Dear Lauryl

At fifteen you wanted to be an actress on Broadway, or even better at the West End. Even before then, you wanted to be a journalist but always had a knack for too much detail that journalism would never allow. While some paths have now taken you down different directions you wouldn’t change where your life is now and where you are headed. You should’ve always known you were going to become a teacher after you played school every day as a child and you were never the designated student.

At fifteen you blasted Taylor Swift love songs in the passenger seat of your mom’s green Ford Broncho as if you had been heartbroken by a million different boys. Nothing felt more cathartic than blasting “White Horse” down I-35 with the windows slightly cracked and hair flying in a multitude of different directions. Your music taste has definitely changed now, but you still crave that highway drive. It’s only you and the road now though.

At fifteen you were hurt by too many mean girls in school, but just hold on a little longer until you are able to reach your life-long best friends in college. Everything you went through before will be worth the torture just to even meet these wonderful people. You will feel like you’ve known them your whole life and college will fly by in the blink of an eye.

At fifteen you could’ve never envisioned how your life is now. How different things are from your imagination. I think if there is one lesson you should carry with you is to expect the unexpected and to embrace change. Change is the only constant now. I know you are a control freak and love to be in charge of everything, but sometimes it’s okay to just go with the flow. Embrace everything in life: the good, the bad, and the wildly fanciful and unexpected.

Best wishes,



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Dr. Sarah J. Donovan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book