To my 17 year old self…

Prompted by the snippets of song, I threw a question out to my Twitter and Facebook friends.  “If you could write a letter to yourself at 17, what would you say?”  Their answers were so insightful, funny, touching and real that I just had to share them with you and with the young people in my life.

Dear Me, This is you in the future. only advice i can give you, LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS!! YOU DONT KNOW SHIT YET! love older me.  – James

Party even more! – Sue

Get over the Bad Boy infatuation FASTER! – Hillary

You are a way bigger deal than you give yourself credit for. Also: take voice lessons. – Peter

Dump her. – Steve

Buy Apple & don’t throw out all of those old comic books… – Craig & Jeff

Don’t let people stop you from going after you dreams! Even if it is “the one you love” – Laura

GO TO COLLEGE!!!!! – Celeste

Save as much money as you are bringing in and never spend more than you have. Go to every class in college. No half assing it!!! – Rachel

Only listen to advice from true mentors. If dont have one, find one. – Greg

When you move to Austin in 8 years, buy stock in Dell Computer  – Thom

   This person UR madly in love w/right now…there will be at least 20 more just       like him/her in your life…follow YOUR dreams – Traci

After all is said and done, your true friends will always reveal themselves. – Liz

Trust your instincts. They’re better than you think. – Mindy

Experience everything fully… the good and the painful. It will make you a          resilient, strong person. – Lori

Always do what you love… – Carla

Pay more attention to detail in the entrepreneurial class you’ll one day take. –      Mike

Let life teach you through your experiences and network. The more you do, the more you get. – Caleb

Find a good therapist, NOW. – Jamie

Throw caution to the wind.. discover your passion & immerse yourself in that.. embrace the joys of living & dismiss the haters – Steve

Love fully.  Laugh often. Do not be afraid to cry. Smile at strangers. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, but always learn from them.  Never let the ones you love doubt how you feel about them. Understand and accept that life is going to take you through detours and roadblocks, but the only thing that matters is enjoying & learning from the journey.  Live a life of integrity.  No regrets.  Let compassion, tolerance and determination be your guiding principles.  Find your passion and hold onto it through everything.  Love Yourself.  – Me …

What’s in a dream?

I have always been fascinated by dream interpretation.  Off and on through the years, I have kept dream diaries, but it has been a long time since I have had a dream so vivid and so impactful that I was able to remember almost every aspect of it.  I had one of those last night.  Even several hours later,  I can still picture parts of this dream in my mind.   I have looked up several of the most vivid images and they all seem very contradictory.  Maybe the contradiction is the overall message of my dream. It is always hard to know.  So what would you make of this one?

I am in a house that feels like it is mine, but it does not look anything like any house I have lived in.  It is empty of furniture.  Sometimes I am in a downstairs basement with a sliding door, but the kitchen is there too.  It is full of people.  It feels like I know some of the people but I do not know others and I do not recognize any of them.  Indications are that my ex-husband (my sons’ father), sons and current boyfriend are there, but I do not ever actually see them.There are loudspeaker announcements in the background of an evacuation.  It is the military and they alternately say anyone not voluntarily evacuating will be either arrested and put in a military jail or taken to the hospital.I am desperately trying to get the people in my house to evacuate.  Sometimes yelling at them that they will go to jail if they do not leave and that it is military jail, not regular jail & it will be worse.While trying to get everyone to leave, I find a tiny puppy – gray and white, maybe a beagle or a basset hound.  Very cute & sweet.  My boyfriend (or at least it feels like it is my boyfriend, I never really see him) and I decide that the puppy has to come with us.

I finally get everyone to leave.  I am alone in the house and ready to leave, but I decide I have to get some food for the puppy before I leave.
I pull out a bag of dog food and pour it into a bowl and it is full of little black bugs.  I dump the bowl into the trash and shove the bag into the trash.  Just as I am doing this, sirens start blaring.

I know I need to run, but I see jackets that belong to my loved ones on the back of a dining room chair.  I grab those and am getting ready to walk up stairs to leave when I feel an explosion and see a mushroom cloud billowing up.  (the front walls are gone so I can see this, then the walls come back) I am trying to think of a place to run to and hide.

I go towards the basement door (even though it feels like I am already downstairs in a basement/family room area), but there is a fire moving through the house.  I run for the stairs to go up, but the fire is there also.  I know I can not go outside, even though the sliding doors are right there.   I sit down on the floor with my knees pulled up to me next the sliding doors as the fire is advancing towards me with a firm knowledge that I am going to burn to death.

Then I wake up.