I started writing a post about why the sudden decline in blogging.
It was boring.
Lucky for you, though, I decided to try again with a different approach. That means that at least I posted something to the blog. I know. It’s been a while. I am not sure why. I apologize.
Anyway, on to an actual post.
Dear 17-year-old Larrie,
This is nearly-32-year-old Larrie. It’s 15 years later and guess what: your life hasn’t gone anywhere that you could have possibly guessed it would. Let’s discuss.
You finished high school, as expected; you went to BYU, pretty much as expected; but it took you longer to graduate and you didn’t get the best GPA. I know for a “perfect” student like you used to be, this is so hard to believe. We’re all like that when we’re 17, though, right? We think that we are the most amazing person on earth. Okay, well you didn’t exactly think that, but you expected nothing less than perfect in school. Well, it turns out, when you don’t really impress college professors and your grades reflect that, you actually learn a lot more about yourself and you were blessed to spend Thursdays meeting with an amazing professor, Louise Plummer, who gave you the dose of reality that you needed. She will give you a big hug when you tell her that you’re finally graduating and that she expected nothing less. And then you will have a good laugh together. She has a lovely, infectious laugh.
You didn’t get a degree in anything relating to math.
In fact, you got your degree in English. You hate English. You must be crazy. You started out in Accounting and hated it, but several influential professors and the challenge of all of the reading and writing required sent you down the literature path. Because of this, you will meet your husband. More on that later.
You returned to Salt Lake. At BYU, you thought you might move to Texas or the east coast. You thought that was required to really live.
But one summer you did take off and live in Pennsylvania doing door-to-door sales. Ha! It was an awful and amazing summer all rolled up into one hell of an emotional roller coaster. What you learned about yourself out there became the foundation of your spirituality and a starting point for learning to act like an adult. Even though you think you’re mature at 17, you are so far from it. And even today, I hardly think I’m mature enough to become a mother.
I know, you’re surprised that I haven’t mentioned children already. You thought you would get married before turning 21. Silly. So let’s talk about that a moment.
On your 30th birthday, you get engaged to the most amazing man, Nathan. For you, right now as a junior in high school, you’d be surprised to know that he’s not even old enough yet to have a driver’s license and he’s living in southern Texas. But when the two of you finally meet, the timing is just right.
And thanks to your English degree, you connect. Thane and his future wife set you up with him. (Yes, that’s right. Thane gets married way before you. Try to imagine that! And his wife is amazing. You have amazing sisters-in-law.) They set you up with him in part because of your English degree. His degree is in English teaching.
After the first date, you end up emailing through Facebook. I know, you haven’t heard of that yet. But you’ll join “The BYU Facebook” in a few years and that eventually morphs into a worldwide website where everyone can cyber stalk each other. Fun times.
Those emails, though, they start out short and eventually get so lengthy that between the two of you, you’ve written about 30 pages within two weeks of meeting each other.
Well, I don’t want to give away all of the details because you deserve to be happily surprised with everything that happens as you date.
Enjoy it because he’s fabulous.
You colored your hair. Can you believe that?
You wear contacts or glasses every day. It took a while to actually get into contacts. Turns out, it’s not the easiest thing to stick your finger in your eye all of the time. Right now, you just squint at the chalkboard at school or street signs when you’re driving. It’s nice not having to squint. Maren helped you pick out your glasses. The two of you go to a store in Sugarhouse together when you’re 25 and you try on a hundred pairs or more. Once you narrowed it down to the two best pairs, you had other people in the store give their opinion as well and you bought the pair that has skinny, pink frames.
That’s right. I said pink. They look good. And they’re pink.
What you like to eat won’t change a whole lot. You’ll still love hot dogs with cheese in the middle. You still won’t like the smell of raw fish or the taste of mushrooms.
You’ll get a cell phone. It will be much smaller than what Zack Morris has. Your first phone will be blue, of course. And when you’re bored in class, you’ll play Snake on it. Eventually you’ll play a game called Angry Birds, but your nephew, Abe, will get better scores than you ever do.
Buy stock in Apple and Google.
You will work at a laboratory in Salt Lake City. You’ll work in a number of different positions in their IT department. It’s probably because right now, you make web pages because HTML is easy. Maybe you should have gone into programming, but instead, you’re the person at work who talks to the programmers and then “translates” what they’re doing for the end users. It’s a good job for an English major, I suppose!
You will always love taking pictures and before long won’t need film, or even a camera, just your phone.
You’ll never really sleep well. Too bad. I would say to avoid Ambien because it won’t help, but the stories from your sleep-walking adventures are too funny. So try it out for a few weeks. Then you can quit and go back to not sleeping.
You really will love your family. Promise.
You’ll have amazing friends and even travel to grand places with them like London, Yellowstone, white-water rafting, Bryce Canyon in the snow, and Disneyland of course.
You’ll have a soccer family, too. They’re the girls from an outdoor team you’ll join even though right now, you think basketball is your only sport. They’re fabulous and highly approve of your husband, Nathan. He approves of them, too. Happy all around.
Keep practicing the piano.
Listen more, talk less.
Try to focus more on people during college. And be grateful for the fabulous girls you will become better friends with your senior year of high school. You’ll have some pretty random roommates which will make for good stories and you will find several gems among them. Gems make great friends.
Even though none of this is what you think you’re life will be like right now, it will be so much better. And you will be fine. Just fine.
Oh yeah, and one day you’ll own a Toyota. I know. It’s not a Volvo. Crazy. Blame Ford for buying the company and changing the look of the cars.