Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Letter to My 20 year-old Self

Dear 20 year-old self,
     I want you to know that I have written and rewritten this letter more than once.  I wanted to find the right words to express what I wanted you to know.  I have read it and reread a hundred times, making sure it was just right.  I wish I could tell you that life is going to be rainbows and butterflies but I would be lying.  First, I want to say kudos to you for all you have accomplished in your short life, so far.  You have faced some pretty nasty hurdles but in spite of it all, you have remained resilient and strong.  Good for you, keep that shit up.
     I know you think that you know everything, but I am here to say that you are sorely mistaken.  Sure, you have seen your fair share of happiness, struggle and heartache, but, sister, you have no idea what's in store for you.  Let's talk about a few things that you are going through right now. 

     First, that guy that you think is amazing is going to break your heart soon and when he does it's going to hurt like hell.  When he walks out the door for the last time, you will be shocked, confused and angry.  You are going to want to chase after him. 

     Don't do it.

     Let him go.

     Let the door slam hard against the frame and feel the stabbing pain in your chest because it will be the worst heartbreak you've ever had.  But you are going to learn so much about love and yourself from it.  Bask in the feelings of loneliness, heartache and anger.  Although it will feel like life as you know it is over, I am here to tell you it's not.  While you think that you have love and life all figured out, you have no idea.  You can't truly understand the breadth and depth of the love that awaits you.  So, curl up in bed and cry your eyes out.  Grab the tissues and call in sick to work.  Go buy some ice cream and a puppy and suck it up, sister because life will go on and what a wonderful life it will be!

     Also, I know that you are lonely.  All your friends are either away at college or forming relationships with significant others.  You are stuck smack in the middle of a transitional time.  You value your friends more than anything and you want them to be happy, but at the same time, you are struggling with being alone all the time.  The depression that is wrapped around you like a blanket will be temporary and will teach you to value your adult friendships.  Although you will remain friends for many years to come, things will never be the same.  You will have less and less contact with them as your lives go in separate directions.  But that is ok, because you will take all the wonderful memories and stories with you. You will have great things to talk about on the phone for hours later on.  You will watch each other make tremendous changes in life, jobs and relationships.  You will share in happiness as you each get married, buy homes, have children and reach personal goals.  You will be by their side when life throws a curve ball into their plans.  And they will be there for you, too.  You have formed wonderful relationships with several people that you can really count on forever.  So, while you feel alone and depressed now, know that you have made excellent choices in friends and this feeling is temporary. 

     While we are talking about being lonely, let me tell you that selling your house and moving six states away is not going to solve any problems.  I know you think that a change in the atmosphere is the answer, but let me tell you a few things.  First, I know that you are struggling with the issue because you just recently met someone new and he's pretty awesome.  I know that it's a new relationship and you have plans to move away in a few months, but have a heart to heart talk with your great grandma.  That woman is as wise as they come.  She will give you some solid, heartfelt advice that will change your life forever.  Stay put for a while longer and you will soon see how it all pans out.  It will be pretty amazing.

     I know you have been thinking about whether or not you should go back to college or not.  Right now, you really need to focus on what makes you happy.  Are you happy working as a florist?  Could you see yourself doing this for a long time?  What goals have you set for yourself?  Would you like to some day own your own shop?  Stick with the plan.  Even if it doesn't pan out in the end, you will learn so much from all the experiences and who knows, you may even meet some pretty amazing people along the way that will change your life forever. 

     One last thing, I know that you are pretty head strong already, but I have to tell you this last thing.  Don't take any shit from anybody.  Stand your ground and let them know how you feel, whether it's good or bad.  You might have to hurt some feelings every now and then, but let people know what you think.  You sometimes hold back because you are afraid to hurt feelings or worry about what people will think of you.  Let that go.  People will ultimately value your opinions and respect your directness.  If someone does or says something that you don't like, speak up.  If someone does something that you absolutely love, tell them.  Grab them and squeeze them and tell them that you appreciate them. 

     Finally, keep in mind, that you are going to make some pretty stupid mistakes along the way and I am not here to tell you to do one thing or another.  I am just here to tell you to follow your heart (your best friend told you that once) and you will make the right decision.  The mistakes you will make will ultimately steer your fate into the intended direction.  And while you feel helpless, lonely and insecure at times, please know that you are a very strong woman with a glorious future ahead of you.  You are strong and courageous and when you think that you have reached the limits of that strength, you will inevitably find more.  You have no idea what you are truly capable of, but I am here to tell you that it is amazing.  Keep your chin up and good things are just around the corner for you. 

Best wishes,

Dalai Mama



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