If you could talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say?
Dear 13-year old Randi,
There are a lot of people in the world that might not be intentionally unkind and might not really grasp just how sensitive a person you are but you will get your feelings hurt a lot in life. This is only going to make you a stronger woman in the long run although right now it sucks a whole lot. All that teasing Grandpa does to you now might not seem so nice but he might just be trying to toughen you up a bit and is just trying to teach you how to take a joke. When your classmates tease you about those scratches on your legs that you have no control over, it's only because they don't understand it, not because they don't like you.
You're doing the right thing by not chasing after boys. It's really not that big of a deal that it will take you a couple more years to get your first kiss. There is no rush to give yourself away because you will eventually meet the man of your dreams even if he's nothing like you ever expected and it will be much later than you ever thought it would be. I wish I could stop you from falling for and loving all the wrong boys between 13 and 30-something but they'll just make you appreciate your future husband all the more.
Math is so hard for you and will frustrate you for years but it shouldn't make you quit college all together. Although the struggles you will endure by working several ridiculous jobs - at times three at a time - will make you well-rounded and teach you many things, leaving your family to go away to college to get a degree should be your priority. Keep that amazing work ethic. Never stop learning. Read as much as you can. Travel often. Don't be afraid to try new things.
No matter what path you take and how many times you may stumble and fall along the way, things will be all right. You will survive. You will be surrounded and supported by amazing friends and a family who could not love you more than they do. Even at your darkest hour when things seem impossible and you feel like quitting, rest assured that you will be rewarded by being a mom to the most amazing little boy you could have ever imagined having as a son. We turn out pretty darn well.
36-year old Randi