A letter to my younger self
As I grow in years, I find myself wondering, what if I could reach out to my younger self to reassure her you are worthy of what life offers.
As I grow in years and—hopefully—in strength and wisdom, I find myself wishing I could communicate with my younger self. It has taken me a long time to recognize my strengths and realize my place in the world. And while I know the winding, rocky, sometimes tortuous path I have followed may have in fact helped to forge the strength I now possess, I wish I could pump a little encouragement into the fragile, broken younger me—so that I would recognize that I am loved and worthy of what life has in store for me.
Oh, my, what waits for you is beyond anything you could have ever imagined. I know that snaggle-toothed, bug-eyed little girl looks around with a sense of hopelessness and misdirection, with no one to reassure her of her value to this world. I know you believe you are not pretty or talented enough or strong enough to dream big dreams.
I know you may not have someone to guide and grow you into that beautiful, intelligent woman you are destined to be, but have patience and faith, for what the Lord has in store for you will be much greater than what that wide-eyed little girl can see. You are so hard on yourself; please try not to be. I know you are so young, but please try and block out the negative self-talk; the feeling of being lost in a family of chaos will perpetually haunt you until you understand the toxic dynamic and learn to protect yourself emotionally. Wease, that shell of protection needs to come down, it’s OK to take a risk, and if things don’t go exactly as you imagined, it isn’t the end of the world. The risks and trials are part of your journey. You have been blessed with a good mind—yes, you really have been—so if you see an opportunity or possibility, don’t be afraid to pursue it just because you might fail; you are capable of achieving success. Believe this. Sometimes things are going to work out well, and sometimes they aren’t. This is true for every human on this planet.
See that possibility in front of you and leap. Jump right into the deep end and teach yourself to swim if no one else will. Don’t limit your dreams because you can’t visualize in perfect detail every step to realizing that dream. Think about your actual sleeping dreams: They are strings of images often difficult to recall, especially in detail. Bits and pieces of the visions seem clear as waking day, others make no sense at all, and often there are great gaps in the dream as a whole. So, it is with imaginings you have for your life. Not seeing every step with clarity does not determine the worth of the dream. You have it inside of you to find all the resources and tools to make real-life possibilities become a reality.
Let your guard down; it’s ok to open up and allow others in. Be open to sharing your ideas and taking help from others. Yes, someone may let you down. Someone may betray your trust. Someone also may bless you beyond your wildest dreams. So, again, don’t be afraid. Everyone in this world faces the challenge of building and managing relationships. Allow room for the bruises and the heartbreak—and you will allow room for the successes and heart swoons, as well.
Speaking of relationships—Felicity, you will reject a few good young men out of fear of rejection down the road. Don’t shy away from blossoming new love interests, allow them to enter your sacred space; experience butterflies and first kisses—and, yes, even a broken heart. After all, love teaches us compassion and empathy.
You will settle out of loneliness; I wish you wouldn’t. You were not created to settle, but you will. This will be the hardest decade of your life; everything you worked towards will be destroyed. Felicity, I know you have lost hope during this time, but you will find your faith, and this will be the catalyst to walking away with no clear destination but with a dream. This will be a time of self-discovery and growth. You will begin to recognize your worth and talents, your spiritual gift for helping others. You will dive deep and rock everyone’s foundation.
Loss of loved ones always will linger around you, impressing upon you a profound ache for a strong support system; nevertheless, it’s your strength that keeps you going. Continue to dig deep and dwell on the things that bring you joy. Be strong and pursue them. Contemplate your gifts and develop them. Child, you have been made to help heal others. With that thought, let yourself be healed, as well. Forgive friends and family who you think have let you down. Forgive yourself. Let go of your insecurities and move towards claiming your gifts.
Drink deeply, Felicity, from these currently oft-quoted words from another young woman, poet Erin Hanson:
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask ‘What if I fall?’
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
xo, Felicity Nicole