A Letter to My Teenage Self

A Letter to My Teenage Self

Dear Teen Kathryn, This is you, well over fifty years old now, looking back at when you were just fifteen.

 It’s not just your own high school you want to flee. Not just your own house in this sterile suburb where everyone has sprinkling systems that seem synchronized to go off at four in the morning and five in the evening, not just the tedium of living smack dab in the middle of the country, —it’s your own skin you want to slip from.

There is the obvious—like smooth zit free complexion, ten pounds less fat, let’s make that fifteen, hair that does not go berserk every time the dew point rises which is all the time in Indiana. You want to be an entirely new creature. You don‘t want to worry about proms, curfews, your much smarter older sister. You want freedom—So you say, doesn’t everyone want that who is fifteen and fed up with the total boringness of life? So like okay, Kathryn, you finally, finally got a B+ on an Algebra exam—my highest math grade ever. That was big excitement in the Lasky household. Your parents whooped around like you’d just split the atom. There are about 345 days until you can get your learners permit but where are you going to drive to? There is absolutely nowhere to go here—now if Mom and Dad would let you drive to California from Indiana with your big sister that could be interesting. But that got a resounding no from all parties involved— your sister, and  your two parents. An alternative? “You and Martha could drive out and play miniature golf at C’est Paris. Yes, you guessed it a miniature golf course that looks like Paris . You can try and putt a ball through a four-foot high Eiffel Tower. “But it’s NOT Paris!” You want to scream.  It’s not even Disneyland. It’s Indiana for crying out loud!

 The longing to escape becomes an itch, and soon you find yourself yearning  to slip away  away from miniature golf courses and algebra and being on the dumb prom planning committee that never listens to your ideas anyway, to slip out of your skin, to become a different person, a different type of creature. And it’s not just your skin you want to slip out of, not just your place, but time. You want to discover your not quite other self, a secret self — that lurks deep within you—your mer self … and find your mer sisters. Why do you want to do this? You’re not sure. But you definitely know you’re not cut out for the world right now as it is. John Kennedy is about to be elected. He is talking about the New Frontier. But there isn’t a frontier out here in the middle of the country. There are only beautiful, manicured lawns with those freakin’ sprinklers. You want an ocean!

So Old Kathryn still has the urgencies of Young Kathryn and now has completed The Crossing, the fourth and concluding book in the Daughters of The Sea Series, to be published on April 28th!

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