Today I am twice the age of my favorite number.
When I was 11, I was in 6th grade, and would turn 12 in 7th grade. Wow.
Who I was then, that scared kid that I saw in the mirror, is so very different than who I am now.
There are still, of course, those foundational beliefs and quirks that make me, me. But so much has changed, I would hardly recognize that kid if I saw her today. There's heaps songs and poems and stories based on the idea of "if I could take it all back, what would I change?" or "If I could tell a younger me what the older me knows now, what would I say?"
For me, I don't know that I would change much. If I could change things without affecting the person who I am today, I might do it, just to make things a little easier on younger me. But I like who I am today, so if that had to change, I wouldn't go for it. But, if I could stay the same, I guess I would change the habits I never formed. I never learned to not procrastinate, I never learned to work out or eat properly, I never learned to read my Bible and chill with God daily. I mean, I knew all of those things were good to know, but I never formed the habits. And so, here I am twice that age and trying to form many of these habits seemingly from scratch.
I have phenomenal parents, so that's a bit of a head start for me.
If I could tell 11 year old Netti something profound, some sort of advice, I guess it would be a whole heap of things.
-God loves you and always has, and aside from that, He WANTS you.
-Your sister turns out pretty cool in a few years, give it some time.
-When you get that first job, save more, go to the movies less.
-When you are babysitting for that one family, don't park in the driveway - all those dents will be avoided that way.
-Stop thinking - seriously, do something you enjoy.
-High school is a ginormous waste of time - get your GED or Home school. But don't stop playing the violin, you regret that one a lot.
-I know you think it's love, but I promise you, you're going to love those girlies that stick by you a whole lot more than this boy whose name you forget. Invest in your friends.
-Don't be embarrassed to write, you're actually not terrible at it.
-The truth is always the best way to go.
-When Kessi wants to sit on the armrest of the couch, take Abby's side and make her get down. There will be a lot less blood that way.
-When you decide you want to learn an instrument, even when it gets boring, stick to it. I promise you it'll be worth it.
-When you bake that one cake, think ahead. You'll have one less scar that way.
-When you go to Fiji, take some decent shoes with you - you might have a chance at avoiding a few more injuries that way.
There's more. Not because anything was particularly traumatizing, but because it might help me along the way.
I have become someone I like and am not ashamed of. I might look pretty much the same on the outside, but the inside holds a very different girl, a very redeemed girl. And I have God, and the people He's graciously placed in my life to thank for that.
Seriously, He's worth a try ;)
So thank you heaps to everyone who wished me a happy day, and thanks a million times over to the people who have invested in me. These people have helped to mold me and helped me to grow into the person I am today - They have allowed me to learn that growth is good, a wise person grows until the day they die.
I love you dearly <3