Wednesday, November 16, 2011

49

Dear Fifteen Year Old Self,

Today is the last day we'll spend in our forties. Tomorrow we move on to the big Five Oh. I thought I'd share with you some of the wisdom we've gained. Thought I'd let you know that it's not all as desperate and bleak as it can seem to a fifteen year old girl, as I know it seemed to you.

Right now there's a big campaign going on called "It Gets Better." It does. It also gets worse, it gets mediocre and mundane, it gets beautiful, ugly, sadder than you can imagine, happier than you dare to dream. Point is, it changes. Constantly. Remember that line from Pippin? "There's one thing to be sure of mate, there's nothing to be sure of." That's how life is. But that's a good thing, a very good thing.

You're going to go through all kinds of stuff, both the pretty and the pretty horrible. Keep in mind that the phrase "go through" implies just that... movement. Every ending has a new beginning. Every beginning has an ending.

Relationships of all kinds will come and go. Friendships will deteriorate as people grow and change within their own lives, just like you will. People will die. There will be a lot of hurt. That's all part of life too. It'll be tempting to turn your heart into a rock and not let anyone in, but you have to. It's all about balance. You don't get deep joy without also experiencing crushing sorrow. The joy is so worth it. Besides, others need you just as much as you need them.

Here's possibly the most important thing. It's your life which means it's your life to live. Don't let anyone else dictate it for you. Don't let anyone else make you feel like you're less than. You got it - it's yours to allow or disallow. When you live to please someone else - I don't care who it is or what the relationship is, you'll end up miserably repressed, and you'll end up doing a disservice to everyone. Including you.

Don't be afraid of shit. Don't let fear block you. Don't just say, "I can't. I'm scared." Find out why. Then bust it down. You'll feel foolish when you look back and say, "That wasn't so bad at all." But that's okay. You learned.

Learning. Yes. Gather it up, as much as you can. This is one of those gigs where there is no such thing as "too much." Never ever ever dumb yourself down. Teach instead.

Because, guess what? The happiness you're looking for? It's in you. It doesn't come from anywhere, anyone, or anything else. Really, it's already there. Problem is, when you waste your time tap dancing around what you perceive that others expect of you, you don't do the dance you were called to do. So, listen to that distant drummer and boogie on reggae child!

Love big. Yes, it sets you up for hurt, but when you let it all out, that space expands and you get twice as much back.

There's a lot of fun to be had. Good, harmless, crazy fun. Let your laughter be infectious, let your smile be genuine, let your imagination run along any path it wants to.

That's about it. All the other stuff is just dandelion fuzz blowing in the wind. It will shift, drift and disappear into memory.

It gets better, I'll grant that. At the very least, it changes. Oh, but every now and again....?

It gets damned good. Stick around.

Love you,
The Gypsy

3 comments:

  1. If everyone were required to write this letter to their younger selves...well, the world would be a much more lively place. I love this, Barb

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  2. I would like to see such a letter from you, Jake!

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  3. I love you, Bar(b)-- the old (younger) you, the new (older) you-- you've been one of my biggest blessings.

    I'm so happy that you've embraced your inner gypsy & look forward to knowing you BOTH for a good, long while ~

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