Dear Teen Me:
Look at you! You are so beautiful, and you don’t even know it! How beautiful and singular is your angst, your dreadful melancholy! You enjoy a freedom you don’t even realize you have – long walks and talks with your God in the wild forests and country roads by moonlight. But don’t stress so much, my dear girl! Life isn’t all drama. You would do well not to take yourself so seriously. Laugh – you have more occasion to. You needn’t stress so much about your future … you will make your decisions, and things will work out. Remember when you prayed so earnestly for a soul-mate to fill the void of loneliness? You will find him … soon. He will be your high-school sweetheart, and your love will still be strong twenty-three years and four children later! I’m glad you choose to be a “good girl” — no matter how difficult it is, and how very “uncool” it seems. Thank you for being strong and demanding the best out of life. Thank you for having integrity: for breaking it off with that boy who was only out for a good time!I admire your courage. I still feel the power of your pure faith. When you had your tonsils out — at sixteen — you hemorrhaged and it looked very bad. “Am I going to die?” you asked the nurse in a small voice. Yet, you were prepared for that, in a way that I could not be today. Your trust, even though you were afraid, was complete and born of innocence. How I wish I had that again … !
I appreciate you being so brave … for taking the risks that have formed who you are, and who I am. Thank you for overcoming your anxiety … for stepping out onto that stage and becoming Titania, in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Rosie, in our high-school production of Bye-Bye Birdie. … For singing solo in church and in talent shows … and not letting it go to your head! Thank you for giving voice to your creativity … these brave moments have made me stronger.I love that you allowed my heart to dream. Thank you for nurturing that creative side … no, you won’t become a famous singer-songwriter … but you will create a lot of good music and have a lot of fun making it! That dream … it’s the dreaming itself that is precious. You know that feeling inside you, that you can be more, be better? Hold on to that … that is magic at its purest, at its most real. That will fuel my creative heart for years to come.
Don’t focus all your energy inward: pay more attention to the people around you. Cherish every moment with your mother, especially! You take her love for granted — that deep, calming blanket of love that you believe will always be there to comfort and warm you. Yet, she will leave you … too soon, when you are in your early twenties. Cancer will steal her away from you like a thief. Cherish now her inner strength, her quiet wisdom. You are so anxious to assert yourself, to be your own person, but you will want to be like your mother someday. You will feel privileged to be like her. Don’t be in such a hurry to leave home and start your life – someday you will ache for those quiet summer moments with Mom, sharing a good book together on the porch. Enjoy those many cups of tea! Talk more … you don’t have to be so quiet and brooding! Ask Mom about when she was young. Relish those stories … while you still have the chance.
I bless you, Teen Me. I draw from your wisdom. You understand somehow, the beauty and the poetry in life: revel in this more. Worry less. Continue to drink in the beauty around you – someday you will miss living in that small country town. Appreciate the family and friends who love you. What is written in your heart will always guide you. You know that inspirational poster you have on your bedroom wall? The one you rescued from a box of stuff to be thrown out? You were right — it is a sign from Heaven! Those words of Henry David Thoreau are for you: “Go with confidence in the direction of your dreams … ”
Peace and Blessings,
Your older Self.