6 Things I’d Love To Say To My 6th Grade Self

Day 6 of this wonderful commitment to write/post a blog in 30 minutes.

This practice is good for me. Keeping me honest in the writing an blogging department. Keeping me from procrastinating. Keeping me from getting in my own dangerous way. Keeping fears at bay by not giving them enough time to creep in. Write, find pic, add links, post, BOOM! Now where exactly does anxiety have time to fit into that crowded house? NOWHERE!

SO it’s great to be off and running. And now to celebrate day 6 I am going to share my first list post dedicated to the number 6. And I’m going to go all the way and make it about 6th grade. SO here goes! 6 things I would say to my 6th grade self. This is inspired by a letter by Maya Angelou to herself at a younger age.

Hey 6th grade Melissa Renzi, I have six things to tell you.

Halloween circa 1987 - the year before the 6th grade self I would love to speak to. What's sad and amazing it that my 30 something year old self doesn't even have any 6th grade photos in her iPhoto. I will rectify that one day. That's me on the far right dressed up for Halloween as a punk rocker. (That's Mom then Laur then Michael. Laur was a punk rocker, too!) Can you tell I was a pretty good kid? That's my version of punk.

1. You may think your hair is horrible. But it’s amazing. It’s exactly as it should be. 6th grade is when my hair went from poker straight to kinky curly just about overnight. A certain well-intentioned math teacher looked at me upon seeing my new haircut that inspired these new curls to reveal themselves in one fell swoop… and proclaimed “DOME!” I was horrified and still am. How awful of him. Which leads me to second thing to tell you, 6th grade Meliss.

2. The things you are embarrassed and horrified about now will be your best stories later on. 6th grade is the year my best friend/partner-in-crime and I performed an actual crime. Together, just one time, we were thieves. We were walking from her house to the movies (To see SATISFACTION! WITH JUSTINE BATEMAN!) and on the way spotted that on every doorknob there were these little bags hanging with Almond Joy and Mounds logos. Inside these bags, we soon found out, were two little samples of the aforementioned candy bars. We decided to take one. Then another. Then another and another and another until next thing you know we were in a coconut-chocolate-coma in the movie theater. I think I somehow ended up with all the leftovers (Really?) and hid them in my closet for about the next two years until I felt there was a way to safely dispose of them without my mom finding out. I recently shared this story with some of my fellow moms and was dying at the memory. See? Great story! And after the initial thrill of it all (and the coma) wore off I was pretty horrified by this story.

(15 minutes is up! I gotta make the rest short and sweet!)

3. Fill-in-the-blank-whatever-it-is-intense-and-stressful-situation will end. Tomorrow will happen. I am pretty sure it was 6th grade when I had my first middle of the night heart beating out of my chest with stressful recurring thoughts making me feel like I was a failure happened. I was working on  my science project and during that time we moved. I lost all of my very scientific data about which flashlight battery worked best. (I remember having the flashlights on for days. I put like 20 flashlights in a wine rack all on. Can you now see why I am not a scientist? That sounds much more like a creative art project, doesn’t it?) I guess what I was feeling was anxiety but at the time I probably would have told you it was near-death. My dad somehow calmed me down and explained that no matter what, I would be ok and that I was doing a great job. For some reason, that night, I woke him up instead of my mom. Dad has always been a very calming force for me. See Meliss, you lived to tell this story. Everything is ok and then some even if your science project was less than scientific. 

4. The friends that don’t love you just haven’t had the chance to know you. I think 6th grade was when I felt very aware of cliques starting to happen. I think my feelings got really hurt when I was not invited to a birthday party or sleepover or something. Whatever. But I was the one whose mom made her invite everyone to the birthday party. Thank you, Mom. It’s also the year I had (I think it was 6th grade!) a rolling skating party with my friend whose birthday was a week before mine. We rented out the whole skating rink and had our entire class come to the party. Now that I’m a mom I want you to know, Meliss, that it’s ok you weren’t invited to the party or sleepover or whatever it was. 

5. Singing “I’m so Excited I Just Can’t Hide it” on repeat is amazing. And annoying. And the both, sometimes, go hand in hand. On the way to pick up balloons for the aforementioned birthday, I sang “I’m so Excited I Just Can’t Hide it” on repeat (without a tape or the radio OR ANYTHING!) while my dad drove the caravan to the party store and back. He asked me to stop. I still love you, Dad. Now I can see you weren’t trying to squelch my lust for prepubescent life. You were just trying to drive. 

6. It’s ok not to know. It’s ok to admit you have no idea. 6th grade was when I felt like it was really cool to know certain things. Like lyrics to U2 albums or quotes from Winona Ryder movies. I did not know any of this. I tried, but memorizing stuff like that did not come natually to me. Even though I considered U2 my favorite band (and had posters all over my room CAN’T YOU SEE I AM A MUSIC AFICIANADO?) I had to sit there and listen to the tape and then pause it and then write down WHAT I THOUGHT were the lyrics and then relisten and then again and again again. It’s ok, Meliss, to love something and not be able to recite the details about it. Just love it for the pure sake of loving it.

Meliss, That’s all for now. Now I am speaking to your 36 year old self. We are back to 2013. That was a fun dip into the 1988-89 school year. (I think it was 88-89 but I don’t have time to go FACT CHECKING in 30 minutes! Ok I am going beyond 30 minutes for this one. But just a little!)

Thank you, darling readers for reading this. I am so in LOVE with you for helping me gain the momentum to do this. I am in love with you for being just plain you, too. Even if you don’t know the words and have horrible hair and even if you too, once, committed a minor crime. Even if you were up at night with your heart beating feeling like a failure. Even if you didn’t get invited to the sleepover. Even if your amazingness on repeat becomes annoying. I. STILL. LOVE. YOU!!!

Lots of love and endless Almond Joys,

Melissa

PS – I just did a quick preview and the type and font and size are all out of whack. The old me WOULD OBSESS about this and not post this until I excruciatingly figured it out or had Bob help me figure it out. But guess what, I don’t have time for that. So here goes nothin’, weird font and all!!!!!!!!! BOO-YA!

“PUBLISH!”

PPS – That is something I would do in 6th grade. Keep on keep on going. PPS. PPPPPPS. PPPPPPPPPs. But the amazingness does get annoying so I WILL STOP!

PPPS – Ok, I admit it! This post took about 50 minutes. I am ok with that, as I did not obsess. I just got totally inspired.

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This post is part of my 7 day commitment to fully write and post an entry from start to finish within thirty minutes, two sessions of 15 minutes each right in a row using my beloved Flylady timer.

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Melissa Renzi

Artist, dreamer, doer. Mommy. Working mommy. Wife and friend and daughter, too.

3 thoughts on “6 Things I’d Love To Say To My 6th Grade Self”

  1. Oh man, #3 brings me back to 6th grade too! The leaf project, for which I had to find, press, mount and describe something like 35 different leaf species, woke me in the middle of the night!!

    1. Oh KKJ!! That sounds so intense! YIKES! Thank goodness mine was only flashlights and still I could barely deal. Thanks for the comment, I love that you’re reading as part of coffee ritual. XOXO

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