Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year!

January 4, 1985  Yeah!!!

Dear Ophelia,
"Well, I went to California. Dan and I don't fight anymore except for fun. The weather was OK. We went to Tahoe on the 26th of December. Luke couldn't go because he broke his collar bone so Wes went instead. The ski conditions were great every day! We skied first at Alpine Meadows then three days at Squaw Valley, one day at Northstar and one more day at Squaw.

I'm a lot better skier this year. I kept up with Dan and Allen and Tom. Allen and I were about the same. I was better than Wes (a little) and Dan and Tom were better than me, but we were close enough to stay together. I had a great time skiing. I took every jump I could find (like Dan) and it was a blast. 

Allen and Dan
In addition to jumping every jump, they slid (full-speed) under every slow sign as well!

We stayed in a condo near the slopes. Dan, Wes, Allen and I shared the master bedroom. Dad and John shared a room and Tom and Charles shared a room. On New Years Eve, I was going to go to a party at the Hyatt hotel, but I don't think Dan wanted me to so I didn't. Instead, I stayed at the condo with Charles. We had a good time. 

In the condo!

Guess what? Mom and Jeff decided to move to California because Jeff is getting laid off his job and we need to move. We've already got the condo for sale. I'm going to go to California early and live with Dad. I already brought most of my stuff back. I'll be going to San Mateo High school with Dan next semester. I'll move January 23, 1985. I can't wait. 

Mom is going to try and transfer within the company (Sohio) to San Francisco. I'm going to miss my friends so so much. Mom and Jeff also want to give Josh away. They think he'll be too much of a hassle. I so hope we'll get to keep him!!!!

For Christmas I got a 14 carat gold chain (mom and Jeff), a book and two posters (Becky), a purse (Angela), a watch--a really nice one (mom and Jeff), earrings and a necklace--14 carat gold with real amethysts (grandparents), earrings (Joel), Devo album (Dan), two blank tapes and a computer game (dad), a beautiful stuffed horse that mom made herself (she's rust red with a black mane and tail. Her name is, of course, Crystal Palace), a really nice pocket calendar (mom) and I think that's it except for a hat from Lara. I had a very nice Christmas.

Christmas 1984
Just as TV dinners counted as home-cooked meals at her dad's house, plants counted as Christmas trees!

Guess what? I've changed my lifestyle. Here's my new life--clean skin--I'm going to wash my face, cleanse it, put Aloe Vera gel on it (good stuff), and not wear much make-up (not that I do now). I'm going to buy an electric razor and some skin lotion for my legs, nail strengthener and try to remember to brush my teeth twice a day. Plus I'll take vitamins. I'm also going to keep in shape. I think I'll jog in California when I get there. I just want a clean, healthy body, skin and mind.

My personality is changing too. I'm going to be more relaxed and carefree, keep up good grades and I've decided to just be myself and happy and be a fun person to be with, not selfish or dull. I'm going to keep myself in good condition. 

For awhile, Ralph (I hate him now) had me in a mood where I just didn't care about much stuff. I goofed around in algebra and nothing seemed important anymore. Well I'm now getting rid of that terrible attitude and things are important like life, people, friends and my life. I'm so much happier now. 

Its very hard to write down how I feel but I've changed massively. Allen is the one who brought about this change along with Daniel, Wes and Tom (mostly Allen). Just after watching him and stuff (on the ski trip), I began realizing again what's important--life etc. I don't know if I can ever explain this to you in words but I'm truly happy now. One important thing I've done is to decide upon my career. 

I'm going to be a writer. Yes, its pretty much definite. I'm good in English and I've been writing short stories and poems for a long time. Here's how my education will go--Honors English classes in high school, journalism for my elective plus creative writing, psychology, children's lit. etc. In college, I'll major in some type of English class. 

Meanwhile, I'll write articles, stories and poems for magazines to get my name known to people before I publish any books. First, I'll probably publish a children's book of poetry and stories but I'm not sure yet. Anyway, I'm going to start my education right now by reading classics, novels and poetry by great authors and read books on how to write well (for tips) and I'll practice writing stories etc. 

Anyway, I'm happy (extremely) with the idea of becoming a writer. I hope I make it. I'm also going to publish a book of horse stories. I can't wait to begin my career. It'll be great writing down all my daydreams and just write, write, write.

Anyway, I'm a much better person now and I'm proud of it. Love, Jennifer  P.S. Yeah!

This entry is like going back in time and reading a prophecy! Jennifer has meandered off the path here and there, but she is working on fulfilling these dreams!

Jennifer ended up getting her bachelors degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1993. She graduated with academic distinction. In high school, junior college and at Berkeley, she took creative writing courses. She has joined various creative writing groups during her life.

Jennifer wrote her first full-length children's novel at the age of 19. She has since written two more children's novels, an adult novel and she's currently working on her fourth children's novel. Jennifer didn't begin to crave readers until about two years ago. She has been happy just to write. Her books are sitting in her hard drive just waiting for someone to read them!

Jennifer, now in her thirties, is ready to seek publication. She feels the time is ripe to complete the second half of her dream. Maybe its because she's ready to share her work. Maybe its because her books seem lonely without readers to love them. Maybe its because she'd like acknowledgment from her peers. She just knows that writing is like speaking--if no one is listening, you're just talking to yourself. She's ready to let the world in on her world.

Getting published is another story. Jennifer has no contacts. She sends her manuscripts out and she tapes her rejection slips to the back of her door. But Jennifer is determined. She knows now that she set this goal when she was fourteen and she will not give up on it.

I have to talk about Allen. Allen is pivotal in Jennifer's life. Jennifer and Dan are still friends with him. He has no idea how he saved Jennifer. It wasn't anything he did on purpose. First, he shows her another way to look at the world. He gives her hope that she never forgets. The second thing he does truly saves her spiritual life. But that doesn't happen for a few more years and I don't want to write about it yet!

Allen is one of those people who is a light to others. He was blessed with sunny hair, sky blue eyes and a great smile. He was easy going and well-liked. He was also a Christian. He had a strong foundation in God's word and it marked him. It set him apart. He was cool because he wasn't trying to be cool. Jennifer didn't even know he was a Christian until she was older. He didn't preach about it to anybody, he just lived it.

On that ski trip, Allen showed Jennifer another way to look at people and at life in general. Some famous person said that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. The punker, Ralph, had a bad attitude and it wore off on Jennifer. Allen (and his friends) had positive attitudes. Jennifer thought it was cool to hate everything, to classify people into categories, to be cynical--but Allen crushed that thinking. His bright light scattered negative thoughts out of his presence.

Allen liked people. Allen looked at the bright side of things. The only thing that caused Allen to frown was the bad attitudes of others. Every time Jennifer got angry or bitter, Allen spun her world around to show her a better view. In a nutshell, Jennifer wanted what Allen had--joy! She did not want what Ralph had--sullenness.

Sadly, her new found joy won't last long. Jennifer probably wrote "be myself" in her new pocket calendar.

Wash face
apply Aloe Vera gel
be myself
get good grades
don't be dull

She's still working too hard at being herself. Allen was raised with a Christian life view. He had the teachings of Jesus to guide him in his life. He had a fellowship at church and a family to support him. He has been consistent as long as Jennifer has known him. As attractive as his positive attitude was to her, Jennifer didn't have the same worldview as Allen. She couldn't keep it up. Before long, her negative thinking and worrying will seep back into her brain.

The Ski trip!
Left to right--Allen, Wes, Dan, Tom, Charles, Jennifer, John

Moving again doesn't help Jennifer stabilize!!! In a few weeks, she will be starting a whole new school again. At least she already knows a few people in California. The sad thing is that her parents packed her off to California right away because they thought they might move there. Joel stayed in Alaska and finished the year. She could have done the same. There was no reason to move Jennifer early, that she remembers.

It turns out that they don't move to California after all. They move to Minnesota! So Jennifer will move all of her things to California, start a new high school for one semester and then move again in the summer to Minnesota. I think its a lot of unnecessary stress for a freshman to go through. Especially one who has attended two elementary school and two junior highs all in different states already.

Jennifer will end up going to three high schools in three different states by graduation. Each time she moves, she loses and gains pets, friends, riding stables and family members. She has to adjust to completely different climates, academic systems, fashions and cultures. On one hand, Jennifer knows how to roll with the punches. She is so used to having the rug ripped out from under her--that she lives her life expecting it. When things are going well and she feel stable--that's when Jennifer starts to worry.

On the other hand, its no wonder that Jennifer is settled now and never wants to have to move again! She is determined to keep her family in the same town until they leave for college!

Did you have someone in your life who gave you hope?

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had an Allen in your life. It sounds like he was an amazing encouraging influence on you. I feel the same way about my mom. She was wise and looked for the best in people, even if it was very hard to find. Her faith was very private, but as she was dying of cancer she knew exactly where she was going and she was ready. Her strong faith inspired me to start my own spiritual journey and return to the God of the Bible, the God I knew from my youth. That is why I feel it is so important to give our children a spiritual education when they are young, so that even if they stray, they know how to get back. For that reason Proverbs 22:6 is one of my favorite scriptures. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

    Congratulations on the books you have written. I hope to read them some day.


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