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To ten years ago.

Dear me,

I know that you think you have everything figured out.

You so don’t.

Right now you don’t even really know what to expect from your life. At all. In a year you’ll be engaged. Then married. Then a mother. Then a mother again. 

Then they’re going to put you on some pills and tell you you’re depressed. 

But no one is ever going to ask you why you feel the way you do – they’re just going to throw medicine at it.

And eventually you’ll grow some female testicles and you’ll take care of yourself. People will call you terrible things. Say mean things about you. One of the people who – right now – you think is one of your closest friends…well, in ten years she will have (intentionally, completely, and successfully) cut you out of her life.

You’ll wonder if all the things that people are saying are true. You’ll wonder how you can be such a terrible person and still feel like the same you.

You’ll have found a new side of yourself. A true you. 

There will be awful days. Days you think you can’t go on. But you will.

How your kids will grow! It’s really amazing. You don’t even know them yet…but just wait, you will. And you’ll like them. They’re such wonderful people already. 

  • People will go in and out of your life…and that’s what they do. Don’t hold onto people who don’t want you with them. It’s their loss.
  • Don’t trust so easily. You’re too valuable for that. I wish you could see it.
  • Smile more. You have a great smile.
  • Buy awesome glasses. Seriously. You’ll get lots of compliments.
  • Start running now. Do it every day. You’ll thank me later.
  • I am not even kidding: learn to knit. Even people who make fun of you will secretly think you are cool. 
  • Save your money. Invest in Google.
  • Did I mention your kids? Start preparing for the initial wave of amazing now.
  • Love your family. Love them, love them, love them.
  • Reach out to people. Learn their names and what they like. Write cards for no reason other than that you’re thinking of someone and you hope they have a good day. Love expands.
  • Learn more about computers.
  • Start buying more Mac products. 
  • Write. Do it when you feel you have nothing to say.
  • Read your Bible. That sounds corny, but it really does add dimension to a day. You’ll try and run from your beliefs at several points in the next few years, but it’s all a part of you. Embrace it and figure it out instead of denying it. It’ll make you a more complete individual.
  • That said, you do not need the approval of another human being to be valuable. Please lose that notion now.
  • Keep your passport up to date.
  • Start a blog.

I really don’t have much more wisdom to impart. You wouldn’t listen to me even if I did. 

However, I’ve learned a lot. I wish I had known when I was in your shoes a tenth of what I know now.

Love, 

Me

 

P.S. I really mean it about Google. Please do it.

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Since I won’t be around for the English baby shower…

Dearest Amanda,

What can I say? I have no words. Absolutely none.
Okay, I have a few.
There are precious few people in my life that I can claim as truly a part of me. You have been one of those people from the very start. 
There are so many memories I could go back through…but I won’t. Just thinking of them now is enough to make me smile.
I wish I could be there with you today, to bring your babies squawky toys that speak three languages and to marvel at what will no doubt be pristine pastel baby perfection. I love you, love you, love you.
I wish you the smell of two fuzzy heads asleep on your shoulder.
I wish you milky baby kisses.
I wish you tiny hands gripping your fingers.
I wish you the glimpse of first smiles.
I wish you clean clothes when you’re running late!
I wish you lavender baby soap and bathtime with bubbles.
I wish you whatever the English equivalent is of Pop Tarts.
I wish you blessed peace-filled naptime when you least expect it.
I wish you joy.
I wish you peace. 
I wish you love.
Those bitsy babies will have what no other children on Earth are lucky enough to have – you. You are beautiful and wonderful, and I hope your English baby shower is the most wonderful day yet.
I miss you, and I love you and your beautiful babies.
Emily

My apologies.

For not being everything I dreamed of being when I was younger.

Not writing more,

running more,

reading more,

thinking more,

doing more,

being

more.

I’m sorry I am not all

that everything is cracked up to be.

I am not a supermodel or a domestic

goddess, with

grace

and

skill or

style.

I don’t have the answers or

even the questions

most of the time.

I am fierce in my devotion, and I am 

me.

I am loyal, and I love.

For that I’m not

sorry.

Far from a dictionary friend

 

friend

–noun

1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5. (initial capital lettera member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

–verb (used with object)

6. Rareto befriend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

It took me a long time to decipher the difference between friends and acquaintaces. I still have trouble with that, sometimes, if I’m being honest. There are times when I hold people in much higher regard than they hold me. I’m okay with that, I suppose, since there’s not much I can do about it.
However, while I’ve learned to recognize and deal with my shortcomings socially, I despise being looked down on.
Laughed at.
Taken advantage of.
I am obviously not paying attention to grammar.

 

What I’m saying is, while I realize not everyone is my friendship soulmate, I do expect sincerity from people.  I’m disappointed when I don’t get it. Or when I get a version I totally believe that then turns out to be false. It scars me. And I’m not saying come entertain me, buy me drinks, remember my birthday, let’s go out to dinner….whatever. Those things are nice, but I could go to dinner with a monkey. 

 

What I’m saying is be who you are and don’t wear masks. No one enjoys that. No one enjoys a false person, whether they’re seventeen or seventy-three. I can’t abide investing faith in someone and then being made into a fool. That’s not okay, and you don’t get to go on like nothing happened.  To expect to get off without being called out is like saying, “You’re not important enough that you would merit consequences, so it doesn’t matter that I did this to you.” And to be quite blunt about it, that’s just not true. Whether in your backhanded visciousness you have hurt me or someone I love, it’s still something that matters. We matter and you aren’t above reproach. Have you become so self important that you just don’t see?

 

Here, let me serve as your eyes.
We are here. 
We matter.
We never hurt you.
You are in the wrong.
That felt good.