anxiety, Dear 17, family, Getting to Know You, health & wellness, Mental Health, My Story

Dear 17, (yup, he’s the one)

Dear 17,

All the heartache. All the highs. All the lows. All the anxiety. All the love. All the stupidity. All the moments waiting for the phone to ring. All the butterflies when he was on his way. All the tears when he left.


You would think it would lessen in 30 years… but no. You still get happy, sad, anxious, mad, glad, thrilled, butterflies, and THE VERY BEST moments of your life with him.

Here’s the problem, and it will take you years to realize it… The rest of the world gets in the way, it always will. Don’t let it get to you, figure it out. You can. You will. Have faith.


He’s still your fire and your ice. Those 2 things reciprocate good and bad just like the yin yang symbol. You mesh. You are meant to be. The history isn’t there for no reason. You weren’t named after Mama Katie (Tolley) for no reason. Life cycles.

When your crazy shows up, it’s your fear that your future is disappearing. You’ve got some crazy girl; somehow you’re lucky enough to survive it. You will learn that crazy is anxiety. It takes years to get that figured out and under control.

I don’t think most 17-year-old girls know the man that will be their rock for a lifetime. I don’t think too many people get that lucky.

Are we lucky? Are we blessed? Are we smart enough (or just stubborn enough) to know that we want to hold on to what we have worked so hard for? Maybe it’s that feeling you have when you just know what we have is a once in a lifetime deal.

We spend 16-17 years growing up, that’s just learning and fun memories. The stuff that comes next is the stuff that makes us who we really are. Hold on to those memories and that learning, build on it, there is SO MUCH MORE to come.

When I look back, I am glad you are as crazy about him as you are. It pays off. I wish I could tell you. Maybe you wouldn’t take things so seriously sometimes if you knew how good it gets. Maybe you would realize the strength you needed is the strength he will always be helping you build (even at 46, he’s still helping you figure it out).

Neither of you know it yet. That’s growing, that’s learning, that’s building who you are. Funny, we grow together, we grow apart, and then we grow together again. I guess that’s what a once in a lifetime is.

He’ll be telling you soon, “Loving someone is falling in love with them over and over again…” and he is right, even at 17 (don’t tell him!!). Seriously, you’ll remember that moment for the rest of your life, I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever forget. You were in your parents house, I’m sure M*A*S*H or a Comedy Show was on TV, that’s what we watched late at night. We just liked being together, we still do. Enjoy it, life WILL get in the way. That’s ok.

The ride is anything but easy! Let’s just say there are a few breaks, growing pains, but it’s all growing, learning who we are. We have to explore, learn, make mistakes; it’s crucial. Mistakes are life’s way of helping us grow, we have to make a few together, a few apart, and a few that might hurt. And, some of the ones that hurt, boy are they hard to swallow at 17. Ugh. It gets painful. It gets dark. YOU WILL SURVIVE!


The compound of all of these experiences, feelings, challenges, lessons… only makes you stronger, you and Mo. (Don’t worry, that’s his nickname, he becomes Mo when he becomes Uncle Mo, it’s great, that’s not too far off either.)

Enjoy the ride, my dear.

Seventeen isn’t that bad, there are some AMAZING HIGHLIGHTS THIS YEAR. (Let me just say, ‘Guys N Dolls’.)

img_8450I know it gets rough there for a while, remember; you get a semicolon. Actually looking back now… you EARN a freakin’ semicolon…  you have A LOT TO SHARE AND TEACH others;;; Wear it proudly!

Always collect more knowledge. It takes intellectual and social awareness to continue to grow in this world. NEVER stop growing.

Love YOU.

More later-



P.s. Just a glimpse into 46>>> He just said, “Honey, I love you,” and kissed me on the cheek as we prep dinner. Don’t think life is all roses and kisses, we’ve been struggling big time lately. I just said to him, “I love you too, that’s the easy part, babe.” 😉 #always #kpt #mbt

Nashville 2016

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