Skip to main content

August Blog Challenge - Day 4

List 10 things you would tell your 16-year-old self if you could.

Dear serious girl,
If I could tell you ten things.

1. Be playful.  Lighten up, Francis. Life is serious, yes.  Love is serious, yes.  And you think and feel deeply, and everything is so important.  Except it's really not.  It's okay to have fun.  To play. To do something that is complete nonsense and has no point.  Really.  The world won't end.  Nothing tragic will happen if you stop thinking for a minute or two and enjoy something. Keep perspective.  Get a dog sooner.

2. Be wise.  Keep reading.  Keep learning.  Stay excited about the millions of things that you don't know.  Listen to people who think differently than you do.  Ask lots of questions.  Be curious.  Hear about other places, other cultures, other religions.  Seek to understand.  Keep your mind open.  Be willing to consider - and reconsider.  Don't do that Master's program.  Go straight for the PhD.

3.  Be confident.  Believe you are enough.  The voices that cast doubt on your worth that you have unwittingly allowed to live in your head can be silenced.  Learn to love your flaws and embrace your mistakes.  You're human.  Gloriously human.

4. Be strong.  It's going to hurt.  Life is like that.  Pain is the price of love, and you love hard, so you will also hurt hard.  That's okay.  Embrace it.  It means you're alive and learning.  Let people in.  Let people care.  Let people help.  Be brave enough to ask for help.  Be tough enough to do it yourself if you have to.  You're determined. You're resilient.  You're going to need to be.  Love your scars.  They prove that you are stronger than what tried to break you.

5.  Be weak.  But sooner or later, we all break. So break.  There's no shame in that.  Cry, scream, agonize, feel.  The cracks are where the light gets in. Stay vulnerable.  Don't let pain make you harden your heart.  Love is worth the risk.  Every time.

6.  Be kind.  Love the people in your life as hard as you can.  As loud as you can.  There is no room for half-measures here.  Hug them like you mean it.  Kiss like it's the last time. Don't say "I love you" out of habit on your way out the door.  Stop. Pause. Think.  Feel that love in your heart.  Then look them in the eye and say, "I love you."  Believe me, they will know the difference.  Do your best to help.  Try never to hurt.  And when you do, apologize. Not only say "I'm sorry" but take responsibility, make amends, and learn from your mistakes.  Find the light in people and treat them as if that's all you see.  And learn to forgive.

7.  Be faithful.  Not only loyal to those you love and to your own morals, but also full of faith.  There is much in this world that can't be analyzed or figured out.  Some things we have to just accept.  Faith is the key to being able to do this.  Believe there is more to this universe than what we can see, more than what we can quantify.

8.  Be honest.  First of all, with yourself.  Humans are wily creatures.  You will know just how to frame things in your mind.  You will know just what lies to tell yourself.  Don't do it.  Be honest. Brutally honest.  Fear is a sign to dig deeper.  Never be content with the surface.  Know that every story, every event, every person is more than what you can see.

9.  Be healthy.  Eat well, sleep well, exercise, get rid of bad habits and get some self-discipline. Really.  Snickers and Diet Coke for lunch?  Not a good idea.

10.  Be you.  Just be you.


Popular posts from this blog


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

August Blog Challenge - Day 7

What is your dream job and why?

I have my dream job.  I really do.

I work at Walla Walla Community College.  It's the best community college in the nation according to the Aspen Institute.

And it is. It really is.

I went to a private university.  A pretty snobby, pretentious one. I thought the community college would somehow be "less" than a university.

I was so wrong.

This place is filled with dynamic, passionate, intelligent people.  And these people care so much about the students they serve. I am continually awed by the caliber of learning and the depth of compassion I see every day.

And I get to be a part of it.

The work I do is hard. But I have a partner.  Daryl.  He's my sanity.  He keeps me grounded.  He's brilliant and insightful and he fills my work days with unconditional love.  We support each other. We talk and connect every day, sustaining each other in ways that go far beyond the surface.  We grow together as people and as therapists.  We fight b…