In a Facebook conversation about the (lack of) usefulness in giving advice to our younger selves, I mentioned this letter I wrote a few years ago – and how healing I found it to write it.
It’s from a previous blog that I have left unattended. Today, when I went looking for this post to share, I found my old site is broken. Perhaps one day I’ll recover all of the beauty and wisdom it contains. In the meantime, I’ve copied the post over here for your reading pleasure.
Dear little one,
You will not have to live this way forever. Practice finding joy today in the small things you see.
Surround yourself in a rainbow of butterflies.
Enjoy your food. Be awake to what makes you happy. Ignore the negatives in your world. You will leave them behind soon enough.
Do not despair. One day you will have a camera that will see the world as you do.
That boy with the blue eyes from the record store? He’s the one. When he offers you a ride to town, say yes. When he tries to break up with you, say no. When you picture the two of you old together, it’s true.
When your family does all they can to make you miserable, know that it is them, it is not you. They haven’t even noticed how unloved you feel. They never will. But you can love yourself and give yourself all the things you missed.
The snappy true come back to your Dad’s disappointing decision is “I couldn’t be any more lonely than I am now”. If you don’t think of this until you are over 40, that’s okay.
If you practice doing things that you are not immediately good at, you might get good at them. Find someone with a dog so you can learn to catch and throw a ball. The more you try, the better you will be at it.
Do not starve yourself.
Contrary to what you think, you will not die and destroy your mother with loss. The lack of nutrition in these critical years will create some very difficult health issues when you are older. You are going to live a very long time and these issues will always be there.
Computers will be more of your life than you think. Learn how to learn them as soon as you can.
You are stronger than you think. Your body is good at building muscle and keeping it, at lifting more than you can imagine.
That thing you decided to forget. It’s okay, I won’t go looking for it.
You can let it go.
You will learn compassion. It will blossom during a time of great loss. Your heart will break open again and again, only to pour more love into the world.
The very kids who isolate you now will claim they admired you for your intelligence and felt you were a leader. They didn’t know any better way to treat you.
You are right, everything you need is within you. Yet you will learn from many sources just how to unfurl this.
One day you will find your people. You will call them Soul-Family This will be beautiful. Lush. Empowering.
In the meantime, soak in all of life. Remember the moments that make your heart sing.
With hugs and butterflies,