I see you gaze out the window at the age of 12 as you impatiently hurry away the time to grow up as fast as you can so that you can leave the nightmare of your “now” behind you. Don’t do that … I know it’s tough right now but your braces won’t last forever, your hormone skin will clear and finally, your long legs will eventually balance out with the rest of you. I see you wearing over-sized shirts to hide your newly bought, very first bra. I see you cry as you tug at the straps. Don’t be sad … soon, all the girls will be wearing them, some … can’t wait! You will grow up sooner than you think, but as things change, the more they will stay the same. You will understand all this … much, much later.
I see you in your bedroom at the age of 15 as you secretly listen to Madonna’s, Like A Virgin, terrified that your parents will rebuke you for listening to satan’s so-called music. You will feel like such a bad daughter because you really, really enjoy listening to Madonna and to Meatloaf. Don’t worry little me, not too far from now, music will become dirtier and louder, but never as evil as you are made to believe right now. You haven’t gone over to the dark side, you are just young. You are not a bad girl for liking Madonna or the way she dresses. Music and fashion is what it means to be young. I see you skip school to hang out with friends you are not allowed to “socialize” with. Don’t. I know you’re feeling caged and trapped, but someday, you are going to wish you had paid closer attention to your teachers while soaking up all that they had to teach you. You are going to be the master of your own time and life soon. You will have an abundance of friends not too far from now. In the meantime, dance when no-one is looking and dream the moment you close your eyes.
I see you sit alone in your room while your sisters are in the living room chatting away with your mother about anything and everything. You hear them laugh. You feel alone, discarded and rejected. You blame yourself for your mother’s anger. You don’t value yourself and you don’t feel you deserve them. Don’t … DNA will never dictate who you are and who you will become someday. It will hurt for the next many years, but someday, it won’t matter anymore. Someday, you will realize what a blessing it was to be different. You never felt the same and you never will. You think you are in that moment by mistake, but you aren’t. You will someday be free from who you were born into. You ARE different and that’s okay.
I see you walk into your first job at the age of 17. You are terribly nervous and unprepared for the real world. You are desperate to make a good impression. Don’t be so hard on yourself … you don’t have to be perfect. You are young, you are learning, you are doing your best … and that is enough. You will get it and you will go on to wonderful jobs in the not too distant future. You will own your own home at the age of 21 and you will drive a brand-new car by the time you turn 22. You will accomplish much but, for the next twenty years or so, you will feel like you’re missing out on a dream even though you have no idea what it is.
I see you getting married at the age of 18. I see you hesitating as you enter the Church while you plan your getaway. You will go through with it, even though you know it’s not really what you want. Don’t punish yourself for wanting to belong to someone. Don’t be so hard on yourself for wanting to find somewhere to fit in. It will make you stronger and braver than you ever were. It will teach you independence and it will give you two souls that will end up nudging you to do and be better.
I see you hold your son in your arms. Later, I see you cradle your daughter. You are desperately afraid. You doubt your ability as a mother. You worry about these little souls you are responsible for. Don’t. You will soon meet the you that will become fearless, loud and protective. You will no longer speak in the whisper you have been accustomed to. Your voice will no longer shudder and you will never lower your head again. You may not know what you’re doing initially, but you will end up feeling your way through and they will be just fine. So will you. They will turn out so much better than you could ever have imagined. They won’t ever live the life you did; you will shield them from anything that seeks to harm them. They will turn out to be perfectly well adjusted, level-headed and responsible adults someday. Your childhood would never become theirs. The universe will embrace them as they begin to find their place in the world someday. Strangers will come to value their morals and ethics.
I see you struggle so enormously to play the piano. I see you listen to your sisters as they effortlessly play ANY tune and without peeking at a sheet of music. I see you scuffle to memorize notes as your fingers hit the keys. I see how you practice over and over again; day after day and I see how you want to give up so many times. I see your frustration as you come close to quitting so many times. Don’t. You will eventually get it and you will play the piano someday. It won’t be without effort and every single time you will make a mistake or hit the wrong key, but guess what? It won’t matter because you are going to LOVE listening to yourself play. It will become something your soul will take over from. It will become your happy place.
I see how you think that God has forgotten you. I see how you beg Him to come back to you. I see you lose hope and how darkness invades you. Don’t let it. He is always there. He shows up every time and in every moment of despair, He is there with you and for you. He gives you what you need, but you won’t always see it. He will send people that will surprise you. He will send someone that will show you kindness. He will send souls that will be devoted to you and you will question where they came from. From Him … always identify them and know that they are from Him. You are because He is. Remember that. Always, always remember that.
I see how anxious you are about what people think of you. Their opinions of your life. You lose yourself as you try to be someone you think others will approve of. You sell yourself short so that others are happy. That’s not a bad thing, but … it will come close to destroying you. You will spend too many nights worrying about something you said, or something someone else said. They will punish you for the mistakes you make, but that won’t come close to the penalties you sentence yourself to. Don’t. You are not responsible for what others think of you. You are only responsible for how you treat others. All you are doing is opening up a portal for inner turmoil to breed within you. You don’t have to! It should never matter what people think and if they matter, they won’t mind if you sometimes fail them.
I see you writing your stories when no-one else is around. I see the poems to your grandmother and I see the letters to your mother. I see you shut your journal the moment someone walks through the door. I see you read all that you’ve written; you laugh and cry at the same time. I see how foolish you feel and how you cringe at your own words. Don’t be fearful of them. Someday, someone is going to see all that you’ve written and make a big deal out of it. Someday, someone is going to tell you that you are good enough and someday, someone is going to offer you a publishing contract. Yes, you are good enough. In an instant, and without looking or searching for it, you will find that dream you thought you were missing out on.
When all is said and done, you will have a really good life. You will be loved. All the love that fails you now will come back to you in buckets. At times … it may smother you, but be patient about it. It will be what finally saves you. You will shine and you will fall. But … you will always land on your feet running because that’s who you are; that is who you will become. You will understand the torment of your childhood and you will realize how it was to prepare you for your future. You will welcome all that you were taught and you will be proud of who you have become. You will no longer question anything, because … out of the blue … everything will finally make perfect sense. You will learn to embrace it all. You will laugh until your tummy hurts and you will cry as your heart shatters every now and again. You will learn who to let go and who to keep close. You will value every single little thing that comes your way and you will appreciate the little things so much more than all the gold in the world. You will live your life as honestly as you can and you will sympathize and empathize with anyone that deserves it. You will understand what matters and what never did. You will make many mistakes, but you will never make the same mistake twice.
Someday … you will look back on the younger you and you will smile contently because … you did it your way.