Dear Younger Self

As we get older, it is normal for us to reflect and pose questions like, “If I knew then what I know now would I….?”
So this is my letter to me back then.

Dear Lisa,

You have a lot on your plate right now, I was just are you? I know you say you’re fine, you always try to be so strong. I know that you say you have to be because people count on you but I want you to know it’s OK to cry, or be angry. You don’t have to take it all on yourself. By the way, school isn’t that bad, you’ll actually miss it when you’re older. No, seriously. I know everyone says that but you’re a curious one and it satisfies your “itch” to know ..well, everything.

Life is super hard right now, but you will get through it. I know because I’m here in the future and I promise you that you have so much to look forward to. Everyday will still be a challenge but there are people over here that cannot imagine their lives without you. And conversely, you cannot imagine how much they mean to you as well. Their smiles turn your “resting bitch face” into a light and you become an entirely brighter version of yourself.

There’s also something else you should know. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes. It’s better if you know that now and prepare yourself with how to deal with the aftermath. You shouldn’t beat yourself up so bad. You’re human and everyone falls on their face. It will hurt, and it will suck but you can and will get up because you’re that strong. How you’ve gotten through some of the storms is amazing to me as I sit here and look through this glass into the past.

Who you are now is not who you will become. It’s a bittersweet glimpse into the future. On one hand you want to stay who you are. You love your friends and your neighborhood. You love your house and you’re furry best friend, Gracie. Unfortunately, life is a path full of twists and turns and experience will change you. Some changes will be great and some…. not so great. No need to stress — everything can be fixed, changed, reorganized. You won’t believe me while it’s happening but you’re more than capable of handling it.

Now, Lisa, here comes the hardest part of my letter to you. You already know that not everything will pan out how you expected or planned. You have a strong heart and you’re really smart. That’s not the hard part, at all. I know what you’re thinking, “What else could possibly be harder?”. I won’t ever lie to you, so you’ll have to trust me. I’m there, deep inside of you. All you have to do is search and you’ll have all my guidance there. You’re going to need it because there are people in your life right now, and people that will come into your life later who you love so deeply it feels like you’ll come apart at the seams — and you’ll have to say goodbye to them.

They will get sick. Someone will take them. Others will just walk out the door and never come back. It’s in those dark hours that you will question everything. Nothing will hurt you more than to feel abandoned because that is not something in your nature to do, yourself. You will begin to understand that not everyone will treat you how you treat them, or have your compassion. It will strip away the amount of compassion you share freely and cause you to be protective over the ones that earn your love. You will even start to feel contempt and apathy.

When that happens, I want you to read this letter and know that love and compassion are tiny embers that come from a larger, more intense flame. The closer you are to it, the warmer you are. Like a campfire! Keep your family and friends close to the campfire, share stories, sing together, protect one another, gaze at the sky together and dream together. Others will be drawn to it like “critters in the night”. Set up boundaries and perimeters. This will keep outsiders from snuffing out the fire.

You won’t be ready for the people you love to leave and I can’t tell you when it will happen, so be open about your feelings and heart. Never take a day for granted. You already have the knowledge that money and material things are not important, and I love that about us. Cherish your loved ones, as you do now.

You are a fiercely protective mother. Yes! You will have children! I can feel your smile as I write this. They are the light of your world … but not everything will be perfect. I want you to forgive yourself for that. Do not carry it and let it burden your heart. Learn from the mistakes and continue doing what you do; you love them so openly and have an amazing bond with them. In return, they will pull away, go through crisis, hate themselves, hate everyone else, get picked on, be bullied…but that is not your fault.

Let me repeat that. That. Is. Not. Your. Fault.

Finally, my beautiful friend.. you will help save a life, maybe more than even I know, now. You will be the one thing that keeps someone else from falling apart. You will make someone smile who wanted to cry. You will be someone’s everything. You will mend hearts, you fix scrapes and bruises, and you will get others through the toughest times of their lives. The world without you would not be as beautiful to as many others as it is with you in it.

I will close this letter by saying that I love you, and can’t wait to meet you. Take care until then.



P.S. You’re not fat.

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