First of all I want to thank Helene and Tay for creating this one. I will say this has been both my favorite and the hardest blog post I have done yet for the challenge. I hope I did it justice.
I did this once but it was only for a year ahead. I can’t remember what I wrote and I don’t even know where I put the letter. It was a LOOOONG time ago. I remember it was filled with hopes and aspirations and I remember that when I looked back some had been completed and many had not. In ways it pushed me further toward my goals.
This one is a very personal post so please bear with me or if you must just go on and skip it. As a blogger being personal with billions of people is really putting yourself out there so I hope that you can appreciate this for what it is. See you on the other side.
Dear Me, or should I say Future Me,
I feel as though you should be a much wiser version of the me that is sitting here today. 10 years is so long and yet it will go as quickly as the time it will take me to write this post. In 10 years you will be watching that gorgeous little girl (“Young woman,” Don’t cry!) smile and wave as she walks across a stage and takes that monumental rolled up piece of paper in her hand. That paper will be a symbol of the first day she will have absolute control of her world and the last day your daughter will be a child. I will be there with you crying uncontrollably so don’t worry. Although I know you will. Remember you aren’t losing her she is simply evolving into something new and unknown. She has a million new possibilities ahead of her and it is now your job to support her as she ventures out into their midst. Let her take risks and don’t hold her back from living simply because you are afraid for her. You are strong. I know you can handle this one task.
I hope that you have raised your children to understand the world around them. Don’t let school be the only place they learn. Explain life and pain to them. Show them how to appreciate happiness. Introduce them to chaos and teach them how they can guard themselves from horrors. Give them the skills they will need to not only succeed but to create a revolution. Don’t let them accept the world without first having made it better. Your love is the greatest tool you have for this mission. Use it everyday. Never let them be alone. Build them up so that they can survive out on their own because it is going to happen. I know you don’t want it to but it will. Prepare them and prepare yourself. You are their support and they are your greatest accomplishments. Instill values and morals in them and let them walk on the path that they create. If you do your best I believe that we will both be proud of the people they will become.
10 years… wow. You are getting old woman. I hope that you have been applying that wrinkle cream because we both know those things are going to start popping up soon. Take care of yourself. Too often you are overwhelming yourself with caring for everyone else. Stop. Breathe. Smile. Then slather that cold white bucket of goo on your face and storm out into the world with a vengeance. Don’t let yourself go, because your health will become a limitation if you let it. Don’t add limitations to your life. You should only grow stronger in time. Be smart. Learn and take care of every part of you. No one else will ever be able to take care of you the way you can.
Look back on the past and be sentimental. I’ll kiss these babies for you now, but once they are older and don’t want your kisses remember the days when they did. Hold on to those happiest of moments and remember the best of your days. Your life is full and beautiful so focus on all of that. Forget the pain and let those regrets fade away. Create joy and cling to it. It will be the thing that holds you together when all the world begins to fall apart.
Just because you are an old woman (I kid!) now I don’t want you to lose your humor. Laugh at yourself when you walk into the wall. Pick yourself up when you fall and tell everyone exactly what happened. Laugh with them and savor those sounds. Those sounds spark creativity, joy, and closeness. Foster them with anyone you can. Your wit and sarcasm have been a part of you since before you understood what those words meant. So cultivate them. Make them into something honest and hilarious. This world is already a dark and scary place don’t lose the part of you that lightens its load. Build relationships based on that humor. Let your connections take strength by filling them with your crazy outlook on life.
I know that there are days where you think you can’t function. I know there are times where you feel as though you’ve been broken down. I know that the hardest of your times have not ever truly left you. I know all of these things more than any other. I have seen your struggle to be normal and I know that there is nothing broken about you. Everyone faces hardships. Everyone has times where they lose faith or hope. We all need to remember that we are not alone. I want you to put your best effort into improving. I want you to know that you can be better. I know there are days and even weeks when you feel as though getting out of bed is the hardest thing you have ever had to do, but you can do it. I have seen the things you are capable of. I have seen the times when you have struggled. I know you hate to admit the pain is still there but honestly it will always be some part of you. Manifest that pain into something more. Make it work in ways it was never meant to. Share your pain through art and beauty. Inform the world that pain can be a catalyst for anything you desire. You have been strong. You are strong. Continue to be strong.
I pray that you have used these past 10 years to do something honorable. I hope that you have followed all of your dreams even if they ended up covered in dirt. You will never know what you are capable of if you don’t go all the way. I have this vision of you making a difference in the lives of people who need it most. I see that you have an overwhelming urge to help. Do it. Don’t make excuses and don’t procrastinate. Get out there and do it. Never stop. These past 10 years aren’t your last 10 years. If things have fallen into shambles pick up the pieces and make something new. Create a mosaic from those broken shards and turn them back into something beautiful. You have the ability to do just that. So do it. I won’t take any excuses from you.
Now that I have given you a scolding I want to tell you that I love you. It’s hard to say and I am sure it is hard to hear but I want you to hear it. I love you. Sometimes you need to hear it. I know that you will never ask to hear it even when you are dying to. You are a stubborn woman but I know that you were made that way. You have overcome so much in your life and I want you to know that you were never alone. I was always here with you. I witnessed it all. I saw you face down in tears covered in desperation and I saw you shine the moment you realized you could be more. Both moments were you and there is nothing you can do to change them. They don’t need to be changed though. You simply need to know that you are loved for every aspect of who you are.
Look around you, you have a wonderful family. I know you will have hardships and I know that those crazy teenagers are going to say hurtful things to you but they love you too. How could they not? You and I both know that you were a great mother to them. You kissed them when they needed love. You held them when they needed comfort. You scolded them when they needed correcting and you encouraged them when they needed validation. You did your best even when you were unsure of what that meant. Never forget and never let them forget. Continue to give them what they need. They will always love you for that. You are in the epicenter of love let it envelop you. Let yourself feel it. We all need love. Love is vital to our ability to live. Otherwise those words would not be so closely related. To love is to live.
I want you to have learned to accept love and appreciation from others. I know that the me sitting here today is still so awkward when it comes to those things. I have struggled with allowing others to see my emotions and I hope that you have opened yourself up over the years. I don’t want you to get hurt but if you never let your guard down you may just be missing out as well. You have known pain, there is no doubt about that, but you cannot base the rest of your life on the chance that someone may hurt you. I will tell you right now that someone will try to hurt you again. The world is full of people who want nothing more than to inflict their own pain on others. People will spread lies about you. People will gossip. People will do all that they can to see you fail. You can choose to allow that to happen or you can choose to ignore it. They cannot create drama and conflict if you don’t take a part in it. Be better than them and don’t worry how they look at you. Don’t let your desire to prove them wrong make you sink to their level either. There is nothing wrong with being a good person. People are going to assume whatever they want about you. Let them. More than likely they will be wrong. Remember you cannot truly understand a person unless you truly know a person. I know you. I know the darkest and the lightest parts of you. I know what you hold dear and I know what you wish for. Don’t lose yourself over time and don’t let others force you to be something you are not.
I am 30 years old today. I have experienced much of what this world has to offer. I have seen and I have known so many things. I hope that over these next 10 years you will have expounded on all of the experiences I have had. I hope that you will have molded our life into something miraculous. Push yourself everyday. Make memories and take chances. Let yourself love. Learn from my mistakes and become wiser than I have ever been. I will do my part to help you but I want you to make it happen. Follow your own lead and let your heart feel all of the joys that it never even imagined. Don’t let your soul be bottled up within you. Let it spread out and move about this universe as a force all its own. Let it create a storm of goodness and hope wherever it may go. Let the wake of your storm cause people to take notice. We are all looking for happiness and love, share yours with any who needs it. It would be a shame to withhold something so powerful.
I will never let you down as long as you never stop trying. We are one and the same from now until we are no more.
With love, inspiration, honesty, and hope,
Susie Reece October 2014