Dear Younger Me,
One day, you’ll write a letter to you, now, from the perspective that comes from time. A letter to my younger self, you’ll think.
Keep in mind that the person I write to will always be younger than the one on the keyboard. After all, every second, I become less young than I was.
As I write tonight, I’m writing to you at eight, 12, again at 20, 30, and 40. I’m also writing to five-minutes-ago-you, and to the you that you’ll become in years ahead.
Think about what you want me to say. Listen to the advice in your heart now, because you’re probably right.
To younger me, I say:
Be swept away, but never fully.
Try lots of the things, but be wary of the things you try and say no when you need to, even if that answer disappoints everybody but yourself.
Forget what people may think. What you think is the only thing that matters. I promise.
Stick in there when it’s hard. Nobody learns anything from easy.
Wear sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy.
Don’t start smoking. You’ll regret it. I know that it’s peace and solitude now. Later, it will be worry and regret. Just don’t start. Or, stop now.
Try marriage if you’re ready. You’re not ready if you feel like “should” is bigger than “want,” and you’re not ready if it feels like a pain in the ass to separate your CD collection. One day, nobody will know what a CD is. As I type this, you haven’t purchased one in years, and have gotten rid of almost all of your old ones.
Keep cycling. You’ll never like running. Ever. Keep moving when you can. There will be years when you can’t, and that’s okay too. The effects will be less-so if you keep moving now. When you can, that is. Some days, crawling back into bed is okay too. But also, get up sometimes before you’re ready. Do something. Make something. Be something that you’re proud of talking about.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t fake pleasure from sex. If it’s not good for you, too, then change that. Speak. Show. Maybe it feels embarrassing and needy, but your soul will get you back if you pretend that your needs aren’t important, too. And if your partner isn’t patient enough for that to happen? Not the right partner.
The above? Same goes for all of it. Not just sex.
Skydiving. Do it now, if you want to. Do it while it feels like you’re invincible. Once you have a kid – if that’s what you choose – you won’t want to risk it. The air rushing into your lungs faster than they can breathe while watching the ground come closer and closer to your face at terminal velocity is life-changing. You’ll feel like you can do anything. You’ll feel power.
To balance that power, go scuba diving. Scuba gives you quiet unimaginable above water. An unparalleled and humbled peace.
Hug. Hug hard, and only hug when you mean it.
Be something that you’re proud of talking about. If you’re not her now, walk towards her. Embrace her. She’ll surprise you in the very best of ways.
Listen to the silence inside. Blast the music when you need to, but walk outside and hear the quiet, too.
Know that you’re not alone even when you’re alone.
Picture the woman sitting on her stoop in Egypt, in France, in Greece, in Africa. We’re all looking to the skies for answers. We’re all looking inside of ourselves for them. To our friends.
Make friends. Real ones that you can talk to. Walk away from the ones who only ever want to talk about themselves.
See everybody as people. Smile at the girl at Target who has a talk-device strapped to her. Teach your son that when she jumps and points at him that she’s excited. That it’s okay for him to be shy (because he will always be shy just like you were). Teach him that it’s okay to ask questions about why she can’t talk even though she’s taller than he is.
Smile at that girl’s mom. Smile at the people you feel like you should pretend to not see.
Pause to say “You, too!” to the special needs worker at your local grocer’s, when he says “Please have a nice day,” or his version of saying it.
Know that today, life may feel like it sucks.
Life will be beautiful. Especially if you try to help build a land of empathy and wonder. If only two people are kinder tomorrow because of you, you’ve begun to change the world.
Life will also be hard and there will be nights when you wonder at the why of it.
Hang in there. One person’s sentence, or touch, may just change you.
And you, because you believe in life and in something bigger than you are, may just find a way to change the whole world.
Life will be beautiful.
You just have to let it be.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence, brought to you by Michelle of Crumpets and Bollocks is “Dear Me…”
Hosts: Me (Kristi of Finding Ninee)
and Michelle -above- Crumpets and Bollocks.