Friday, October 14, 2016

A Letter to Self of Years Past.

Dear Self of Years Past,

People who are lost often don't know they are lost. This is the worst kind of lost to be. You don't even know you've gone off the path, let alone how far off into the woods you've stumbled. The thing is, Self, you've been lost before. You've struggled to find a clear path to a decent future. You've had your heart broken and you've let bills go unpaid. You've drank too much, slept with the wrong people and made unfortunate fashion choices. But even amidst all that, you still knew who you were and retained the Essence of You.

But now you've arrived at the point where the Light of You has extinguished. You're so consumed with trying to make this relationship work that you've completely forgotten who you are. You're still the plucky kid you were all along. You're the child of an alcoholic who refused to go unloved. You sought out neighbors, teachers, friends, friends' parents and therapists. You never stopped seeking shelter and love. You didn't stand in the rain.

Today, you're drowning. You stand behind Him at parties. You're the quiet girlfriend in the corner. You're meek. You're mild. And you're terrified it isn't going to work. You think he lifted up the earth and hung it among the stars. What you don't know is that he's all bully and bluster. You're ten times more interesting and 100-fold smarter. Only everybody knows it but you.

Yesterday you had an old friend over and the two of you sat chatting on the couch. He walked through the room and said something you barely registered as he went out the front door and closed it behind him. You kept talking to your friend until she stopped you.

"I don't know what shocks me more. The fact that he talks to you that way … or the fact that you allow it."

I know it hurt to hear that. But Self, listen to her. She's not being mean. The people who love you the most are trying to tell you.  You need to listen.

"I don't even know you any more," your mom said on the phone the other day.

The comment still rings in your ears and makes your heart beat faster with a rabbit panic. You think they're wrong. You think you can fix it and make everything work. Once everything is fixed it will all be perfect and then they'll see. You can fix anything. You're determined. You're special. You're hardworking and hell-bent. It has to work. Just this once it has to work. You want the fairytale ending and you're willing to destroy yourself to get it.

Here's the truth. Trying to make it work is only working to destroy you.  And if you don't get out soon, you might lose yourself forever. If you leave, it's going to hurt. You'll burst into tears at a red light and the car behind you will honk while you sob into the steering wheel. It'll hurt so much you'll be quite convinced that it will break you. It will hurt so much your skin will prickle and your stomach will fold itself into such a tight little knot that you'd rather starve than go without love.

But you'll eat. You'll start to drink from the cup of life once more and then you'll take big greedy gulps until you make yourself sick. But you'll get past that too. And then you'll start to be yourself again. Your skin will fit the way it used to and the ground will meet your feet as you walk. You'll smile and pay bills. Friends will call. You'll get a new job and redecorate. You'll buy new shoes and go out on dates.

In fact, you'll not only get back to the girl you once were, you'll become the woman you always wanted to be. You'll be better. You'll come out the other side and your heart will be even bigger than it was before. Your life will expand. You'll reach out. You'll listen. People will call you and heed your advice. You'll find it in your heart to forgive. You'll just keep expanding until you're bigger than the world you knew.

Now start packing. It's time to start living again.


Love,

Self of Years Present





This is a response to a writing prompt hosted by the indomitable Brittany, Herself. To participate in the August Writing Prompts, click here.

28 comments:

  1. good words. and not to get all time travely / trans dimensionally loopy but your former self DID get the message.

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    1. Oooh, it's practically sci fi up in here.

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  2. Well written and descriptive! Glad to know more about your old self as well as your present selfs perspective,

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  3. Nice read. Loved both points of view of yourself and that sort of personal topic some don't like to share from the past. Reminds me of my own, which, rather not share. But for what i've read throughout the time I've visited your blog, you've got bigger balls up in here. Good read.

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    1. It always seems that the more uncomfortable I am with posting something, the more it will resonate with others. Thanks for resonating. ;-)

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  4. Very nice letter you wrote. It is very hard for me to admit that I am lost and not the person that I use to be. But I have to remember that good things are coming and I just have to pick up and move on.

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    1. I hope you do and I can guarantee it will get better. <3

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  5. Wow! I love you! Nice letter, and I love your style. I also love your profile blurb. It's funny. You love WIndex, that's a fact. Buddhism and retail therapy, now there's a struggle! You're pretty cool. I'm glad I found your blog. I will be be back. Peace

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  6. I'm not sure (maybe the eating and drinking references) but the first word that popped into my head when I finished reading this was "delicious." To go from starving to being so full. Delicious. I have a number of people I'd love to send this letter to....but I guess I'll just hope they'll be writing one like it for themselves one day.

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    1. Maybe you were hungry when you read my post? ;-)

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  7. I think every woman has been in this type of relationship - I feel like it's purposeful in our lives to experience at least once to learn of our value and what love truly is.

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    1. It is a purposeful experience, in hindsight. That's for sure. I learned a lot (the hard way). Ha. But maybe that's the only way we can learn some lessons?

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  8. One of the greatest attributes of humans is their ability to adapt and change. There must be something psychological in us that flips a switch into the off position when we get into a serious relationship. We want to stay, we want it to work out, we have faith in the future.... and then we just become acclimated to hearing the insults & putdowns and think this is how it is. We got through all the other bad shit and made it- we've triumphed over our past! We're strong! But nobody should have to be THAT strong.

    I am glad I found your blog again. I am glad you are writing, and getting me to write, too. :)

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    1. I'm glad to see you again too. And that line, "…nobody should have to be THAT strong" is so true. It really resonates with me.

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  9. Very nicely put. I have had several 'letters to my former self' moments. Typically followed by "I wonder what my future self is going to want to go back and tell me right now?" Ever wonder what you're doing/ dealing with/ feeling right now that your future self will wish you had gotten over?

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    1. That's an excellent question. I'll have to ponder that one.

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  10. I have goose bumps and barely contained tears.

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    1. Thanks for reading and goosebumping, friend.

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  11. I went through a period of feeling lost, too. What I always found odd is that I became more of who I thought I was and more of who I wanted to be when I was young...after getting my shit together. Maybe these times of chaos were important in determining my boundaries. Anyway, we've come a long way, baby. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. We have come a long way, baby! Learning about boundaries and realizing I have a right to have them was a major life lesson and improved the quality of my life a million-fold.

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  12. Thanks' Mandy for sharing. Sincerely, Richard O.usa

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  13. Beautiful. All the girls in their 20s need to read this one.

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