Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

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.

Dear Mel,

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.


Find more Sunday Scribblings here



At 14/3/09 2:20 pm, Blogger maryt/theteach said...

Mel, your letter is a positive letter of hope that anyone could read and find solace from.

I'm of Irish descent, Limerick and Mayo. All of them are gone now but I have a second cousin in Limerick I speak to periodically. Thanks for commenting on my blog, I hope you return and keep in touch. Happy St. Patrick's Day! :)

At 14/3/09 8:17 pm, Blogger Granny Smith said...

This is an inspiring letter that really tells lots about what has happened to you in the past six years. I glad that things are so much better now.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

At 14/3/09 8:28 pm, Blogger Laurie said...

Lovely letter, really.

But more importantly ... SURELY I'm younger than you!!!! I need someone on the Internet to be older than me!

At 15/3/09 12:06 am, Blogger Lucy said...

If Only! wouldn't it be so wonderful to receive a letter with so much hope and encouragement!? Great post!

At 15/3/09 3:26 am, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

What a wonderfully inspiring post - isn't it amazing how we manage to get through the darkest of dark and merge only slightly 'scathed' on the other side. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

At 15/3/09 6:58 am, Blogger Robin said...

What a beautiful tribute to yourself - your strength and how far that strength has taken you. You should be filled with pride when you look in the mirror.

At 15/3/09 10:19 am, Anonymous Jay said...

That is indeed a beautifully written letter to a lady who is stronger than she thinks!

I love the preamble, too, where your eight-year-old self asked you to wear lipstick and your eighty-year-old self told you to look after your bones! Nicely done!

At 15/3/09 12:07 pm, Blogger TJ said...

And you will find treasures. When you hear a whisper, pay attention. ...I LOVED IT!
Great entry! I found so many different emotions here..

At 15/3/09 3:48 pm, Blogger Becca said...

I simply loved reading it twice in fact...and it certainly got me thinking about some times in my life that I thought I'd never get through, but in fact did and came out better on the other side.

Thank you for sharing this very important, insightful, and intimate awareness about yourself :)

At 15/3/09 11:57 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

This was a lovely read Imelda! California is still calling. HUG

At 16/3/09 4:34 am, Blogger daringtowrite said...

Meant to stop and comment earlier, but wandered off on some other tangent, I guess. I loved this letter. Sounds oh so healing and encouraging.

I haven't done an exercise like this in a while. I think it is something I'd like to do again soon.

At 16/3/09 5:56 pm, Blogger Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Bravo! I can feel the healing in your words.

At 16/3/09 11:40 pm, Anonymous crystal said...

This was wonderful and inspirational.Cheers to yourself and future self:)

At 18/3/09 4:00 am, Blogger daringtowrite said...

Now, you didn't think I'd let the day end here without stopping in to invite you back to my place for a blessing, did you?

At 18/3/09 4:01 am, Blogger daringtowrite said...

Okay, I see I'm a bit too late by your clock. Sorry.

At 21/3/09 1:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's not much in this world that will make me smile like reading a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" post. So glad you were able to turn it around, get through it and put a positive spin on it. Well done.


Post a Comment

<< Home