Somewhere inside you, you think that's the way it's supposed to be. Ever since you read how Trixie Belden had to suck the venom out of her brother's foot, you've been keeping a watchful eye out for rattlesnakes on the occasions when you're forced to leave the safety of your Brooklyn apartment. And you are.
There are other barriers you're erecting: You're spending a lot of energy getting out of your phys ed classes because you're either a sports type or a Shakespeare type, and you can't be crossing the line. You're guaranteeing yourself a sedentary life. Her first, self-titled album went double platinum inand a single from it reached one on the charts.
You're creating a set of beliefs about yourself that are going to box you in. That's too long to wait. If you keep that up, I know exactly what's going to happen: In about a year, you'll be standing in the back of a church with Daddy, getting ready to walk down the aisle. Breena Clarke, Novelist The author of River, Cross My HeartClarke was raised by parents who believed that a neat appearance, good public deportment, and education were paramount for well-mannered, middle-class Negro girls.
But there's another part of you that's less independent. Here, she writes to herself at nine years old. Roz, You are not going to get leprosy.
Or lockjaw. Ever since you learned that Helen Keller sensed the heat of an electrical fire by putting her hands against the wall, you occupy your idle minutes fretting about the wires behind the plaster. Now divorced and married to singer Garth Brooks, Yearwood writes to herself in her early 20s. Then all those other attributes you're so desperately seeking will find you naturally.
Your staunchest supporter, Senator Boxer Come Back From Any Setback Why failure can change your life—for the better 8 top coaches offer their best motivational advice Martha Beck's 5-step plan to getting unstuck. She has since cut nine more albums and won three Grammy Awards. But you're going to be okay. Again, I promise. Trisha Yearwood, Singer and Songwriter Raised in Monticello, Georgia, a town so tiny it didn't even have a movie theater, Trisha Yearwood did the highly improbable: She carved out a phenomenal singing career. I just do.
Chast started her worrying as a young hypochondriac. The Afro is only a hairstyle. It's less work than putting yourself in another's shoes. I tell you this because right now you are drawing invisible boundaries for yourself everywhere. The name of the game in politics is to move forward an issue you deeply believe in.
It will all work out: letters to my younger self
You probably don't think you need to hear this. You're hearing everyone ask "When are you going to get married? Much of the message was encoded in a torturous hair-straightening ritual that Clarke and her sisters endured. I know how strongly you feel about all these things in your heart, but look, you have to understand that the next person may not agree with you.
Your brain is telling you that you can't be crossing the line. And Trisha Yearwood warns against getting married for the wrong reasons. Roz Chast tells a panic-prone Brooklyn kid to quit worrying about lockjaw. At first she thought she needed only clarity and determination.
Daddy's going to say, jokingly, "We can duck out the back door if you want to.
Stop and listen to what you're saying: "I can't believe you feel that way! Dear Trisha, I've got something to say to you, and I hope you will listen with an open heart. We take our anxieties a little too seriously, her panels suggest. Breena, honey, try more things.
As soon as her mother dropped her off, Clarke stepped into the shower and emerged with her first Afro, an official revolutionary. Turn your life over to him every day. Barbara Boxer, U. Senator After working as a stockbroker and a journalist, Barbara Boxer, 62, found her voice as a political advocate. Stop looking outside yourself for validation and approval—you're letting other people define your happiness. This letter is for her year-old self, the mother of a seven-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, preparing to run for office for the first time.
Don't be so worried about what everybody else thinks of you, and don't think your happiness depends on someone else. I'm proud of the way you've stuck with your music, even though the odds were against you. You'll be afraid of the embarrassment of calling it off. Open up your mind and heart to differences—and you may not have to experience how losing an election can take you down a peg or two.
Roz Chast, Cartoonist The women in Roz Chast's world flirt daringly with leaving Soccer Momhood, fantasize about a remote control with buttons labeled "brush your teeth" and "change that awful She succ me thru my boxer and are likely to receive a "Bad Mom" card for giving orange soda to their children when they run out of juice. A whole lot of people are making the same mistake you are—wearing Afros and dashikis and thinking they're life issues. Every single person is important and has a story to tell, just as you do.
Get more inspiration like this delivered to your inbox. There are going to be times when your gut instinct is telling you something isn't right, and you're going to go ahead with it anyway. Five women look back with wisdom.
You won't get to enjoy using it until you're 49 years old. Trust that if you take care of yourself on the inside, follow your instincts, and let yourself evolve naturally, your potential for happiness will be so much greater.
Everybody will be sitting there, everything will have been paid for, and there will be a ton of cake to eat. Roz, here's the other thing I want you to know: Being an adult is better than being a. Learning to swim won't stop you from reading Shakespeare.
It is not about the war. Brainy as you are, girl, you don't know that hair is just hair. The truth is you've never allowed yourself to find out what kind of voice you have because you're a writer, not a performer, and you can't be crossing the line. And so you'll get married—for all the wrong reasons—to a wonderful guy. Boxer lost that election, for the Marin County Board of Supervisors in Californiabut won the office four years later, and went on to win election to the House of Representatives five times before being elected to the U.
Senate in and again in Dear Barbara, You're full of fire. You should be cooking on all four burners. You're just starting out and young enough to be impatient when people don't see your point of view. I want you to just trust yourself. Breena, you're cheating yourself.
For example, now that you're wearing an Afro, you think you've crossed the Rubicon—your hair will have to be nappy until the day you die. By the time she went to college inantiwar and black power ideologies were sweeping college campuses.
Those nights you lie in bed feeling that your tongue is suddenly eight times bigger than normal, testing your jaw for stiffness, gulping down saliva repeatedly to gauge if you're having difficulty swallowing—they're over. As told to Ellyn Spragins.
Honey, Your hair is not politics. Please accept the Oprah. Some people think there's a singer deep inside of you, but you don't believe it. I know how much the world's traps and dangers burden you. There's another way of living, and it has brought me a sense of peace that I want you to have.
You may never get to send your soul into a song the way you secretly want to. Finding your voice won't stop you from writing novels. You're passionate about children, choice, and taking care of the environment. You're going to grow up—healthy and whole—and everything you're feeling now is going to be great material for your work.
Worse, you won't know how strong and athletic your body is.
I'm not one of those adults who think kids have the best lives. Don't be so judgmental or dismissive. I promise.
Don't jump to the conclusion that another person can never, ever see it your way. Instead of trying so hard to manipulate life, take care of yourself on the inside. Know that God has a plan for your life. There's something else you may not want to face: It's easier to be judgmental. Mama and Daddy brought you up to be independent, intelligent, and educated.
Don't ask me how I know.