Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dear Me

Dear Me at Fifteen,

I have debated all week whether to write you this letter, because the truth is that some days I am still mad at you.  And oh how you hate for anyone to be angry or unhappy, right? You will do anything to fix it.

Oh the things I would like to tell you, the lectures I would like to give.

But I won't.  Because the very first thing you need to know is that you are not responsible for it.  It is not your job to make everyone happy.  How I wish you would learn this now rather than later.  But you won't, and this is all part of your story.

You haven't met her yet, but this is your gift-friend Sally.  You will never stop being grateful.

The very dearest, most treasured thing you ever will learn is what you are learning right now in your soaked pillow, on all of those tearful weekends spent with Mom and Dad and that is What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  I can forgive you for all of the mistakes you are going to make because they have every one sent you deeper into the arms of Jesus.  Whatever it took for you to get there this is the only place you need to be.  For this God is your God for ever and ever.  He will be your guide even until death.  

You don't have many super powers.  You don't turn heads or win awards.  You are a bit of a dork really, just accept that now because you know what, the most beautiful and amazing people you will ever know are all a little bit dorky.  In fact it is one of the hopes I have for my daughters now, that they will always be slightly odd and wonderful.

Oh yeah, there's that.  You have daughters.  Three of them!  You thought you would be the only female surrounded by boys forever, but now you live in a pink palace with female emotions all over the place and this fact will blow your mind daily, you will never get used to the delight of it.  How you intend to protect and nurture three small versions of yourself you have no idea.  Lord have mercy.

I said that you don't have many super powers but really you have two.  These two powers have been nearly lost many times, you have yourself heaped ashes on the flame.  Your daughters are fanning them back to life.

The first is the way you see people.  To you they are amazing, every one.  You cannot help it, you love people, you see everything about them as hopeful and true and beautiful.  Sometimes you are speechless for the greatness you see in them.  This will, of course, crush you over and over.  You will never stop hurting from it.  But just at the moment when you begin to turn out the lights in your heart a new light will be born out of you, and you will press her to your chest and weep and know that every great and beautiful thing you ever saw in anyone was absolutely true.

The second is your habit to daydream, it really is an issue you know.  You began early and never stopped, it was how you coped through eight long hours of school and it was what saved you when school became too painful.  In some ways it is your only act of aggression, this refusal to accept anything that does not slay you.  You will read Gone With the Wind and The Thorn Birds and Flowers in the Attic at the desks where you are supposed to be learning periodic tables and geometry, and as your grades sink your soul will peek open, human and alive.  You will learn to paint. You will fall in love, and tell the truth.  You will home educate.  You will crave trees, and bookshelves.

I wish I could help you to lighten up.  I wish I could make you take one more step up the stairs rather than hesitate.  I wish you would pay more attention in Spanish class.  There are a lot of things I wish you would do, and I know that even now you are begging me to wrap this up peacefully, to tell you that it's all okay, I'm not mad.  You will do anything I tell you to keep the peace, but I'm not going to do that.  Life isn't perfect and neither are you; it was never about perfection.  You will fall down in grief, thanks, hope, failure, wonder, joy, until it becomes your posture.  There is beauty everywhere.  Love never ends.  Mercy.

Linking up with Emily in honor of her new book, Graceful, out this week!


Thoughts for the day said...

I think it is hard to write to our teenage selves... mine was in chaos abuse and extreme isolation.
For many reasons it was hard to be a teen. Then to marry right out of high school was rough too.
I am working on my 'teen note'... but it is rough.
At 57 it is hard to go back and talk to her.

Cami said...

I've been thinking about bolstering enough nerve to write to my teen self too. Something is holding me back. Your letter is lovely and inspiring and happy-sad, as well.

Fijufic said...

Beautiful post. I love the retrospective nature of these thoughts.

You are a loving person and an absolute treasure.