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Happy Birthday to 16 year old Self

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Sweet 16 year old self in the year 1953,
I know you don’t like wordy advice, so I will keep this short and to the point. As I reflect back to that 16th year of our life (as we share a life) there are a few things I would like to say to you now. Perhaps you will heed this advice; perhaps not.

1)Be proud of your Native American heritage. You have grown up since you were seven with just your mom, who is of European decent and knows nothing of your Nez Perce culture. That is why you will have to do some studying on your own to learn about the rich culture which is your heritage. There are people who will de-value you because of your ethnic background. Ignore them. Your true friends will value you for who you are.

2) You should plan on a college education. I know that seems impossible now, and you have sort of decided on getting an office job after you graduate. Be open to college opportunities. Your teachers have placed you in college prep courses. They have encouraged you. Start taking studying seriously with the thought of college in the future. Actually, I know you will attend college and that will awaken in you a real desire and even excitement to learn. Embrace it and do your best.

3) Because of your ethnic minority background and the fact that you are a woman, you may have to work harder than others to achieve respect and acknowledgment from some with pre-conceived ideas. It is okay. Work harder; always look respectable; respect others; be kind.

4) There will be some tough times ahead, as with all who live on this earth. Your mother has given you a strong faith in God. Keep up that faith, and it will serve you well. See others through the lens of God; then you will be able to love people that you don’t necessarily like to be with. It will enable you to see the good in others and to forgive.

5) Have confidence that you can achieve what you dream of now. You are now 16; be prepared for the world changing in ways incomprehensible now. Be open to and embrace change. It will help you live happily through the next 59 years, when you will have caught up to where I am now, and then do your own reflecting on the past!

Your 75 year old self
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