A Letter To Myself In This Moment

A Letter to Myself In This Moment-

So you’re coming out on the other end of a quarter life crisis. How’s it going? How are you? Is it as bad as you thought it would be?

Let me take a moment to remind you, it’s all going to work out. Remember that time when you were fifteen and you were absolutely certain that you were going to die before you turned eighteen? And now look at you! You’ve made it to twenty three! You’re here! Take a moment and be thankful.

I’d like to also take a moment to congratulate you on becoming who you are today. You’re doing pretty good. You’ve realized some important boundaries. I know you struggle with thinking you can still fix things with your parents, but as much as your heart aches and you try to rationalize that you can fix it, you have to remember that 1. You’ve tried that for roughly twenty years and 2. It takes two to tango and they would have to be willing to have a conversation with you, hear your words, have some sense of self awareness and introspection, and then be willing to change or explain themselves in a mature way. You’re not at fault for ceasing to hold your breath. You can only do so much as one person.

Maybe start trying to wrap your head around the fact that you’ve found the love of your life. I know you’ve got a lot going on trying to figure out career stuff and money stuff, and living day to day, but you recently met the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t let these other circumstances distract you from the joys you’ve found in the amazing woman you’re planning your future with. Also, can you believe how lucky you are?

How exciting is it that kids are finally on the horizon???!!! We’re talking three years?! That’s so soon! That’s literally been your only hope and dream for so long, and it’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re going to have babies SO SOON. You’re going to be a mom, SO SOON. I’m proud of you, and that’s really fucking exciting. You’re going to be an amazing mom. You’re going to finally feel the joy you’ve imagined in holding a little one in your own arms and never having to return them to their parents.

Keep going. Don’t stress too much. It’s all going to fall into place if you keep working hard, digging deep and giving it everything you’ve got. You will find your place in the world. Don’t get frustrated that it’s not all in place yet. It’s okay that you’re not Lena Dunham or even that kid from high school that went to UCLA and started his own business and now just travels for shits and giggles. You’re okay. You’re normal. Normal is not bad.

Take care of yourself. Remember how important you are and your place in the world is. Make a difference some way some how, be open and receptive to what the world places in front of you.

Be Well.

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Divorce

The question was recently posed to me, “What would your life have been like and who would you be had your parents not divorced?” My gut reaction was that I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today.

I was two when my parents separated, three when they got divorced. My dad had missed my mom’s entire pregnancy and my birth because he had been in the Navy and they had sent him to the Persian Gulf. My mom was 23 years old and working as a waitress when they divorced. My dad was 25 and a security guard at K-Mart. She wanted to pursue a career in nursing. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do. She got impatient and asked for a divorce.

It was just me and my mom for about a year before she met my step dad. I was young, but I remember that year. I remember just having each other and how strong we felt. And then Tom came into our lives with promises of a secure and stable future. He had just been hired on with our local fire station. He was enamored by my mom’s beauty and taken with our story. He wanted to save her. She wanted to be saved.

My dad slowly disappeared from my life, but never altogether, which made it worse. He came and went for a few years and then he married my step mom and they had two more kids together. That was the end of our relationship for a long time.

Tom and my mom got married six months to the day that they met and got pregnant with my brother a month after they were married. It was around that time that Tom, who I claimed as my new dad, started getting loud and angry with me. It progressed into spankings with wooden spoons and belts. I’d have to sit in the corner for long stretches of time, with my forehead against the wall. Once I forgot to give the dog water and as a punishment I had to go the day without drinking. I was eight. I remember going to the bathroom and drinking from the bathroom sink. I was in trouble at least a few times a week, devoid of a voice and scared shitless. He would yell at me and tell me to get out of his sight, he couldn’t even look at me, and as I turned to walk away, he’d kick me for good measure.

There were times that I would overhear my mom and Tom fighting. Once, knowing that I was listening to their argument, he yelled out to me “Sarah, pack your bags!!! You and your mom are leaving!” Twice in my high school years he sat me down and told me they were getting a divorce. Every time I thought they were separating, I felt relieved. I felt like he was finally cutting us loose from his grips. I didn’t know what would happen to my brother and sister, but I knew I would find a way to see them.

Going through such a huge loss and an unfortunate gain at such a young age has made me who I am. It’s given me my good traits and my bad. I know that I can endure a lot because I carried an immense pain with me as a kid and I made it through that. I’ve had to realize that you can feel two things at once about a person- the world is not black and white. I can feel grateful to Tom for providing me with a home and a brother and sister, but I can also feel mistreated and upset. I’ve realized that relationships can be rekindled. My dad and I have a great relationship, even though it didn’t truly get the chance it deserved until I was about 20. These lessons have taught me that people are broken and even when we are trying to do our best, we hurt those around us.

To My Future Little Ones on Their Eighteenth Birthdays,

To My Future Little Ones on Their Eighteenth Birthdays,

I have yet to birth or even conceive you so I feel like this is the right time for me to write an unbiased letter and let you know what to expect. I am almost 24 years old. I’m working through what I think is my quarter life crisis and I’m learning some seriously huge lessons. I would like to give you, my treasured little one, some perspective and advice that I wish someone had given me on my eighteenth birthday. Let us begin.

You’re about to enter toddlerhood all over again. Soon you will be birthed into this thing “adults” like to call the “real world”. It’s horrifying. You’re leaving this safe little cocoon and you’re ready to breathe on your own. You will have to explore the world with all of your senses. Give yourself the freedom to touch and push everything that you’re not supposed to and learn some hard lessons several times over until it sinks in.

Life feels like an uphill battle. I’m hoping that in five years I can write you another letter and let you know that it gets better and easier, but I’m not holding my breath. I think maybe you just get used to the constant state of flux.

You’re going to do some hard work in order to find your boundaries. You will try on lots of different hats. You will befriend lots of different people. You might change your life path and career path 20 times in one month. You might sleep with lots of people. My genuine hope for you is that you find your voice. Listen to your gut, listen to your instincts. This is your voice. Let it grow strong and practice speaking up for yourself and your boundaries.

Work hard to understand your visceral reactions to the things around you. Find what you love about yourself and what you want to work on.

Don’t be afraid to grow and change. I have been a multitude of people. Embrace the changes. Challenge yourself to find the core root of who you are and what you believe in, but don’t be afraid to evolve. Strive to remain on a path of continual learning and education. You will outgrow friendships and lovers. Do not take this as a sign that you are doing something wrong. When you are perpetually moving forward, you tend to leave the stagnant behind, it’s natural.

This “life” thing is a total mess and especially in these first few years of quasi-adulthood, don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Nobody knows what they’re doing and I’m 85% sure that the word “adult” is a completely made up term. The sooner you learn to let go and let the waves take you where they may, the happier you will be. There is a difference between banging your head against the wall and working through something. Your gut will know the answer. Know when to give up and move on, take what you can from each lesson and keep on that path of natural progression.

Pick your battles wisely. Don’t let anyone tell you that all they want is the easiest path for you. (Not even me.) The path of least resistance leads nowhere. Allow yourself to be refined through the fires that life gives you. How did the beautiful mountain ranges come to exist? Or the seaside cliffs of the Pacific? Through immense pressure and earthly pain, over time and throughout the years of nature taking its course. Work hard, be persistent, and know that something beautiful will come of it in the end.

Don’t focus on soul mates. It’s an unlikely possibility, statistically speaking.

If you ever find yourself asking “am I in love?” You’re not. You will know so immediately and it will hit you with such force, that there will be no room for doubt or error. If you find yourself questioning “is this person in love with me?” first seek out your own projections and insecurities, work through them, and if the question still remains, they probably don’t. Move on. And when you do find the person that is as equally enthralled by you as you are by them, have all of the hard conversations right up front. Ask all of the scary questions. If you can handle the answers or come to some kind of agreement, hang on tight. That person is worth it.

Most of all, frequently remind yourself that you are human. This time on Earth is limited. At the end of our lives, you will not remember the fact that you have thirty five cents to your name, but the creative ways in which you survived your early twenties. Give yourself room to breathe. Accept your high standards and your challenges and know that just the fact that you are thinking of where you want to go and who you want to be, are surefire signs that you, my sweet unfathomable angel, will be okay.

Best,
PW