my journey with truth

May 20, 1997

Posted on: February 15, 2011

Dear Beatrice,
How are you?  I [sic] just gonna jumble everything together.  I miss Comfort so much.  I miss Kota and Jesse and Don and Susan and Andrew and Casey and Lois and David and Brittney and the football field and the church and the 4th of July parade.  I miss fireflies and jumping on the trampoline.  I miss life being perfect.  I miss the time of my life when boys and girls were friends.  I want a boyfriend.  I want someone to like me.  It’s not fair.  I miss Pawpee and Mimi.  David and Lance were in a car wreck today.  We only have 2 more days of school left.  Tomorrow I’m going to Celebration Station.  I just want to give Jesse and Kota a big hug.  I’m scared to grow up.  I feel like 6th grade has flown by all too quickly.  I made 1st chair for 7th grade honor band.  I also tried out for advanced choir.  Miss Altrogge said I made a perfect score.  I was confirmed on Sunday.  I want a boyfriend so badly!  Next year I’m going to knock ’em dead!  I also like ____ ______.  He seems really nice but once again I choose to like someone that I have no chance for.  He’s in 9th grade.  Today in P.E. I jammed my middle finger on my right hand.  It’s bruised but I think I’ll be OK.  I gotta go take a shower.  Maybe I’ll write again later tonight or tomorrow.

:`) [my attempt at a smiley face with tears?]
Lizzie

Well, guess what.  I still want a boyfriend.  And I can’t believe I used the phrase “I’m going to knock ’em dead!”  Like, I actually wrote out an apostrophe-em.

Most telling to me in this entry is the deep truth that growing up is chaotic.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  And I don’t have any illusions that my experience of growing up represents either an extreme or a “normal” (I hate that word) version of it.  It was my own.  That’s all I can know about it.  And yet, as I have loved children all my life (including while being one) and have worked with children and youth through college, seminary, and the real world, I think that it has a universal element.  The chaos of growing up, that is.  And in the midst of that chaos, we humans will grab at anything that resonates with order, simplicity, and comfort.  It just so happens my version of order, simplicity, and comfort includes capital “C” Comfort, Texas.

I assume I felt really crummy that day.  I’m bad at consistent journaling (uh, hello blog) and always have been, so usually if there’s an entry it either means I’m in a crisis mode of some sort and am trying to sort through things by writing it out… or it’s about a boy.  Whatever brought me to the low point of that day, it’s interesting that in the very middle of it (seriously, sentence 16 of 30) I say “I’m scared to grow up.”  Oh, sweet little 6th grade Lizzie “Holden Caulfield” Wright.  You have no idea what growing up is in one way, and yet I know you are hurting so right then over the growing up you’d already done by then.  Part of me wants to say “Get back to me when you truly can’t keep straight what day it is” or “Get back to me when you’ve said ‘I love you’ to someone and they say back ‘OK'” or “Get back to me when you’ve had a friend betray you for a job promotion” or “Get back to me when you have to swallow everyone telling you how you’re too young to really understand and yet you’re the one with the masters degree between the two of you”.

But I also remember what it felt like to ache for Comfort, TX.  It was life before any of that stuff (or any of the stuff that feels like it can never be named, never have that truth sounded out for fear of what might come of it) happened.  For one thing, it was probably life before you knew what days of the week even were.  But then isn’t it all the more strange in a sense that Comfort ends up getting translated by my psyche into order, simplicity and comfort?  So much so that the “jumbling” I do in this journal entry moves from missing a former hometown to self-worth defined through boyfriend (not that I declare that in the entry, but I kind of have an ‘in’ on what was going on there…) and then to the grief of lost grandparents to the danger of potentially losing friends (the car crash).  The chaos of growing up gets lumped in with deep grief, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Well, I guess to be fair, little just-finished-sixth-grade Lizzie could turn right back around and tell me to snap out of it, too.  She could say “Friend, you may have dealt with some deep grief and deeper grief, some anxiety and some depression, some low self-esteem and some terrible terrible life decisions made out of it, but you have also created some order (I said some), sought out simplicity, and given comfort.”  And she might remind me it’s ok to cry.  Some things change over time, sometimes we learn from ourselves, sometimes these “sometimes” take a long time.  And some things never change – like I need to go take a shower.

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  • None
  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh

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