my 17-year-old self

Processing through a lot in therapy, about who I’ve become in light of who I was, and who I want to be, who I am growing into being; wrestling with how I can be honest about my life and decisions with people who will disagree with things I’ve done. This is our line of conversation and we come to this point where my therapist says…

“What would you say to your 17-year-old self if she came walking into the room right now?”

…and I responded with,

“I would tell her that she doesn’t owe the church anything.”

I had never said these words out loud, but they must have been living inside of me for a while for them to come off my tongue so quickly. I had never even consciously thought these words, but the truth of that statement echos in me a week later.

…and then I wept. I wept at the kindness I showed my 17-year-old self because these words were not said with anger or vehemence, but with compassion, understanding, and kindness. I wept because it was the first time in my life that I had this realization that through my decisions in high school, college, and beyond I was trying to pay the church back for the structure they gave me when I needing something. Only I was attempting to pay the church back with my life at the cost of my soul.

me, summer of 2001, 17 years old.       *Thanks to Kim Maxwell for the photo!*

So, I ask you: what would you say to your 17-year-old self?

5 thoughts on “my 17-year-old self

  1. I was very privileged to know you when you were 17 and I would say your comment to yourself is perfect! Wish I knew you now just the same…oh time and distance.

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