Tomorrow is my 30th birthday. And if I take a minute and think about where the high school version of myself thought I’d be at this point in life, I am not even on the same map. So I thought I write her a letter.
To my teenage self
I am sorry. I am sorry I did not become the person you wanted me to be. I want to apologize for it all, so I guess I should start from the beginning. I am sorry I didn't marry him, the man you swore you would die without. I'm sorry I walked away from him. I am sorry I drank too, much so many times. I am sorry I didn't get that internship. I am sorry I didn't have that platinum wedding in a big church with a long veil. I'm sorry I never got that big house with the huge kitchen. And I'm sorry the one I do have is messy with mismatched furniture and chipped plates. I'm sorry I don't host elegant cocktail parties. I'm sorry I don't have any children. I guess you must be disappointed.
But you didn't know what life would be like. You couldn't have. You didn’t realize that hurt and shame is not love. Back then you didn't know the pain would be so bad you’d have to drink it away. You didn’t realize that the path you start out on has many twists and turns and that it may not bring you to where you wanted to be. Of course, you thought that better homes and garden life was affordable, the magazines told you so.
But you also didn't know what I know now. That failure is empowering. That every time you get up you become stronger. That dreams change as we change. Each failure teaches us something new, and with that new knowledge, we have a better understanding of who we truly are and what we want. That love isn't supposed to be an epic battle of the heart. Real, true, healthy love is supportive and comes from happiness, not fear and anger. That sex in the shadows may get your heart racing but making love in the light is a passion that never goes away. You also didn't know that experiences are better than things. That a day's worth of memories are better than a lifetime in a picture perfect house. Did you know that you had a choice about how you wanted to live your life? I didn’t think so. You never did anything because everyone else was doing it. Did you think I would be any different?
So I am sorry that I didn't become that lady you envisioned in your daydreams, but I couldn't settle for her. I am too strong to be under someone's thumb, I am too brave not to stand up for what I believe, and I am too creative to stay within the lines. My sweet girl, your dreams just weren’t big enough for me, but that's okay, you didn't know what you were capable of.
With Love and Strength
The you, you were meant to be...