Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dear Me

Today is a bad day. Nothing particularly bad happened, but it's one of those times where the perfectionist in me isn't pleased. I'm human. I get down on myself, sometimes worse than others. However, after an hour of degrading myself, I realized something very important. 

I would never talk to someone the way I talk to myself. Hell, I'd never let anyone else talk to ME the way I talk to myself. Then I thought back to all that I've accomplished, all the ways I've changed in the past several years. I'm not the same person I was at 15. I don't have the same goals or ambitions. What would I say to that girl? That bright-eyed, eager girl who has her whole life ahead of her? And that's where I started.

This is for me. To remind myself that it's okay to be flawed. But maybe someone else out there needs to hear it, too. 

Dear 15-year-old me, 

We’re 31 now. Congratulations! Believe me, life after 30 isn’t as bad as they’ve told you. The next 16 years are going to go fast, so cherish every moment—the good and the bad. 

That boy you’re dating right now? He’ll become your best friend, your biggest fan, your unshakable rock. You’re going to marry him. You’ll have two beautiful, smart, and amazing boys. They’ll test your patience and your sanity, but you’ll love them in ways you didn’t realize you were capable of. You’ll love them so much it hurts. 

We became Mom, and that’s the highest compliment I can give. You don’t have much time left with her, so soak it while you can and stop being a dick. One day, you’ll understand how much she loves you and how much she sacrificed for you. You won’t have much longer with Dad, either. It sucks, and it’s going to hurt, but you’ll get through it. People in your life love you. Let them. 

We didn’t go to college. I know you have your life all planned out, but fate has a different plan. I know change is hard, and some days will be harder than others, but everything is going to be fine. In fact, it’ll be better than fine.

We don’t have the same friends. Really, we don’t talk to anyone from back “home” anymore. People will come and go in your life, but there will be a few who stick around, who will support you unconditionally, who will give as much as they take. Treasure them, for they are rare and dazzling gems. 

We’re flawed.

We still trust too easily. We want to see the good in people, and for that, we’ve endure a lot of heartache. The world is full of people who will try to tear you down, people who will tell you that you can’t do it, no matter what “it” is. Don’t let them. You are capable of great things, and you’re just stubborn enough to work harder to prove them wrong.

We’ve gained a few pounds. We have stretch marks, wider hips, and cellulite. You literally grew two people inside your body. Give yourself a break.

We lose our temper…a lot, but we still hate confrontation. We still let people take advantage of us. We’re still the “fixer.” We forgive too easily. This will make life harder than it needs to be, but that’s who we are. Embrace it, and love yourself. Having a big heart full of compassion is not the worst thing in the world.

We have our crazy days. We’re irrational and illogical and unpredictable. Even after you’ve accepted this, it won’t change, so just go with it. That guy I told you we marry? He’ll still love you.

In closing, love yourself. When you screw up—and you will almost daily—forgive yourself. You are beautiful, intelligent, giving, and even when you don’t believe it, you matter. Though you’ll want to, you don’t have to be Superwoman all the time. 

So, if you take nothing else away from my ramblings, know this:

We’re not perfect.

And that’s okay.

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