The "Am I Doing Enough?" Tea with Julie continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
P.S. Was this email forwarded to you? 
Add yourself to the list and get your own!

Cincinnati, April 1, 2023

Hi Friend,

So you worry that your kids are misspelling words at age 15? You wish there was more gravitas to their writing? You figure by now they’d be showing signs of sophistication in their prose?

Keep reading. I’m about to humiliate myself in your service.

A childhood friend (during a COVID cleaning spree) discovered two aerogrammes I sent to her when I was 15 while she was in Israel. She messaged copies to me. I clicked open the scanned documents eager to read my thoughts, imagining some teenage depth or evidence of the writer I’ve become.

Um, no.

Instead, I mix up “your” and “you’re,” I’m obsessed with boys, I’m eager to be liked (cringe-worthy levels), and I cuss a blue streak like the “rebellious-for-a-summer-in-a-letter” good girl that I was. It was, to put a point on it, embarrassing.

Kinda wished I hadn’t had to reacquaint myself with that girl! My writing shows zero promise. And I was an Honor’s English student.

I did manage to tell the story of a snake my cat brought into the house and how my dad and my friend’s dad chased it out the front door, and in the second letter, I lamented that the cute junior counselor at my sleep-away summer camp didn’t know I existed. Oh the humanity! Braces, 4’10” —not the hot girl of Malibu canyon, that’s for sure.

Plot Twist

By the end of camp, however, the junior counselor took me on my first date (Star Wars!), gave me my first kiss, and turned into a boyfriend after camp ended. So a “cloying hunger to be liked” must’ve been his thing.

Point being: when writing essays, I could pull it together and perform well enough. But I also know if I read those essays now, I’d be appalled at their gaffes and lack of insight. My personal writing was rambly, chaotic teen stuff—no patience for vetted punctuation or spelling.

Because I was 15. A little boy crazy. A lot inexperienced. Still finding my voice, myself, my friends, my personality.

What I had going for me? Pure love of self-expression. That was enough…and got me all the way here, today. No one ruined writing for me.

So breathe easier. There’s time. Enjoy your gangly, neurotic young people. It’s not easy becoming themselves, or writing about it.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2023 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




Share this email: