One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a 14-year-old-girl (let’s call her “L”). “L” makes me feel special. She tells me I’m pretty. She tells me she wishes she were “classically pretty”.  She tells me she wishes her teeth were whiter. She tells me she wishes her hair was longer. She tells me she wishes she was thinner.

When I was her age, I wished a lot too. When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else.

I wished I was somebody pretty. Somebody with thinner thighs, bigger boobs and longer hair. Somebody with clearer skin, whiter teeth and, preferably, blue eyes. I wished I was somebody with style. Somebody who wore size zero jeans and who could share clothes with friends. Somebody who won “best dressed” and never wore the same thing twice. I wished I was somebody who all the guys liked. Somebody who won homecoming queen and who was asked to the prom. Somebody who had a boyfriend and who exchanged love notes. I wished I was somebody fancy. Somebody who drove a nice car and carried a designer purse. Somebody who wore high heels and Tiffany jewelry. I wished I was somebody popular. Somebody who didn’t ever have to make outgoing calls or send the first text. Somebody who was invited to all the cool parties and who was greeted with cheers as she walked in the door.

When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else. I spent so much time wishing to be somebody else, that I never really enjoyed being me. Today, I enjoy being me (for the most part), but I still do a lot of wishing — albeit a different kind of wishing. I wish I could tell my 14-year-old self not to wish her life away — instead to hug her dad tightly and to share her feelings with her mom. I wish I could tell her how fantastic she is — and I wish the same things for “L”. I wish she could understand how special she makes me feel just by being herself, exactly as she is.

My dad used to say “wish in one hand and spit in the other — see which one gets full first.” I never understood what he meant until now. I wish I could tell him I finally get it.





21 thoughts on “Wishing

  1. Fantastic! It’s beautiful that you “get” life at your young age. Keep paying it forward. You never know who you wil help!

  2. You have said what so many young girls need to know. Self esteem is so important. Thank you for being a wonderful role model for L . I wish all girls could read your post today !!

  3. Hannah. I can so relate to your post today. Thank you for your honesty. I just want you to know as I put my coffee grounds on the gardenias and azaleas, I think of your sweet dad every day. He will never be forgotten by many, many people.

  4. Hannah, you are so right. Too bad most teenagers have to go thru this, but that is life. Live and learn, almost always the hard way. Thank you for your writings Hannah. Good job as usual.

  5. Beautiful…and so right. I’d say your wishes came true…glad you’re remembering your Dad…and good times! (hugs etc) We miss him too!

  6. Hi Hannah Banana!
    Looks like most of the respondents to your wonderful writing are gals, so I want to through in my two bits worth from a guy’s perspective. Guess what? It’s the same. You gals don’t have a monopoly on the insecurities of youth. The only difference is that guys just won’t admit that they have them, unless they are as exceptional as your wonderful dad.
    You are such a great role model for young girls today. You are living proof that all of those wishes of your youth would come true. You have become an exquisitely beautiful, incredibly intelligent and talented woman, that any guy in his right mind would love to share this journey we call life, with. Heck, if I was 40 years younger, I’d be beating your door down right now.
    Soooo, thank you so much for your words, and it hope they reach thousands of young girls (and guys), and give them some assurance that their insecurities of today are not unusual, and that things will get better, if they can just be patient.
    Keep on trucking!

  7. Oops, flunked proofreading! That’s “throw”, not “through”, and “I hope”, not “it hope”. I’m old, what can I say?

  8. Hannah, thank you for your beautiful words, I know every young girl knows that feeling and sometimes it never goes away, it stays with them through their entire life. You are beautiful inside and out Hannah and your words will help many.

  9. Wow, you have a real inner beauty that surpasses many.. Words and expressions of sincere thankfulness are or will be noted by “L”. Thank you for being you…

  10. Hannah, that was great. I took the liberty of sharing on FB, the Oscar Wilde part. I was 50 before I realized who I was and that I was not totally ugly or stupid. That I was who I was and I like who that is. Most of the time any way. You just keep motivating people in all the ways you do. It is the “Pebble in the Pond” theory. You may never know all the lives you touched but some will.

  11. I will definitely share this so-true so-real wonderful article with my young nieces… they all need to read this and realize that each of them are unique and beautiful inside and outside!! 🙂 thank you for sharing, Hannah!

  12. Touching many lives in an encouraging uplifting way is a very special gift indeed. Your actualizations in reaching out so broadly most certainly is filling all fathers with a sense of pride this weekend.

  13. You are amazing Beautiful Hannah Jane. ❤ Yet again you've provided a post that I needed today. This morning I opened up my kitchen window for fresh air, and was a deer caught in the headlights. Our neighbor was pruning his tree, and stared right into my "makeupless" face, my Pink Floyd faded (see through) cleaning T-shirt with coffee stains, and my hair matted up in 2 bobby pins. I was mortified. I shut the window really quickly and ran to the mirror. I started laughing hysterically that on top of everything else, I had feathers sticking out of my hair from my down comforter. I calmly said to myself, this is me, accept yourself as you are. Who cares what he thinks! Just be you. Then I received your post through email; isn't the universe wonderful! 🙂

    I love your posts, thank you again for sharing with all of us! I'm sure I am not the only one that is inspired by you.

  14. I am certain your Dad knew you would finally understand… wonderful post, I am almost 60 and still find myself wishing…. I enjoyed this post so very much, thank you for sharing your words, they are a blessing to me. DAF

  15. Hannah, thank you for sharing “wishing.” Very thoughtful and heart-felt. I lost my dad 36 yrs. ago and miss him very much. I continue to celebrate our time together, especially on Father’s Day. Please tell your dad that you “get it”—-believe me, he will hear you! Happy Father’s Day to Loren, a very special dad.

  16. Hannah – I too wish for a do-over at 14 but what’s very cool is that what I learned then and in the years that followed helps me every day to live the life and in the form I want and need..

    Funny/Cosmic thing about your really thoughtful blog post, I was just reading about Larry David and here’s what he said in this interview: “My life has changed. I’m not walking around any more wishing I wasn’t me, which was the case at one time.” You’ve hit upon a universal truth here — proof positive than you’ve a wonderful gift.

    Oh and I love Dead Snails Leave No Trails. I have one “working” copy and one with your Dad’s signature that stays on the shelf with my other treasured tomes. I know how he’d feel about that – probably he’d say what good is a book that stays on your shelf? Keep that one and give the other to your neighbor. And he’d be right so I’m gonna give the working copy to my new neighbor who’s planting his first garden in his first home. And just so you know I had your Dad’s book open on my desk as I saw the email alerting me to you new post. I’m have a ground squirrel situation and I wanted to see WWLD.

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