning. I owe most everything I have and most everything I hope to accomplish to you.

So thanks for that.

Emily

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY FUTURE HUSBAND

In honor of the day of love, I’m reposting a bit of a letter I wrote in middle school to my future husband.

Dear Boy,

I do not know who you are or where or when we will meet but I do hope it is soon…

I pray that when we meet and fall in love you will love me for me and not hope for someone who is thinner or prettier. I hope that you won’t compare me to girls who may have brighter smiles. I hope that you will make me laugh, take care of me when I get sick and be trustworthy…

I hope that you remember that I prefer daisies to roses and that my favorite color changes with my mood. Please know that my eyes aren’t blue, they’re grey with flecks of navy…

Please tell me if anything I do bothers you, or if something just doesn’t sit right. I would like you to always be honest with me. If I have had a bad day, I hope you will shower me with confidence and smiles. I hope you understand that I’m a little bit nervous and very scared. Every relationship is a new game of cards, and… (sigh)… I’ve never been any good at cards.

Yours always.

In case you were wondering, yes I was a dramatic child and yes, I did include a note for the reader to sigh. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

AN OPEN LETTER TO NEW YEAR’S DAY

Dear New Year’s Day,

I hate New Year’s Eve and I’m guessing you do too. New Year’s Eve gets all the credit when really you are the star.

I haven’t met anyone who likes New Year’s Eve. [Insert the obligatory it’s expensive and never meets your outrageous expectations rant here] I get it; New Year’s Eve should be exciting. Christmas Eve is often better than Christmas Day. There is this amazing reason to celebrate (HBD, Jesus!) and far too much excitement to fit into one day. The anticipation is exhilarating. Somehow New Year’s Eve doesn’t follow suit. Or maybe I’m just not as disappointed if the only person who kisses me on Christmas Eve is my mother.

Twenty thirteen is going to be a good year. I know because you have been my favorite kind of day. You were quiet, cold and gloomy. I greeted you early with a walk and some reflection. You allowed for time with friends as well as productivity. And then you let me catch up on trashy TV.

You, my friend, are where the magic begins. You’re less anticipation and more action. You’re a fresh beginning and time to get to work.

Let’s dance, 2013. New Year’s Day and I are ready.

Emily

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY 10 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

Dear 10 Year High School Reunion,

I’ve had unreasonable expectations of you since birth. My parents were married six months after re-meeting at their ten-year high school reunion. So unless you delivered the love of my life and a diamond ring by May 2013 you were going to let me down.

I suppose I knew I wasn’t going to re-meet my future husband. Social media has really ruined your element of surprise. I would’ve been excited to see what my high school crush was up to, but casually stalking him on Facebook over the last 10 years has kept me pretty updated. Spoiler alert: he’s married with seven kids.

In your defense, I’m currently in that everyone-I-know-is-in-a-serious-relationship-or-getting-married-or-having-a-baby-or-buying-a-house-or-generally-having-their-life-together phase. Then you come along with your anticipation and your open bar and your need to make me evaluate my life. You’re like a full-length mirror with really bad lighting.

All in all, you and I had a good time together. Like high school, I kept close to my group of friends. They made me feel happy and content and loved. I had some deep alcohol-induced conversations with people I miss. I realized not everyone has their life together. I laughed a lot.

So thanks for the walk down memory lane, 10 Year High School Reunion, and for the new memories too. You were weird and awkward and fun.

Love for the Class of ’02,
Emily

AN OPEN LETTER TO TWENTY EIGHT YEAR OLD EMILY

Hey Twenty-Eight Year Old Emily,

Welcome. I’m excited you’re here, mostly because I’m tired and I got to enjoy some pre-birthday presents in your honor. Yay!

What a year. I was pleasantly surprised that I checked quite a few things off this list. I baked. I crafted. I visited New York at Christmas. I survived a robbery. I got a new job. I saw my brother and two of my closest friends get engaged (not to each other). I ran a half-marathon. I cleansed. I coordinated a wedding. I ran 5 miles of a 10-miler. I decided I hated running. I wasted a lot of time on Pinterest. I read Harry Potter. I pantsed myself.

But of all the fun twenty-seven year old things I did, it was also a year of worrying about what’s next. I spent far too much time concerned about where I was and where I wasn’t. Don’t let that be your legacy too. Don’t not do something because you don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. Be open. Be fearless. I give you permission to make mistakes.

Yes, I had to call Mom and Dad at 9:30 last night because I had a question about buying meat. It’s ok. Let Twenty-Nine and Thirty Year Old Emilys be mature. I’ll let you in on a secret now, you’re not going to have all the answers. Also buying meat is hard.

I’m a procrastinator and I’m willing to bet you are too. Birthday list or not, there’s a lot to do. Change is coming. I can feel it. Let the weight of the unknown go and enjoy.

Yours always,
Twenty-Seven Year Old Emily

P.S. I’m trying this eat-less-sugar thing. Good luck with that.