Top 5 Wednesday :: Dear Younger Me

Decided to go in a little different direction for the Top 5 Wednesday prompt this week. (Check out the Goodreads Group here!) The topic this week is all about hindsight – books you would suggest for your younger self, books you wish you would’ve read “back then”, books that would’ve helped with your confidence and/or opened your eyes to a new perspective. 

I’m loving all the blogposts on my newsfeed – most of which are showcasing books available NOW to their younger versions. While I agree that there are a TON of new books that my younger self would’ve loved – I decided to go with ONLY BOOKS WHICH WERE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. 

Decided it was best in letter form, too. 

**Nacho Libre voice: “Big kiss, little kiss, big hug, little hug.”

Dear Brianna,

Here’s what I know about you: you’re confused, baby girl. Right at this moment, you’ve got a crush on a jock in the senior class who’s butt should be carved into a Greek statue in baseball pants, you wear cowboy boots to school, your idea of escape includes sitting at a bench in front of a piano or cleaning the spit out of your trumpet, you’ve never smoked weed but you’re already learning the intricate balance between too much rum and too little Coke. You’re torn between being cool and being yourself. And that’s okay. I know you love a lot of things; you’ve got a well-rounded appreciation for what life has to offer.

Most of all, however, you love to read. You love to write. You love English class. You love words so much it leaves a constant ache.

If I could tell you one thing, it’s this: hold onto that. Hold onto that rush, that high, when you discover a new poem. Grab tightly onto every chance that presents itself (the yearbook, writing contests, dual credit classes, etc.) for you to CREATE. Be the girl who always has her nose in a book even when her friends tease. You’re not a nerd, sister, you’re powerful.

At twenty-seven, I’d recommend a lot of books to you but I think I can narrow down five that are going to effect you in this life phase:

  1. You read Gone with the Wind when you were fourteen. God, I can laugh now – but back then you were suuuuuuper embarrassed. You didn’t want anyone to see you holding on to that old, green paperback falling apart at the seams. I mean, what if they thought you were a cheesy romantic obsessed with men who had mustaches? **sarcasm** How awful. **end sarcasm** – Let’s be real, Brianna, you are a romantic. Read it thoroughly page after page and devour it. Rhett Butler will forever be known as your first literary heartbreak. Not quite book boyfriend material but life altering in his own way.
  2. Speaking of book boyfriends – I know a book you’re hesitant about reading right now. You’ve eyed City of Bones several times but it’s fantasy. It’s about demons and fairies and werewolves. This is uncharted waters for you. Brianna…pick it up. Because let me tell you something: ONCE YOU GO FANTASY, YOU NEVER GO BACK. And Jace Wayland is going to lead the way. This book opens a million doors for you and sparks a fire within you to write fantasy pieces of your own.
  3. While you’re hesitant about fantasy and the ramifications of being “a total nerd” – you’re intimidated as hell by mythology. Momma buys you a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and, at first, you’re a little overwhelmed with all the information you’re absorbing. Promise me you’ll stick with it. Your love for myths/fables/fairytales/epochs/folktales/legends will grow and grow and GROW. It won’t matter if it’s Greek or Celtic or Egyptian or Native American. You will eat up every. single. word, my sweet girl. Go on and get hooked on that gateway drug = that small black and gold paperback Momma surprises you with from Walmart.
  4. Another small black and gold paperback you’re eventually going to own is a classic. Don’t you dare groan. Stop it. I know – classics suck. And you’re going to continue to feel that way UNTIL YOU READ FAHRENHEIT 451. It’s gonna shake up the proverbial Bingo cage, my friend. You’re gonna hit the jackpot with this one.
  5. Last…this is me begging you to stay interested in things around you. You have a beautiful home and you’re aware of it. I can’t even begin to express how proud I am of you for that. You’re not like a lot of your friends who can’t wait to get out of a small town; you’re grateful for the rural stomping grounds. You know the sound of river-water butting against a John boat and the chit-chat-chit of a mallard feeding call. You love trees – especially the mottled bark of a sun kissed sycamore. Study your environment. Learn the feel of seasons changing and all the varied wildlife dancing at the ends of your fingertips. Ask Dad questions. Go with Papa to check crops. And read every book you can get your hands on about avian species, tree identification, fresh water fish…

I love you. You don’t necessarily love yourself at this point but you’re going to get there. I pinky swear.

Also – the jock in baseball pants? He buys you flowers, just to surprise you at work for no reason one afternoon. Lillies and roses and peonies. Be sure and hug him extra tight when he leaves. He’s a good one. The world makes fewer and fewer of those as you age.



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