A letter to my younger self – The Bloggers Group – Week 1
First things first. If you only knew what you know now. Let’s go back to the past for a bit.
You’re 2 years old, and your parents have separated. Trust me when I say it’s going to be okay. Although you won’t remember them separating, you do realize so much more as you get older. Your dad has better things to do at the time. Therefore, HE missed out. Throughout childhood, you’ll wish to be a “daddy’s girl”, but that won’t happen. There will be times when your dad is supposed to pick you up, and doesn’t. It hurts, and you question why, but it’s going to be okay. When he stepped down, your mama stepped up, your aunt stepped up, your Mamaw and Papaw stepped up, your uncle stepped up – which was the best possible thing that could ever happen for you. Your uncle will walk you down the isle at your wedding and you will always be like a daughter to him. Your dad will come around, realize his mistakes, and try to make things right. Learn to forgive.
You’re 3 years old, sitting on a hospital bed gripping the ribbon hanging from your red balloon as the nurse removes the IV from your arm. You had gotten dehydrated in the midst of the summer heat of 1995. You held that balloon until you walked into the apartment door of that shitty ass neighborhood. It was shitty, scary, good and bad times, filled with a water bed and a giant room that you shared with 2 of your siblings. Please know that your mama worked her ass off and did the absolute best that she could, and it won’t always be like this.
You’re 5 years old and get to spend more time at your absolute favorite place while your mama works, Mamaw and Papaw’s house. You either have BET or MTV on and you’re really intrigued by dancing. You’re actually pretty damn good at it too. Please know that dancing will hold a special place in your heart for a long time for MANY things, including anxiety. Yep, anxiety. Buckle up girlfriend. Don’t worry, you manage just fine.
You’re 6 years old and sitting at a booth inside of a McDonalds eating lunch with your 2 siblings and stepdad. You get to go to the park and play if you eat all of your food, but you can’t finish eating due to the excitement of being able to go and play. You don’t finish, and you don’t get to go to the park to play. Please know that showing emotion and being excited is okay, especially at that age, and there will be lots of other park days in life.
You’re 9 years old and love to sing. It’s your birthday party and everyone is cheering you on to sing a song by Faith Hill. Sing baby girl, sing. Your vocals will change throughout the next couple of years, so sing your heart out.
You’re 9.5 years old and spending time at your stepdad’s mom’s house (granny’s house). Your stepdad’s sugar gets low and he is acting a little off. You know you should keep an eye on what’s happening, because in a few short minutes you will be saving the life of your younger brother and sister from being walked into the road with someone who isn’t in the right state of mind due to their bodily symptoms. You saved them, and yourself. You’re okay, they are okay.
You’re 10 years old, sitting on your bed, and it’s 7 PM. You know your mama is going to be getting home from work soon. You think maybe counting will make the time go by quicker, when all it did was put you to sleep. You don’t get to see your mama until the next evening due to her work schedule. Please know that you will have lots and lots of time with your mama, don’t you worry about that.
You’re 11 years old and in middle school now. You’ve been experimenting with a little makeup. Put the eyeliner down, you’ve drawn another set of eyes. No, seriously. Trust me. You are beautiful without it. That boy you’re “crushing” on is crushing on someone else and doesn’t give two shits about your overdone eyeliner.
You’re 11 years old and you’re riding in the car with your mom, bumping to Britney Spears song: Toxic. What is happening? You’ve never seen your mom in this type of mood. You love it. Enjoy it, it’s just the beginning.
You’re 11.5 years old and you’re sitting at your Mamaw’s kitchen table expecting a phone call from your aunt. You’re hoping she is going to tell you that you get to come spend the night soon. Boy, you were way off girlfriend. You answer the phone and she tells you she’s pregnant – with a girl. You’re heart shatters because you’re “the girl”. The only girl in their eyes and you feel like that is being taken from you. Please know that this little girl who is soon to the born will always be your first princess who you will love and care for as your own, even at 12 years old. You’ve gained another lifelong sister.
You’re 12.5 years old and things have definitely changed. You’ve been staying with your aunt and uncle after your mama went through a divorce that honestly saved her life, and yours. You’re in a different household with a different environment – still strict but very different. Please know that the time you spend in this home and with your aunt and uncle will graciously impact your life.
You’re 13 years old, you’re officially a teenager now. You’ve made new friends, and have changed quite a bit. You’re in a good place with everything in your life. Boys start noticing you as you start noticing them. Your mama, aunt, and mamaw are right. They are not worth it, they do break your heart, but they lead you to where you are now. Don’t drive yourself crazy over any of them. They are not “the one” and they won’t be around forever. Thank you, next.
You’re 15 years old and you’re trying Vodka for the first time in your whole 15 years of living. Do NOT, I repeat: DO NOT drink 3/4 of the bottle within 10 minutes because it tastes so good. It doesn’t taste that great the second time (if you know what I mean) and you will never be able to handle the smell of Vodka again.
You’re 16 years old and think you have life all figured out. You’ve got a good guy (NOPE), you’re working an awesome job (NOPE), you don’t need your mama telling you what to do (WRONG). You will always need your mama. Even when you’re 27 and you have no idea what to do for your daughter or son’s belly ache, you will need your mama to tell you what to do for that and so much more. Please know that.
You’re 16 years old and you get a phone call that snaps you back to reality for a while. Your Papaw is sick, with cancer. He doesn’t have long to live. The doctors say he has a tumor in his neck and in behind his eye. Please talk to him as much as you can. Talk about airplanes like you used to do. Do something funny to make him laugh. Tell him you love him every chance you get. Please.
You’re 16.5 years old and it’s the day before Thanksgiving. You’ve been hanging out at Mamaw and Papaw’s house for the majority of the day. Your Papaw has been on hospice for a while and can’t talk as well anymore. You’re walking out of the door to leave and Papaw is trying to put words together to tell you something. You wrap your arms around him because you know he is trying to tell you that he loves you. Please, hold onto him a little longer as that will be the last day of his life.
You’re 18 years old and yet again, think you have life in the bag. Take it slow because time passes by so quickly.
You’re 19 years old and you know what you want. You’ve met someone so special who will later on not only become your best friend but also, your husband, and the father of your children. Finally.
You’re 19.5 years old and had been working in Charlotte, NC revamping a store. On your way back you get a phone call that will forever change your life. You get the news that your Mamaw is sick, with cancer. They haven’t said how long she has. All you can think about is being with her. The rest of the ride home will be tough and seem like days, but you will be fine. You did the best you could, when you could. You embraced the new love in your life at the right time. Your future husband saved you from only God knows what. You will be heartbroken, you will question God, you will cry so much that your whole body hurts, but you will be fine. Your Mamaw would want you to be fine. You told yourself those exact words to try and hold back as much as you could after she passed. Please know, it’s okay to cry and let it out sometimes. Please know that your Mamaw & Papaw loved you so so so very much.
You’re 27 years old and a work at home mom. You graduated both high school and college. You thought you had your dream job after college in the healthcare field, not exactly. Right now you’re working on yourself, inspiring others to do the same, and overall growth. You are an amazing mama to Vaeh who is almost 6, and Nathan who just turned 3. Your husband is wonderful and so supportive of you. He’s damn good looking too. He is also happy with his career. Your fam is awesome, and you enjoy the time you get to spend with them. You have genuine friends who are absolutely amazing. You are happy.
Please know that it’s not how it used to be. Know that it could have been so much worse than what it was. Know that you are no longer in a conflicted environment. Know that your past created who you are today. Please know that you do find love, become a mom, find balance, and peace in your life. You are an amazing wife and mother. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of who you are and the woman that you are becoming, despite your childhood, heartbreaks, changes, phases – I am proud of myself.