Saturday, August 14, 2010

525,600 Minutes (Times 26)

Heather over at recently wrote a letter to herself for her birthday post and I found it so inspiring that I decided to do the same. The feeling I was going for when writing it was more "kick in the pants" than "schmultzy", so I apologize in advance. 

     I remember in 8th grade writing a letter to myself that I was supposed to open at High School graduation.  While this seems like a good idea, writing down your hopes and dreams, I think it would have been more useful and theraputic to write to my past self.  To tell that 8 or 10 or 14 year old version of myself that everything is going to be okay.  So that's what I'm doing right now. 

Dear Meghan,

     Today you turn 26 years old.  That 312 months.  1352 weeks.  9490 individual days.  I know that some weeks feel like they are 9490 days long, but they really aren't.  That number, 9490, seems impossibly low.  How can your life fit into such a number?  The answer is that it can't.  No matter how hard you keep trying, your life experiences cannot be neatly packaged and categorized.  Life is a series of moments that don't know what a clock is and don't give a shit.

    Meg, you have been through more crap in your relatively short life than many other people.  On the other hand, it is important to remember that your life has been full of unicorns and rainbows compared to the lives of some others.  You've put in more hours of therapy than many people will in a lifetime.  And now you realize that this is not something to be ashamed of.  You've taken all the shit life and brain chemistry have thrown at you and chose the hard route, the route of working through it instead of hiding.  That's a spectacular quality.  A quality that led you to study Psychology and learn about yourself and people like you.  And just now it occurred to you that it was an amazing choice.  JUST NOW!  Why didn't you give yourself more credit and respect?

    You, the girl who lived in the same house for 17 years, went to the same school for 8, then to the High School that was expected, you made a change.  You pushed aside your own self imposed expectations and changed schools.  You went from the "best" school to the "less than" school in your mind.  It turns out that they both gave you equally amazing educations and that the "less than" school was just as academically challenging, but in a better environment...without the nuns.  Then, on your 17th birthday, you moved from your only home to a new one 1700 miles away in a place you knew nothing about and where you knew no one.  You had to completely reinvent yourself and make new connections during your Senior year of High School, you know, because you didn't have enough going on.  If I could give that 17 year old some advice it would be to CALM THE HELL DOWN!  Do you need AP credits, and the right connections and the right extracurricular activities to get into the "perfect" college so you meet the "perfect" guy and have the "perfect" family in a world made of kittens and sunshine? NO.  And don't think that this crusty 26 year old me knows it all.  Let me tell you that you will be working on this concept for a Very. Long. Time.

    Meghan, you have an amazing relationship with your parents and family in general.  And because of all the shit you have put each other through over the years, I think that deserves its own paragraph.

    You have a college degree, a job, and every day your basic needs are met, and then some.  So take a breath already.  In 10 years you will look back at me, the 26 year old version of your now much wiser self and want to slap me upside the head.  You will scream about how you just wanted time to rush by so that you could be older and have this in your past.  You will try to remember why it was so important to fulfill others' expectations.  But mostly, I hope you will just hug me and tell me that everything works out okay, because that's what we all really need. 

    So spend year 26 making memories that will still be clear when you are 86.  Reduce the 365 days of your 26th year into one day - today.


1 comments to blog for:

Florida Remodel Gal said...

This is wonderful. Good for you! I love the photos.