letter to a little me.

dear wee me…

ok, so you’ve had a pretty great childhood. your rose-coloured glasses are firmly planted on your face and that’s been nice, but it may have been worthwhile for your parents to let you know that the world isn’t always the safest place. you will certainly figure that out on your own and maybe that’s how it should be anyway, but a little warning might not have hurt.

stop worrying about your flat and skinny body. just try your best to love it because it moves you from place to place, it’s healthy and it’s yours. you’re never gonna’ get boobs and it’s never gonna’ matter. plus, after you have babies (oh ya, you do THAT), you won’t hate it so much.

i think you should stop telling dad that you don’t want to dance with him. he will be immeasurably thrilled when you finally say yes but you’ll suffer awful regret when he is diagnosed with brain tumours a few weeks later and you never have the opportunity again. you love to dance and that is because of him, so stop being so stubborn.

tell your high school boyfriend to hit the road after the first break up. he will turn out to be a good man but he will not be good to you. just bail on that one. nothing important comes of sticking around.

on the other hand, over the span of the next 24 years, you will fall hopelessly and madly in love with 3 different men. the last one will do a number on your heart. you’ll close it down for awhile. and as much as i want to tell you not to have that 2nd drink with him, i can’t. love like that is rare and it brings lessons and hope and promise. the best i can do here is tell you to buckle up. that one’s a tsunami.

in your 29th year, you will wake in the middle of the night, heart pounding, throat closing, full body sweats, and you’ll race yourself to the ER… 3 different times. until finally, a year after living with shame and wonder and worry, you will be diagnosed with anxiety attacks. you will be frightened and relieved. you’ll fill a prescription for xanax and whenever you feel out of control, you will hold the bottle in your hand, but you will never take one. my advice? don’t be such a hero. take the pill.

don’t take so long to be okay with saying sorry. it’s just a word. and the crazy thing is, once you learn to say it, you will quickly realize that even though you always associated it with defeat, it really just elevates you. you’ll be much better off with that word present in your vocabulary.

start saving your money early. you will declare bankruptcy in your early 30s and although you will recover and get back on your feet, having a nest egg for the times when there is no work, will help you stay afloat. your job is amazing but the industry is unpredictable, and you are not invincible.

write your little heart out. then write some more. don’t be scared to say it’s what you want to do. don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. don’t worry so much about what other people think. you don’t have to prove your worth to anyone. it’s a waste of your precious time, and their thoughts are not your problem. you just deal with you.

you will meet and befriend the coolest people. they will be like your family. don’t be shocked that you will continue to find new friends all the time. some of the best people you will ever know are making their way towards you right now.

you will become rich with the ability to figure out people’s intentions. you will be able to weed out the crap. it doesn’t mean you’ll always do it, but you’ll get better and better at knowing how.

your marriage isn’t going to work out and he is going to leave you to start a new family, and you will be solely responsible for the well-being and happiness of 2 little girls. but i’m afraid you still have to take him home after that party on the night you meet him. because if you don’t, there’s no them. and although you can’t possibly imagine who they are and how they will transform your life… trust me when i tell you; they’re awesome, and they will.

you will be parentless before your oldest daughter turns 10. it will gut you and you won’t know how you will ever recover. don’t spend so much time worrying about getting back to normal. you will never be that person again. become comfortable with the new version of you. you’ll be alright.

even though you’ll swear off love a hundred different times, you will continue to be ever hopeful. keep wishing on stars. those dreams almost always come true. never be scared to believe in the next person.

i know this is going to seem very strange and likely a little disconcerting, but you are going to be in your 40s before you know it. like, for real. it’s going to sneak up on you in a way you will never be able to prepare for. just accept it for what it is. be grateful for the wisdom and compassion that comes with getting older. be proud that you will still get mistaken for being in your (late) 30s. walk that shit right into a room and own every last bit of it. because the good news is, you’ve come a long way baby.

love, the older and just slightly more informed, you.

2 replies »

  1. I felt compelled to write after reading your description of your first panic attack. You’ve perfectly captured my experience with the pesky things. I used to think they made me a weaker person but now I feel like they are part of what makes me, me. Maybe a little more sensitive than some which means I cry at airports when complete strangers are saying goodbye or reuniting. And even though I too was afraid to take the magic pills that make every slow down, I always carry one with me just in case. Your honesty is inspiring!


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