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Forget Me Not: A Letter to My Younger Self
The year is 2016 and you will turn 40 this year. I thought I would take the time to write to you and share some things I think you ought to know.
Several people have told me that I’m having a midlife crisis or that everyone goes through what I am currently experiencing. I disagree. This is not a crisis; this is progress. I am finally becoming the woman I was always intended to be. Along the line, I got derailed by an abusive relationship. I stayed with him through thick and thin, and in the end I lost 16 years of my life, sixteen years of myself. But this experience has brought me back to you. It has brought me to a place where I can share what I learned so that, perhaps, you won’t have to repeat history. It is through this journey to healing that I have come to be exactly where I am today.
Don’t ever lose your spunk. You are sassy and difficult, and that is ok. When you get older, you will learn to use that for good. People will try to take that away from you. He will slowly manipulate you into giving up that part of yourself. You will no longer be able to think or fight for yourself. Thankfully, it is a permanent character trait and can resurface even if it has been buried for years. But, please, don’t let anyone ever take that away from you. You still have the choice to walk away.
Stay true to yourself. You will always feel the need to explain yourself to everyone, or more accurately, apologize to everyone. Unless you have done something hurtful to someone, you have no need to apologize. You are a beautiful individual who will see the world differently than many. You will be overly sensitive, you will be strong willed, and you will hold your own when it needs to be held even if it destroys you. Do not allow others to persuade you to be someone you are not. Educate yourself on the things that matter in life. Do not simply follow the crowd. Be confident in your beliefs and thoughts, and remember that it is ok to be an outlier.
Always maintain an open mind. Don’t ever forget that not everyone has walked in your shoes or experienced life as you have. They have experiences, joys, hurts, and struggles of their own. You do not have to agree with their opinions to show them respect and support. Be kind to them, hear them out, and if you have to, respectfully disagree. Show love to those who will accept your love and walk away from those who do not. You are not obligated to keep trying to get love from those unwilling to return it. It’s ok to walk away. The sooner you do, the sooner a person worthy of your time and attention will have the opportunity to walk in.
Your gut feeling is an amazing tool; use it. If you are bothered by something, speak up. But always remember to do so with kindness and respect. If the person at the receiving end does not acknowledge your needs, or is unwilling to discuss them with you, move on. If you are not being treated right, move on. Always be willing to have open discussions, hear people out, and work with others to make things right. But don’t ever allow anyone to change you, hurt you, or be cruel to you. If they are doing that, they have their own issues that they need to work on. You cannot fix them. You deserve kindness and respect from everyone you allow into your circles.
Don’t ever be afraid to leave. You are strong, and you will survive. You will be better for it.
You will always think that you can lose weight or fix some character flaw you believe you have at the time. Practice hearing the compliments around you. Take them to heart and be confident in who you are. Don’t dismiss kind words from others. Don’t put yourself down to anyone, especially yourself. Your body will grow and change. Your face will get older and your mind will sometimes wander down a negative path. Fight to stay positive. Love your body and mind in whatever form they happen to be in. You are you. You are a unique being, and you deserve a wonderful and happy life.
At the end of the day, it only matters that you are in a safe, healthy, and happy place. Always remember that, and always be kind to yourself.