Dear Friend,

There is only one place I can truly begin this post and that is home, no, not here in H-burg, in Kettle. In that little straw bale house on Mingo Mountain overlooking Kettle Falls and Roosevelt Lake. Kettle holds my childhood, and childhood plans and dreams are of course the beginning of it all. Growing up I was absolutely sure that I would be with my friends forever, that life would take Heidi, Jesse and I to the magical land of college together. As I grew up, this picture began to change and I saw other friends with me as well, whether they were Taylor, Trevor, Mandy, Sara, or any of the many others I loved having in my life. Even when I found out we were going to be moving I didn’t realize just how much my future was changing, I told myself that I’d visit in a year or two and that our friendships would stay strong over the years, unfortunately this really isn’t possible. When you leave an environment and move to a completely new place with new people it is important to let yourself adapt, to let go of your past enough to find a healthy way to live, to free yourself from your (now) distant relationships enough to make new ones, etc. To be honest (with both myself and others) I didn’t do that. Looking back at that time of my life I have a lot of regrets, things I’ve wanted to apologize for, things I would wish I could do differently (if I didn’t realize that they may have led me to where I am today) or at least change my attitude about. As I’ve been packing up my room in preparation of moving out of the house and into the dorm I keep finding reminders of this part of my life, notes saying “Never forget me” and believe me I took those to heart, but the fact that I never accepted that the people who wrote those notes might not remember me wasn’t healthy. My entire world was changing, it was normal for me to remember almost everyone, but their lives hadn’t changed that much at all, one person left, I needed to recognize that, for at least some, it wouldn’t be long until people thought of me as “That one girl that moved away in 6th grade… what was her name again?” I guess what I’m trying to get across is two things  A) When you get to college, Adjust. You don’t want to lose those past relationships, but even more you don’t want to be so wrapped up in them that you can’t make new ones  and  B) In the next few weeks I’m going to try and let myself go, I might sane dyou letter of apology (for somehting you probably didn’t even notice) or I might just give you a rand0m hug, or send you a happy note… there really is no saying what i will do, but be prepared, or not (I don’t really care.)

Love, Mandi Jo