“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Letter to My Younger Self
Dear Beautiful Baby,
You are such an amazing spot of energy. Like a meteor that fell directly to earth, your flame is fierce, and your will is strong. You will spend most of your youth learning how to contain this energy so that it doesn’t burn yourself or others. No one will tell you that your personality is out-of-this-world, because the people in your life don’t recognize it. They love you I the best way they know how and deep down you already know there is something special about the way you see the world.
You already know that it will take many years of learning to figure out how to reach others. Your spirit is fierce and at the same time fragile. You are just one duckling in a line of ducklings that are equally vocal and demanding. You learn early how to be a peace-maker because that is where most of the positive conditioning comes from. The smiles, the hugs, the laughter; sometimes you make them laugh so hard they turn an emotional cheek and actually scold you; they don’t understand how to challenge you, how to grow you and how to lead you. You just do what the others do because you love your parents and you want to please them very much.
Organized school is extremely hard for you to participate in. You will spend most of your time day-dreaming and wishing you were anywhere but there. Occasionally, a class or a teacher will challenge your talent and you will rise to the occasion. But for you, the praise of your teachers doesn’t interest you. You study them, you catch their flaws, their nuanced styles and you realize at a very young age, the only one who can inspire you, is you; and so you begin.
You will discover a book that your father won in a sales contest and at 7 years old, it’s your first glimpse into something interesting. You announce to your Mom and Grandma that you are going to ‘collect’ poetry. The New Dictionary of Thoughts by Tryon Edwards fascinates you; the stories by Edgar Allen Poe and poetry by Robert Frost. Your imagination has now received a boost of rocket fuel.
Little girl, please settle down. When the teacher introduces a new kid to the class named Mickey, you mustn’t blurt out “as in mouse?’ because you will quickly end up on the D-list with your school. Little girl, I would tell you to please take a breath. You will not ‘miss’ out, if you just take a breath. Child, it’s OK to be obedient; you are learning the massively important skill of delayed gratification which will serve you the rest of your life. I would say, little girl, focus on your strengths and just keep doing that! Stop being so competitive! You don’t need to be the best and the ‘boss’ of everything and everyone all the time. Your life will not be a typical one. Your curiosity will cause you to seek other cultures, different vignettes and new horizons. You will have a way with making others feel at ease and all through your adult life; people will be fascinated by you. Little girl, life is not a race! Slow down and enjoy your time because time is life! Keep talking to yourself because you are working at securing your own mental health for the future when your father loses his.
If you could see you little girl, the way I see you, you would understand that you belong to the smart, talented, athletic, empathic, kind, funny, creative, driven and generous people. Please stop doubting whether you are enough. You are more than enough – your ideas are un-ending and whether you believe it or not, whether you realize it or not, you will easily navigate the world, just look for the clues.
Little girl! Please get out of your own way! At times, you stop yourself from success because you look over the edge when it’s not even necessary! I would also say, young lady stop looking for acceptance through the eyes of boys – you don’t know yet that you are chasing boys because your father will disappear when you are just a teen and re-appear a different man. He will reappear as a child and you will act as his mother and you will have to learn to be the father for yourself. It’s because of this significant chapter that you decided to partner with who you did. Back up the train sparkly one! I want you to know, I’m proud of you – you did the best you could given your situation. One day, you will become a mother and you will take the top-prize (maybe the only award of your life) for this important chapter. You will be very intentional and do things differently than you experienced and you will grow children that are empathic, open-minded, culturally sensitive and smart. You will grow the next crop of world-changers and this is one of the single best energy contributions you will make in your time and place in this world. Your life will be abundantly filled with beauty, tenderness, joy, sweetness and peace.
Just keep swimming little girl,
In the words of singer songwriter Des’ree (abbreviated lyrics)
Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds, try and keep your head up to the sky, stand up and be counted, don’t be ashamed to cry…try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time. Some may have more cash than you, others take a different view…my oh my heh, hey. You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger you gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together, all I know is love will save the day.
A Letter to My Younger Self: