One thing about this life, it NEVER goes according to plan. There are so many unexpected turns, and it is all around one bumpy ride! My life was so bumpy, I wish there was a way for me to go back in time just so I could tell myself to wear a helmet! There are actually a lot of things that I would tell my past self. Since I happen to be self-reflecting, why not do just that? Perhaps it is time to open up some and really begin cleaning out my closet. I am on a journey and healing is a part of it. This letter is meant to help heal. An open letter to the person I once was seems rather fitting. When my 30 days of self-reflection comes to a close, I will be sure to include a letter to my future self as well. How exciting. Let the healing begin….
I thought this letter would be easy to write. Turns out, I was wrong about that. I am finding myself at a loss for words, and my emotions are quite displaced. Still, my mind is full of words. Words that I know you need to hear, so I will say them to you as best I can.
Lets start with High School. I know that can be a difficult time for many. Remember to be yourself. Love who you are. Your individuality sets you apart from the rest. Own that. Understand that it is ok to have dreams, and start doing the things that you love. Let the artist inside of you break free. Stop being afraid of failure and rejection. When you fall,(because you will) pick yourself up and continue to move forward. We all fall. Trust your instincts when it comes to friendships, and stay out of drama. It is better to have a couple of friends who love you, than to have twenty friends who would deceive you. Don’t sweat the small things, and hold on to your yearbooks. Your kids will want to see them one day.
Do not be so hard on your parents. Trust me, they are learning as they go. There is no instruction booklet when it comes to raising children. Please believe, they are doing the best that they know how. They do love you. I promise. Your father has caused you the most pain. There is no denying that. Start forgiving him now. Allow forgiveness to be a part of your life, no matter how hard it may be. You are broken. The key to putting yourself back together is forgiving the ones who broke you. Start with your father.
Face your problems. If you continue to be bound by fear, you will forget what it means to live. Do not run and hide. Do not brush your issues under the rug. If you push them down deep, they will always resurface. ALWAYS.
This next bit of advice is important. Heed my words. Enjoy as much time with your family as you possibly can. Family vacations, dinners, beach days and game nights are numbered. Time goes by a lot faster than you realize. Stay a home a few extra times instead of going to that boyfriends’ house. Stick around a little more and spend some time with your brother and sisters. You may feel grown, but they are young, and they miss having you around. You will miss these memories one day. Your family will not always be together. Your siblings will grow, and your parents will go their separate ways. Not everything can last forever.
Pay extra attention to your youngest sister. Shower her with love, and continually show her that you care. She is so much like you. She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she wears her heart on her sleeve. She will need you. Cherish every moment with your Pop Pop. His time on this Earth is short. Show him your love and make him proud. He may seem like a hard man, and I know he is a bit intimidating, but I assure you his love runs deeper than most. Give him that letter sitting in your “special box” before it is too late. He will leave this life quickly, and once he is gone, your world will never be the same. Hold the ones you love tightly, and show them your heart while you can.
Dont be so hard on yourself. Being a single mother is O.K. It is alright that you didn’t finish college. It is alright that you are a waitress. Be proud of who you are. You had your heart broken into a million pieces, and you prevailed. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Stop pushing everyone away. Not everyone will hurt you. Don’t give up on love. True love is real, and it will find you. Stop searching so hard for it. I know you yearn for a “complete” family, but don’t rush it. You are a great mother and you can make it on your own. Do not settle for the first man that comes along and offers you happiness. Your happiness lies within yourself. Don’t every rely on a companion to make you happy. Stay away from the men who lie and belittle you. They are not worth your time or your love. Do not confuse lust for love. True love is much deeper rooted than you could ever imagine.
Finally, stop standing in front of that mirror. Stop criticizing every part of you. Society’s version of beauty is twisted and a bit deranged. Learn to love your body. Embrace every ounce of beauty that lies within you. Wear that little black dress and go out on the town, Learn to live a little, and have some fun. Go on that road trip! Take that cruise! Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. This life passes by us fast enough. LIVE!
See you soon,