Dear Younger Self:
The world is big, bright and beautiful just as it is vast, dark and ugly--so are the people in it. Do not let this dim your shine. Do not let this change who you are.
People will let you down--it is non-negotiable. Even people who love you--or are supposed to love you. Your parents, your siblings, people you chose to call a friend. Do not cry, scream or believe for one second that they hate you--it is not you, it is them.
People will not understand you, and at times it’ll make you feel that you are unworthy, unloveable or even a pariah. In some ways, this feeling will wax and wane just like the moon you pray to instead of God--because you’ll begin to feel that God has let you down, that God hates you as much as the people at church hate you and your family. Do not let this get you down. Scream as much as you need too, but take a moment to breathe.
You’ll be hurt, beaten and torn down. Do not fear, you’ll always get back up. No matter how broken, bruised or shredded you are you find a way to pick up the pieces and sew yourself back together. It is tiring, but you are always, always, stronger for it. I won’t say you were made to be broken, but it is something that is hard to explain.
You are durable when people believe you are putty in their hands. They will believe they can bend you and mold you to fit and contort into an image they’ll feel satisfied with, but you never will, and you’ll always be okay with it--even when you’re not.
You do not belong in the small town with the pretty Bluebonnets, hot summers and weird mascots. You are meant for bigger things in a far away place. It is hard, because as you get older the feeling becomes stronger to the point you’ll want to hide away and yell--you want to yell at everyone who doesn’t understand, but to be fair, you don’t understand it yourself. It is just who you are--and that’s all you know.
You’ll learn love is more important than everything. Love, compassion and friendship will save you more than a church with a sanctioned religion. You no longer pray to the moon, you cry out to God--but sometimes you still look out to the moon and say hello--because you also learn that there is a God, and she--or he--or they--are infinite, and so hard to understand. It could be the moon, it could be the stars, or it could be the beating in your chest that keeps you alive. God is everything and anything you need it to be. God does not hate you. He loves you.
You’ll grow up and it’ll hurt worse than the time you cut your head and Dad didn’t come--it’ll hurt worse when you realize Dad isn’t Dad at all. It’ll be the worst thing to happen to you. You’ll finally understand why people told you to stop growing. Because the more you look back, the sadder--and at times--angrier--you become. But I promise you this: You are a woman of your word. You don’t make promises you can’t keep. You value the people in your life not for what they can give you, but for the mere fact they have chosen to stay. You only choose those who have chosen you. You do not lose your laughter, and you stop caring about crying so much.
You’ll be okay, younger self.
As I look back at you, and try to remember what life would be like if I would make it this far--it is far from what I imagined. But, let me tell you--it is better than what we both thought it would be.
Your future, older, self.