I write to you at the age of 26, twice the age you are now. This year of age 13, I remember it so well but at the same time I’ve forgotten many details. I’ve told your story a few times lately and it makes me remember more and more.
You don’t know it yet, but you’ve got so much ahead of you.
I remember 13. I remember the pain. The grief. The sadness. The anger. The resentment. The self-hate. The darkness. The hiding. You become the great pretender of happiness (13 years later I haven’t decided if this acquired skill is one of fortune or misfortune). Best of all, you become an overcomer, a victor, an optimist, a blessed child of God. Unfortunately, it gets harder before it gets easier but it makes that transition from negative to positive that much more impactful. It never gets easy but it definitely hasn’t been that difficult again.
Breathe. Take life day by day. Plan it, too. Find something to look forward to. Pray. Do the simple things; there’s a piece of joy in all of it.
I remember juggling career decisions and knowing that doctor was the one I’d stick with. You don’t just get to be a doctor, you get to be more. You’ll think you might have your specialty career decided when you’re halfway through med school but that’ll change. It won’t be blatantly obvious but there’s something way better (these kinds of surprises are the best!). You’ll learn to truly love what you do. You’ll learn about so much that can’t be artfully expressed in words. You’ll learn about passion.
Don’t forget to breathe. Stay positive. Remember where you began. Make promises to yourself. Keep them. Travel. Eat more. Make mistakes. Thank God when you wake up to a new day.
I remember thinking 26 was far away and that by then I’d have my life all together and I’d have a family and be all the things I wished others were to me. Twenty-six seemed old (but it’s not!), an adequate age at which these things should be done. Don’t hold on to that. You’ll learn about 3/4 of the way that that’s just not going to happen. And that’s ok. Lots of people will get married and have children. You’ll see lots of it and wish for it. And that’s ok. You won’t be lonely because you’ll find joy and peace with your path and eventually it’ll come to you (it hasn’t yet, and that’s ok!).
I remember wondering about friendships. Are there true friends out there for you? Is there really such a thing as a best friend? Many people will come and go. But there are the select few who stick around…who you truly connect with. They’ll love you and support you and keep you grounded, no matter where you go.
Spend time with people; memories are everlasting. Explore your creativity. Exercise. Take chances. Keep breathing. Thank God for everything. Don’t stop writing. Stay respectful. Love everyone.
Your Mom is your biggest fan. I know what you’re thinking, don’t. You’ll understand why things are the way they are. There’s literally no one like her. You’ll eventually see it and you’ll value her more than anything.
You don’t feel it yet, but life is going to be so much better.I’m not the person you imagined I’d be, because life is way more amazing than anything you could’ve ever thought. I know it doesn’t seem possible, and a lot of things will not go the way you want but, trust me, it’s all going to be absolutely worthwhile.
You are you and you are wonderful.
I’m happy. And you will be too.