Sunday Scribblings. Letters to myself
This week at Sunday Scribblings, the prompt is "Dear Past Me, Dear Future Me". I've written letters from my past self and my future self, but now I look at the prompt, this is different. My 8-year-old self asked me (among other things) if I'd please start wearing lipstick and earrings, now that I'm old enough to be allowed. My 80-year-old self thanked me for quitting cigarettes, and asked me to look after my bones. I never wrote back to either of them, and I may well do at some point, but today's letter is addressed to the me of six years ago. I think it would do her good to hear from me.
I'm thinking you're probably in need of a few words of reassurance and comfort. I know these are difficult days for you, and I want to let you know how proud I am of you that you are getting through these days... that you are seeing to the laundry, feeding your boy, looking after the dog, managing the basic necessities of living. This is a good thing. I know what it feels like when you wake in the morning... that panic-monster that is living in your chest, ready to break out and start you to screaming. You're right to acknowledge it. It's fine to say "Oh... you're still there, are you? Well, I've got a day to get on with, if you don't mind too much." And it's fine the days you can't manage that. It's ok to wonder whether you're going to get through this, and I'm here to tell you that you did. You did so fine. It was a rocky road for a while. The fear of being on your own, the fear that he'd never come back. The fear that he would, and you'd have to go through all that all over again. The fear that if you took a break from college you'd never be able to pick up the threads again. The fear that if you didn't you'd crack under the strain. The fear of going crazy, pure and simple.
You didn't. You might have thought for a while that you were, but that's ok, too. Can you believe what I'm about to tell you? During the six years to come, you are going to go back to college. Believe it or not, you are going to get a First in that degree! And I'm telling you no lie when I tell you that you are going to find yourself teaching psychology in the not-too-distant future! You are going to achieve things you think now are way out of your reach. The book? It's going to happen! You will find yourself working with people just as you always wanted to. You'll get paid for it! In a real job!
Your boy's going to turn out just fine. Don't you be worrying about him. He'll be there for you as a grown man when you really need him, and you will know that you and his Dad have done a good thing in the raising of him. Well done! You'll visit parts of the world with him that you can't even envisage right now! They're not on your map - yet!
Some of the dreams you've allowed yourself to dream will become reality, in the strangest ways. California is going to call - and you're going to answer. That's all I'll say. Be ready for adventures, because they are waiting!
I'm not going to say that life's going to be one long picnic in the coming six years. You're going to have difficult days, but for every one of them, there is going to be a friend, a sister or brother waiting to lend you a hand, an ear, a shoulder. Your family are going to prove themselves to be truly remarkable. You are going to meet new friends and connect on a deeper level with old friends. But you are going to have to learn to say when you need them. It's going to be hard. You'll have times when you'll sit alone weeping. It will happen more than once or twice. You'll get lost. You will have to ask for directions, for help, for support. You will learn a lot about that.
And you will find treasures. When you hear a whisper, pay attention. When the word "SoulCollage" is spoken, listen up! Follow your instincts, be ready to wonder. Keep writing, keep asking questions.
Trust.... And when you get to 51, thank yourself for what you've done over the past six years. Admit they've not always been easy. But be ready to acknowledge all the ways in which the weight of them has been eased; all the people who have been there for you, and all the blessings with which you've been showered.
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