Ashley Slack

By ASHLEY SLACK
CASA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL

If I could say anything to my 7-year-old self, I would tell her to enjoy the time spent running around like a horse in the school play yard, and the amount of time mom tells her to sing that one Frank Sinatra or Jim Croce song over and over again because those days come and go quicker than she will realize.
I would tell her that frustration and exhilaration, sorrow and happiness, pitfalls and accomplishments are on their way. Most importantly, I would tell her to sit back, relax and enjoy every experience she has.
If I could tell my 7-year-old self what life will be like 10 years down the road, she would be shocked by some of the events. She never would believe that, in the summer before high school, she would watch her best friends move half way around the world and her grandma pass away. She never would believe that the course of true love really doesn’t run smoothly. She would never believe how difficult it really is to say “goodbye” or how stressful tests, homework and school can be.
She also probably would never believe that she and Ryan, her little brother, stop fighting and become really close, or that she has some of the best — and goofiest — friends anyone could ask for. She would be astounded by the opportunity of a lifetime that was CSSSA and proud that she actually ends up auditioning for Juilliard, Cornish College of the Arts and UCLA.
She would be surprised at how quickly she finds her groove once she fully delves into music — playing piano and guitar, singing, writing songs — and acting. She probably would be pretty excited that she overcomes her fear of the “big rides” at Disneyland. Most importantly, she would be overwhelmed by the endless opportunities that arrive at her doorstep.
If I could say anything to my 7-year-old self, I would tell her that she ends up falling in love: She falls in love with music and theater, she falls in love with red hair, she falls in love with (or at least feels as if she’s fallen in love with) that blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy from acting. I also would tell her that she learns what it means to love somebody without actually falling in love with them. Most importantly, I would tell her that although it can be a little scary, upsetting, and frustrating, she falls in love with the life she leads and everything it has to offer.
I wish I could freeze the moment I am in right now and invite my 7-year-old self to come sit with me. I want her to get a glimpse of how beautiful the world is at this minute. It is difficult to fully comprehend how fast time moves and how good things get until you stop and think about your life at 5, 7, 10, even 14 or 16 years old. Reminiscing like that makes you want to go back in time and reassure your former self that everything really does work out in the end if you give it the chance.
So, if I could tell my 7-year-old self anything at all, I would remind her to hug her parents and thank them for all that they have done. I would tell her to take pride in who she becomes and what she accomplishes. I would tell her to hold her head high and never stop dreaming because she really can — and will — do what she sets her mind to. She might be embarrassed by the way she acts sometimes, but she will be glad to know she isn’t afraid to let her freak flag fly or speak her mind. I want to tell her of all the shows she performs in, all of the songs she pens, all of the articles she writes, all the friends and people she meets, all the memories she makes. Most importantly, I want to tell her how exciting life will be.