Friday, September 13, 2013

A Letter To My Younger Self

   
 You probably don't recognize me with these little lines around my eyes and a figure that went south after giving birth to five children. There's nothing to be ashamed of here; these lines by my eyes came from years of laughter and the scars on my belly are a badge of motherhood I proudly wear.
   
     When you get into high school, stop worrying so much about what other people think and be who you want to be, not who you think your peers expect you to be. Embrace your individuality---it will be the ticket to your success one day.


     Although the school years feel like nothing more than a popularity contest, in the end you'll be happier sticking with a small circle of friends who love you for who you are. They'll be the ones holding a catcher's mitt when life throws you some curve balls.


     Forgiveness. This is a tough one for you, but the bitterness will only weigh you down. Let go of the anger you feel towards those kids who poke fun at you. What you don't realize is how unkind their life is. Their spirit has been broken and they've learned the hard way how to protect themselves by preying on vulnerable people like you


 You waste too much energy berating yourself in front of the mirror. Society has fed you a warped perception of beauty---don't let its definition convince you that you fall short of everyone else's expectations. Stop punishing yourself with starvation diets and binge eating to mask what is really bothering you. The people who made you feel stupid and small inside were wrong. I know how much you're hurting; you just haven't figured out yet that inner beauty outlives physical beauty every time. The mirror is not your enemy; see yourself through your own eyes and know that others love you even though you don't love yourself.


     There will be some unimaginable losses in the years to come---don't be afraid to face them head on. You're going to walk through a valley of grief but you're going to come through the other side a stronger, braver woman. You'll need these experiences to hold up the others when life knocks them down.


     I know you feel as though your parents are judging every move you make and you hate living under a microscope. Strict curfews, lost phone privileges and being grounded from social activities may seem unreasonable, but your parents really do have your best interests at heart.  If they didn't love you, they wouldn't care what you did. Boundaries and rules are a sign of good parenting and tough love. You'll figure this out once you have kids of your own.


     Appreciate the time you have with your family. Those summer vacations in Montana won't last forever. Take your father up on that trip to Scotland before it's too late and spend more time in the garden with your sister. Don't assume she'll always be there for you because she won't. She'll be gone sooner than you think and her absence will leave a hole in your heart that time cannot mend.


     You're going to fall in love several times while you're young, but be more conscious of the men you choose. Your happiness shouldn't depend on them. One will break your heart and in the process break his own. Others will come and go, but each one will teach you a valuable lesson in love that will prepare you for the man you're going to marry. Stay away from the sly one at the bar who asks you to dance. Noting good will come from this. His lies will hurt you more than his fists. He'll tear you down to keep you from standing back up but you will. You are a survivor. One day you'll meet your soul mate and he'll help you find your smile again.



     Life is full of twists and turns; don't be afraid to stray from the well worn path that everyone else is walking. Embrace the challenges you'll face and don't let the fear of failure box you into years of regret.  How will you ever learn anything if you never make a mistake? Trust your intuition, listen to your heart and fight hard for what you believe in. Stop wasting precious time running down hollow streets in search of happiness. You'll find its been inside you all along.



     Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Even though you are struggling with some tough, emotional issues, each experience is a small piece of the puzzle, a composition of the beautiful person you'll become.  Every day will be your happiest---live life to the fullest. It will never be this way again.

70 comments:

  1. Marcia! I really loved this post... I guess we all could write a similar letter like this to our younger self. And it is good to go back in time with our 'little' friend and reevaluate what we became in life at the end... Your pictures and those of your family's are beautiful.. God Bless!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, if only we COULD go back in time and warn ourselves about certain things....

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  2. wOW! You look so cute in these pictures..
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww...thank you, Irfan--you are too kind!

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  3. I could have written most of that same story...thank you for sharing!

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    1. I'm thinking there are quite a few of us that feel this way about our past!

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  4. Nice idea, lovely post.

    Trying to think what I'd write in a similar post
    (as, I'm sure, are your other readers)
    Think it would probably be fairly simple.
    Something like this;

    Hey Dale, not sure where you've got up to, but I expect you're hoping for some useful tips and hints about what to do in a whole load of sticky situations that may pop to ruin your life (and there will be quite a few).
    The thing is, I'm petty content with who I am, and I can only assume that who I am has been shaped by all the events you are soon to experience. So telling you in advance how to avoid all the bad decisions, disastrous mistakes and idiotic bad calls that you WILL make can only serve to reshape you into someone I'm not familiar with. Therefore I'm going to allow you to suffer all the indignities and pain of my past (your future) for the simple reason that I don't want my present self to change one iota.
    To sum up: tough shit buddy, some of your life will be crap. But I wouldn't have it any other way, and when you get here you'll thank me, because life may be what you make it, but you are what life makes you.
    And I for one like me just the way I am.

    Buckle up, it's gonna be a bumpy ride...

    Yours unhelpfully,
    dalecooper57

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    1. Haha this is awesome! But are you SURE you wouldn't change anything???? Oh hell yeah I would change stuff--but then again I wouldn't be who I am today, either....

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    2. No regrets, never go back.
      Life is not a rehearsal or a popularity contest.

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  5. You know what? I might just borrow this idea next week and write a letter to my younger self.

    I'm sorry you had to go through that torment. Those jerks were clearly blind and couldn't see how beautiful you are, inside and out. ♥ ya, Meno Mama!

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    1. You are so sweet Sarah! Thank you! Yes--you should write a blog post in letter form to yourself--it's very cathartic!

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  6. Wise wise advice!! Great post, Marcia!

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    1. Thank you, Teri! Happy to see you here and glad you liked it!

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  7. What a beautiful post from a beautiful person! Love the pictures and that you've shown us a vulnerable side of you--I think it gives more of us permission to also be vulnerable in a bigger way.

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    1. Absolutely--we all have our vulnerable side. It's hard to let it show sometimes but I wanted people to see that although I am all about the humor, I really DO have a serious side.....

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  8. Wow, I'm teary eyed right now! I absolutely loved this! My fav part: "Stop wasting precious time running down hollow streets in search of happiness. You'll find its been inside you all along. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. Slow down and enjoy the ride." Geez, so easy to identify with it.

    Thanks for a wonderful post and for sharing your personal stories. By the way, I know we're not supposed to be looking at the outside beauty, but I honestly think you were and are absolutely beautiful!!!

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    1. Awwww...now you are going to make ME teary eyed! Thank you so much for the kind words, Glenda! XO

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  9. This is such a great post. We all can relate to this post as we get older that's for sure! Thanks for sharing the things you've learned with us.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Crystal. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Awe what wonderful advice!! Love the pictures!

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    1. I have to admit---it was fun going through the old family photos to find these. It sure brought back the memories.

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  11. And I thought I loved you before :)

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    1. You know how much I love you, Jenn. You are a very special friend in my life. XO

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  12. "Even though you are struggling with some tough, emotional issues, each experience is a small piece of the puzzle, a composition of the beautiful person you'll become." There is the reason that I would not change things from my past. I might not like some of those pieces of the puzzle but they are all part of who I am today. And without some of those pieces, would I have my wonderful husband of almost 40 years and my 6 grown and married children and my almost 16 grandchildren? I wouldn't want to take a chance on any of the pieces changing. Thank you for the post, it really makes me think about my past and how thankful I am for my present.

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    1. So true....there are a few parts I could definitely do without but I realize now how it has shaped me. I tried to bring good out of all the bad stuff .

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  13. Marcia,
    This is so beautiful and meaningful. It is a great reminder that it's so hard to have perspective sometimes when you are in the throws of life but looking back there are so many things we learn from our past. Our past forms us into who we are in our present and who we know we want to be in our future. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I'm so glad you liked it. The past shapes us but oh boy, there are still some things I wish I could go back and change--mainly my attitude then.

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  14. I love this post! I featured it on my Friday's Fave! http://www.adventureintodomesticland.com/2013/09/fridays-fave-33.html

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice, this means a lot to me! XO

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  15. Although we'd all love to go back in time and tell ourselves many things, or at least assure our younger selves that we'll be OK, the truth is that all we went through and how we reacted is what made us the people we are today.

    And I'm so glad that you managed to come through some difficult times so well because I just love who you turned out to be.

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  16. Awww...Karen, I love you so much. Your friendship is invaluable to me. Thanks for always being there for when I need to cry or vent. You are such a beautiful person and I am honored to know you.

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  17. beautiful post. I blogged about this once, for NaBloWriMo.
    (here it is http://raigecreations.blogspot.com/2011/10/walking-on-wednesday-advice-for-my-15.html)

    But the important things were 'Remember you will never be perfect, never be right all the time, and that you should never lie. If you are true to yourself, the rest will come easy.'

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  18. I loved your post. =)
    Such a wonderful way to express what all life will offer!

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. I have been blessed with awesome family, friends and blog friends like you!

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  19. Oh Marcia I cried... you hit the nail on the head over and over... you are an amazing survivor and definitely one of the more beautiful people I know. Beauty definitely comes from within and you have it... :-D

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    1. Oh Launna, you are such a sweet and beautiful person. I cherish this comment. Thank you!

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  20. Such a wonderful letter. The trouble is, if you went back in your past and showed yourself that letter, the young you wouldn't take any notice because teenagers never listen!The photos are gorgeous too x

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    1. You're probably right. Knowing me, I would have rolled my eyes at myself and said, "Yeah, sure, whatever..."

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  21. That's it, Blogger needs a LIKE button! Or in this case, a LOVE button. Or maybe that would be a different button in a really gross way? HA HA! This was wonderful beautifully written advice we all can use! I'm sorry it took me all day to get over here to read it!

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    1. This is why I love you so much. We can be serious together one minute and then you have me cracking up the next. What on earth would I do without you, Sarah?!? XO

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  22. A touching, insightful post. Enjoyed the photos! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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  23. This is a very touching post. You still look just as beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  24. MARCIA. I'm speechless. So profound, and so beautiful. And the pics...stunning! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  25. You're beautiful. Inside AND Out. I love you. You know this. Fuck haters. Fuck abusers. Embrace those we love.

    -The Insomniacs Dream

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    1. Wise words, my friend. And I think you know how much I love and admire the beauty in you, too. <3

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  26. Brilliant letter - and some interesting things that we will talk about off line.

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  27. This is a letter that needs to be posted at every single high school the world over. Brilliant advice. You've just become my advice guru! Thank you!
    P.S. Can I borrow your wisdom for my up-and-coming granddaughters?

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    1. Lol too funny! Yes, share it with your granddaughter one day. I plan on sharing it with mine!

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  28. So Sweet!!! What a beautiful Post...

    If only all of us could have a 'letter' like this from our older self at that point in our lives. Totally enjoyed, Slu

    Have a great weekend...

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    1. Thank you. Slu. Yes, I wish someone had pulled me asided and told me these things...but I probably would not have listened anyway.

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  29. Hi Mama! This is my first visit here. I loved your description of yourself, and I will bring the wine, if you'll provide the Nutella. Sound fair? LOL!

    So much wisdom here too. It's a wisdom borne of experience, the best teacher of all.
    Happy to meet you today!
    Ceil

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    1. I love having new readers here!!! Nice to meet you, Ceil, and I hope you'll come back for more!

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  30. I love these posts, but like you said in the comment I see right above this post, it wouldn't have mattered if I'd have told myself any of the things I should have known. I wouldn't have listened. I already knew everything, you see. ;)

    The pics are great! And your write-up is too, like always. Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

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    1. I was the same way, Rosey--I thought, like any teen, that I already KNEW everything there was to know about life. If nothing else, I really wish I had listened more to my parent's advice. I could have avoided quite a bit of heartache if I had!

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  31. This is so beautiful! I loved reading it and sharing it with my daughter. It brings home how life is a journey and sometimes we think we're alone in our struggles, but in fact, we aren't. It is all a part of growing up. Thank you for writing it and I can't wait to start thinking what I would write to myself.

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    1. I think it's FANTASTIC that you shared this with your daughter! And yes, you should ABSOLUTELY start writing your own letter to yourself to share with her one day!

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  32. Good gods, woman, you're so beautiful - a beautiful young woman back in the day and an utterly adorable Menopausal Mama now! How the hell did you ever manage to have low self-esteem?!?! Were you certifiably insane or something?!?! My albums are a parade of bad hairstyles and unfortunate fashion choices and you look like a gorgeous angel in all your photos! I look at you even *today* and think you've got the most adorable face ever! It's no wonder The Hubs fell madly in love with you!

    Great, wicked good post...things have worked out for you in the long run...and I hope you *have* forgiven those people from high school because that was a loooooong time ago...and I promise you if they Google you they will be happy or horrified to see how well you've done and how good you look. When I went back to the small town of my adolescence last month I found a lot of the people who'd given me crap in high school.....were still there in that small town, living their small town lives. I wish them well, I hope they're happy, but their lives made me, I admit, a little bit depressed.

    Now stop mooning over your younger self and pass the Butterfingers & rum cake, dammit ;)

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    1. Have I told you lately how much I love you??? Lol. For real, kids were pretty brutal back in the day. I was taller than all the other girls, and therefore dubbed The Jolly Green Giant. I was only about 5-7 pounds overweight, yet I got called "pudgy" and "fat." It was always something--my chin was too short, my butt not round enough, my shoulders too broad, my body too big-boned....I've heard it all, and mostly from boys in school. Very hurtful. I grew up thinking I was stupid and ugly. It's a stigma that has haunted me all my life and prevented me from doing SOOO many things in life that I wanted to do. I think some people are just more sensitive than others, and fortunately I am one of those people who takes every comment to heart. The Hubs claims I only remember the bad stuff and none of the good. That's probably true...and very typical of people who have self esteem issues. I'm better about things now. Sure, there are still things I don't like about myself, but at my age I don't give a rat's ass that much like I used to, so in that respect, getting older is AWESOME! And I totally agree with you.....let's stop mooning and eat that damn rum cake! Get your butt down here so we can party together!

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  33. What a direct and beautiful letter to yourself MM. If only we had hindsight, but at least we've lived a life of experiences that set us up for the things of the future. This letter should be framed and put on the kids bedroom wall, so they can take a good look and learn a few things as they grow older. Who knows what pitfalls they will avoid along the way by reading it?
    My, you were one hell of a looker back then, so beautiful and you've matured into a lovely butterfly.
    After all that you've been through, would you have changed many things if you could go back? I mean, look at how far you've come because of the past.

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    1. Oh yes--there is a 2 year period of my life that I would like to erase--I gained nothing from this experience except fear and bitterness. Those qualities I could live without. I also wish that I hadn't believed all the ugly things that were said to me. If I had grown up with more confidence and not been so sensitive, I would be a lot further in life by now. I had so many dreams but my insecurities held me back, and now I fear it is too late for some of those dreams to ever come true.

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  34. nice post! this is a great idea, there are so many things I would want to tell my younger self too

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    1. I was hard to write yet very cathartic. I recommend it to anyone who writes!

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