A letter to my younger self
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a letter to my younger self since I started binge-watching The Crown. It’s one of the latest Netflix originals that started this month. I’m quite taken with Queen Elizabeth. Like me, the character lost her father in her twenties. I find it interesting how she both honours him and learns to live without him, at the same time.
Elizabeth processes all of these emotions as she assumes the role of the Queen of England. I, on the other hand, got to wallow around and wonder how I could possibly go on. It’s amazing how much perspective you gain with the passage of time. Though I still feel an acute sadness and mourn his passing almost daily, I’ve gone on to change and grow in ways I could never have imagined at that time.
I wish I could go back in time to deliver a letter to share some of this perspective with that very lost, younger version of myself. A letter to my younger self might read something like this.
Dear younger me,
I know you’re feeling very lost right now. And how could you not? You’ve just lost your compass and have no way to see the light on the other side of this storm. I want you to know that it will rage on for longer than you expect, but fear not: The sun will shine again. Until then, don’t let these waves of grief pull you under. There is still much joy in life. It’s okay to put on some wellies and a raincoat and get out there. Don’t ever think you can’t dance in the rain.
There will be days when you’re not sure what to do, where to go or who to trust. On those days, trust yourself. Go where your heart tells you. Do what you love.
Don’t hide under your dark cloud or stand in someone else’s shadow. Don’t let some one else take credit for your thoughts or your work, simply because you’re too worn down to fight. Be seen and be heard. Not only will you look back and know you were present in your life; you’ll also move forward, despite how much you’ll want time to stand still.
Trust your resilience
There will be many, many days to come when you’ll think “What am I going to do”? Or “How will I survive?” Just trust that you will. Life isn’t supposed to be easy or fair. It’s a complicated, heartbreaking, breathtaking ride. And you’ll be okay.
Get out there. Try new things and go new places. Talk to unexpected people and learn some stuff. You may be surprised to know you’ll run marathons and spend a lot of time trying to move mountains. But before all that happens, just get going. You see, the world is a big, big place, and one day you might regret not experiencing enough of it while you had no limits.
You’ve always been kind of sparkly. You’ve often been called “full of beans”, and the phrase “marches to the beat of her own drum” has been uttered more than once. You’re going to meet people who want to dim the light, calm the storm and quiet the music. Walk away from those people. You’re not their people. And they, most certainly, are not yours.
You will have quiet moments when you’ll wonder perhaps, if you were more like everyone else, you’d fit in better or something. Listen to my words: Fitting in is over-rated. Trust me. You’ll one day come to know that the most important person to feel comfortable with is yourself. (and you like sparkly). So shine on dear. Be the light. Bring the whole you – to every party, to every meeting, to everything. You already know life is fleeting. Spend every minute you have being true to yourself. You’re very likeable just the way you are. I should know because I like you very much.
As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I do receive complimentary product from #Netflix as part of our ongoing partnership. All opinions and the views in this letter to my younger self are all my own.