"Sometimes the most clich'ed ideas turn out to be the most important if you tackle them at the right time." -raisedamongstcatalogs
Instead of lecturing myself about how this idea is incongruous, I will say this cathartic exercise is not over nor overly important. However, because in this recollection, I undoubtedly feel the urge to write a "Letter to My Future Self." Which could be more important!?
Dear Younger Ivy/Ive/Ivooka/ivykoehler.com,
Emphatically, you just came in from a 3-hour shooting session on the carport basketball court your dad spray painted. Your hands are a dusty shade of black from the asphalt and you've got a few of those soot marks on your forehead from wiping away sweat. You don't even wash them before sitting down at the dinner table. One day very soon your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will prevent this from happening so it's okay for now. You'll also come in second as a freshman in HS in a 3-point contest so uhh...keep shooting out there on that carport court until dark.
You've purposely skipped piano lessons recently. Stop that! You could be really good at this and it doesn't get any easier as you get older. And pick up a guitar before you graduate for pete's sake.
You're going to move to a big city while you are in college and not take full advantage of it. You'll be sad about that later in life, so know this, and DO take full advantage of the nightlife, secrets, food, risks, hazards, and unexpected taxi cab rides.
You'll meet a blonde girl through your love of softball and share many many things with each other. She'll teach you lots. One April Sunday you and her will be playing golf in her backyard and don't walk too closely to her back swing. Just trust me. You'll also vow to each other that you will both be each other's bridesmaids in each other's wedding no matter if you were still friends or not. Keep that promise.
Stop being so anxious ya worry-wart.
Don't give your complete trust to strangers. Be free and open, but not naive. Be strong. And for heaven's sake: learn how to take a compliment. And learn the meaning of the word cathartic.
One day you will meet a kind-eyed, tattooed athlete who you will end up hurting unless you do something about it prior. Do something prior. Even though you'll only end up friends who have the same sense of humor, you'll regret it if you don't do something prior.
Apropos, make a social networking site called Facebook.
You're going to wait a long time to truly believe you can't control everything. Don't spend so much time trying to. Once you release this, you will be able to live without that monkey on your shoulders.
Buy a monkey.
When you are a junior in high school, after the first day of Regional Golf, your team will share an onion blossom thing at a Chili's in Austin, Texas (Fun Fact: you will end up living less than a mile from this Chili's) DON'T EAT IT. You might end up having a gallbladder attack the next morning anyway, but I can tell you now that that Awesome Blossom didn't help matters.
You'll make a bunch of videos trying to vie for Ellen Degneres's attention. Nothing bad will come of these!
Be kinder to your family, especially your sister. Yes, I know she doesn't think like you do. But that's a ridiculous reason to get frustrated. Nobody thinks or acts like you. And you don't think or act like anybody either. I know you just want to protect her from screw ups, downers, and bad people in the world, but one day you're going to realize that she has to live her own life and you can't worry about it every waking moment. This will free things up between the two of you. It's awesome. Learn now that there's a thin line in being an overbearing sister and a supportive sister. Let her know now that you've got her back and just want her to have a great life.
You'll look back and smile one day about the fact that you beg Mom and Dad to take you to Oshmans ALL THE TIME, not to buy anything, just so you can shoot baskets on the indoor court.
Stop being so embarrassed by your parents! They are endearing souls and you're going to be a lot like them so get used to being silly for no reason, dressing up in costumes for no reason, talking in really bad but crazy accents for no reason, recording your height on the inside of a pantry door, and awkwardly dancing (take dance lessons and enjoy them...you grow up to be an even more awkward dancer so go to those tap lessons).
You're going to have 4 roommates that are amazing. Simply amazing girls.
Be careful when you buy your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd iPhones. They are these super cool phones that blow your current non-phone period, Nokia phone period, and Nextel phone period out of the water. Ehhh go ahead and invent a phone that has a touch screen, stores music/videos/pictures, and can download applications for things like repelling mosquitoes, throwing angry birds at unsuspecting pigs, and creating a picture that adds 40 pounds to your face. So the 1st one you own ends up being dropped in the movie theater parking lot...shattered screen. That 2nd iPhone you have, some dude will run into you causing you to drop said phone subsequently shattering the screen. And the 3rd one will just poop out on you.
Continue to save save save money. And keep toning people out who talk about how important money is to them. Matter of fact, when you meet a boy who likes expensive things and making/spending money, even if it's on you: RUN. There are other characteristics about this charmer that will put you in therapy later in life. But that's the first red flag. He'll end up being happy, since I know that's what you'll worry about post-relationship...
Continuing that thought though, although not always the most pleasant, that time in your life when you think you are in love is real. So before you run, take it all in. You'll laugh and cry and have experiences that will shape future relationships for the better. You'll hurt and feel like the world is caving in around you, but stop being dramatic because that's not suppose to happen until 2012. Take that pain and put it to good in the world. Other people hurt too and can relate. And stop blaming yourself for everything. Time passes too quickly.
It'll take you to your first year of college to pick up a friend that has been under your nose all along and will be there for you till the end. She is loud and hilarious, is a part of your family, and shares your love of funny/beautiful/horribly bad lines and riffs from musicals and musical movies. When you spend time apart from one another, it won't feel like it. She gets you and loves you for you. Take her to Constantinople.
Take more risks. When and where you ask? I'll leave that up to you, you've got a good head on your shoulders.
Oh and stop throwing pills behind your parent's piano. It was a stupid idea to begin with because it's like you thought that damn piano would never move. You are an idiot sometimes. Plus this is the exact and only reason why you don't learn how to swallow pills until you graduate college.
Speaking of college, stop writing draft after draft of "The Pros and Cons of going to: Northwood University or Teas A&M University." You know where you need to go, so quit prolonging the inevitable. You do that all the time. Prolonging the inevitable. Things happen for reasons out of your control most of the time. The sooner you learn this the more the world will open up to you.
Finally, smile more.