My Life Story: Observations of a Teenager

My mom filled out a questionnaire about me for my young women church group when I was a seventeen, it says:

What are Courtney's special personality traits?
Volatile! Temperamental! Funny. Honest. Extremely Intelligent and Sensitive.

What does Courtney add to your family as an individual?
We call her Pitiful Pearl. Life is Courtney is one crisis after another. But she's good to her little sisters and takes them everywhere with her. She has great friends and we love having them to our house.

What are her talents?
She writes wonderful poetry and great editorials.

The same year I went to a church youth conference where we were placed in solitude for an hour and instructed to read letters from our parents, this one my dad wrote:

My Dear Courtney,
I know you are just laughing at this whole program--especially these letters from parents. But since I have to do it and you have time on your hands here is something to read.
I admire your determination especially when it comes to school and educational achievements. I think you have a warm personality--even though we don't always see it--but I've seen your sweetness. You are a beautiful girl with beautiful skin and hair and a curvy body. But most of all we love you because you're you and you add a special difference to our family. Hold on to the principles you know to be right. Stay close to your Heavenly Father. We love you and have all the trust in the world for you.
Your Dad

From my sister Stephanie, four years younger:

I think are the coolest person! You have every boyfriend in the world you are lucky I think you are very pretty.

Steph always observed my range of deeply felt emotions and I think it scared her a little. Whenever I'd have an emotive episode I'd find little notes on my bed at night. We've established that she is the dreamer in our relationship, I'm the one who cries.

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