Dear Me, yet to be…

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September 7, 1961


Hey there,

Wow, you’re finally sixteen, a big day in a girl’s life.  Happy Birthday! 

I knew that you would open up that favorite book,  A Girl Can Dream, once again and find this letter that I left for you.  Reading has always been your escape, a doorway that takes you away from the hurt and into a world where you become someone else… in a happier story.

I’m sorry that no one made a big deal of this special day and you’re feeling sad.  This is something you should have gotten used to as you’ve grown.  Parties have never been something of importance to your parents and, right now, you’re sitting there on the bed, hoping for a surprise of some sort before the day is over.  It won’t happen, just as with all the birthdays before this one.  You’ll wake up tomorrow morning promising yourself that, someday, things will be different.  Trust me, any changes in life begin with the decisions you make but, you already know that by now.

For a teenager, you are strong in so many ways, having dealt with things that no young person should have to endure.  Someday, way in the future, you might be able to help others who went through all you have but, for now, it’s so difficult to share that pain with anyone, not even your very best friend, Helene`.

The road ahead won’t be easy, and you will make mistakes; we all do.  The important thing is what we learn from these occasional wrong steps and how we manage to become more productive adults in the process.  Remember, no one is perfect!

Right now, you’re experiencing that dizzy feeling of a first big romance and smile whenever you think…of him.   In time, this flicker of what you think is love will turn to sleepless nights and tears in your pillow, ending when another girl steals him away.  Trust me, that empty feeling in your stomach that makes you ache all over will pass; it will just seem like it’s taking forever.  One day, you’ll look back and think how silly you were in feeling so devastated over that high school romance.  One day…

Those dreams you have of someday leaving home to become a Stewardess, well, they will remain wishful thinking.  And, any hope of college will be quashed by your father who feels, unless you plan on being either a teacher, or nurse, there’s no way you’ll go to school just to earn a “Bachelor of Nothing” degree.     It will be the world of Business for you, so grin and bear it even when you find yourself sitting behind some desk feeling all cooped-up and wanting to do so much more with your life; someday, you will.

Some heartbreak will never fully disappear; you’ll learn that when you reach your twenties and make a choice that will leave a permanent hole in your heart.  Part of you will always be missing but remember that you made the best decision; not everyone could have been as brave.

The endless turmoil at home will end in a few years when your parents finally divorce but as one door closes, another will open and bring its share of conflict.  That too, will pass but not your mother’s dependency on you for years to come.  I promise you that you will get through that, as well.

Marriage?  It will come, along with its ups and downs; so will children, a home of your own and, someday, grandchildren!  Yes, you, a Gramma!  You will be a very cool one, at that.  Trust me!

Keep writing… even though your mother always finds the notebooks that you keep as journals and throws them away; her belittling of your writing just makes you eager to do it more. She can’t discard your thoughts and memories, no matter how hard she tries.  

I know, you’re sitting here, reading this and wondering how I know so much about you, wanting to believe the hopeful things I’m sharing yet fearful of what is still unknown.   That fear can be paralyzing but you cannot allow it to imprison your spirit and sense of adventure as you explore what this world has to offer in years to come.

Learn to trust; not everyone in your future will be like the hurtful shadows of people in your past.  Learn to love those closest to you and enjoy the beauty of life as it was meant to be.

At this moment, all you want to do is grow up as fast as you can but please, hold on to these precious years of youth for they pass by almost with the blink of an eye.  We’re given a one-shot chance at life without any option to go back and do it again.  Suddenly, one day, there are more years behind us than on the horizon and we’re amazed at how quickly that time has gone.

Remember…hold onto sixteen, as long as you can!



P.S.…..Don’t marry a man who can’t dance!


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s WorkshopWrite a blog post about what you wanted to be when you grew up.  Since I’ve written similar, career-oriented, posts previously, I thought a letter to my younger self would be a great prompt response.  A look-back in some ways to teen-age dreams and plans for the future.  While it’s just about impossible to reach back in time and thwart bad decisions and avoid heartbreak, it’s good to share some ancient wisdom with others as they head down life’s winding, twisting road.