A friend asked me to repost in a more findable place. I'm honored that it seems to have resonated with folks. Please feel free to share. Here goes --
Some thoughts on marriage, and cookies:
So I made cookies. (By which of course I mean that I baked the portion of dough that was not in my tummy.) And some of them came apart from cooking sheet to cooling rack, because they were so yummy/gooey. So I said to my hubs, "If you eat any, eat the broken ones."
And then I was like, Wait a second. This is my partner. This is the person who puts up with my ridiculousness every day, and makes me laugh more than anyone else on the planet, and is generous to me when I am a total shit. I literally trust this person with my life, and with my child's life. Why am I telling him to eat the broken cookies?
So I paused Netflix and told him, "You know what? You are my favorite person in the world. Eat the very best ones."
And I guess my Christmas (New Year's) Eve marriage/cookie message is this: We're all ridiculous people. We're only here a very, very short time. If you're lucky enough to find someone who wants to spend every day (and night) with you, and that person still manages to love you? Pause Netflix, tell them what a good egg they are, and by all means, let them have the very best cookies.
So I opened up my soul and poured it into a letter to my teenage self and wrote this for the Dear Teen Me website.
And now that it's out there, I kind of can't believe I put it out there on the interwho.
Which is a good indicator of just how honest it is.
Click this link to go to the letter.
The time: June 2012. The place: St John, USVI.
I'm in an island paradise, sipping a drink, staring at this four-foot-long iguana staring back at me, and instead of thinking, Wow. What a cool creature. Or, I'm a lucky girl. Or [Zen lack of thoughts, Be Here Now]," I'm thinking, I can't believe the wireless is down! I need to get a photo of this on Facebook, stat!
And then I said: "Facebook, I need a break. It's not you, it's me." Four reasons:
My BFF Jen just sent me this photo from when we shared an apartment in college. I usually don't like photos of myself, but this one? Love. Because it pretty much sums up who I was, who I am, and who I (God willing) will continue to be. What I like about it:
1. Good friends. In the photo, I'm smiling not for the camera, but for Jen -- because she's an amazing person, and a phenomenal friend, and she had the thoughtfulness to take a picture of me "doing two of the things you love the most." (Mind you, this was 1994, before camera phones or even digital cameras, so it took some effort --"Wait right there, JJ! Don't move! I'll be right back!" -- for her to take this picture.) If you've got friends like this, you're blessed and lucky.
2. Dance. I'm stretching after rehearsals for a modern dance performance. Whether for performance or just getting my groove on, I heart dance.
3. Yummy food. Love me some num nums. In college, I had the good fortune to room with several women in possession of vibrant, healthy body images and good relationships with food. These women DO exist!
4. Also about the spatula dipped in batter: life's all about measured risk. Small risks, like eating raw eggs; large risks, like professing your love to the object of your affection. Someone wiser than me once said that you'll regret the things you didn't do in life more than the things you *did* do.
Take care, and take risks.A life without cookie dough (from scratch, mind you) is a life not worth living.
Take care, and take risks.
That about sums it up.
Awesome, if rather surreal, day giving an all-school assembly at my alma mater (and site of This Girl is Different).
j.j. johnson, author