Letters

Dear 11.5-year-old Me,

Always remember, you never know what’s around the bend. There are always worries, there is always drama, there is always settling–IF you allow those things in your life; but always remember that there are better things. Wait for those, making the most of your current circumstances. Change will come. I promise.

Love,
Future You

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Dear Future Me,

I’m not sure I totally know what you mean, but okay. I’ll try?

Love,
11.5-year-old You

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Dear Almost-12-year-old Me,

See? Didn’t I tell you? It’s pretty great, right? Enjoy it. I know you are, and I’m proud of you for that; but I just want to say it anyway.

Love,
Future You

P.S. Just wait until your birthday!

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Dear Future Me,

Yes, it’s pretty great. You’re really proud of me? I’m writing everything down, all the wonderful things. I have a list. Is that silly? It seems silly, but I don’t want to forget anything!

Love,
Almost-12-year-old You

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Dear 12-year-old Me,

Happy Birthday! Be sure to add your birthday gift to the list! It doesn’t matter if it’s silly; you’ll be glad you made that list, I promise. Even years later when you no longer have that journal or those pages, that list will be etched in your memory, never forgotten. Read it often; and no, that’s not silly! That’s enjoying life!

Love,
Future You

P.S. That birthday gift, however, keep it forever!

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Dear Future Me,

Thank you! For everything! I will keep reading and recording!

Love,
12-year-old You

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Dear 12.5-year-old Me,

Congrats on wrapping up your 6th grade year! How great was it (rhetorical, obviously—I know how great it was)!!! Do me a couple favors, okay?

– Read over & reflect on that list, okay? Know it well.

– Enjoy that baseball game. Cherish every second, so that you’ll always remember, okay?

Love,
Future You

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Dear Future Me,

Wow, what a year, indeed. It was just so wonderful, filled with so many amazing memories! It’s felt like being a princess!

Can’t wait for the game!

Love,
12.5-year-old You

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Dear Princess (aka Almost-13-year-old Me),

I’m sorry; I know it stings a little. However, I am so very proud of you for handling this as you have. I wish I still had your remarkable wisdom; I suppose I have had it, I just haven’t always paid due attention to it like you did. Thank you for that.

Remember, you’re still a princess, and this is still worth remembering.

Love,
Future You

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Dear Princess (Future Me),

It’s okay. I do know it’s for the best, and I am thankful for the past year. It’s meant a lot, and I hope it always does.

Oh, and remember that YOU, Future Me… are still a princess. That hasn’t changed, just in case you weren’t sure.

Love,
Princess (aka Almost-13-year-old You)

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Dear Princess,

Thank you. Sometimes reminders are helpful.

Oh, and by the way, give it another year. Another unexpected surprise awaits. It will help things to settle a little better. It won’t seem like much to anyone else, but it will mean a lot to you. Be patient.

Love,
Princess

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Dear Princess,

You’re welcome. I know.

I trust you, and I remind you of the same…

Be patient. You never know what’s around the bend!

Love,
Princess

The Beauty of Before

It’s been over a year since I walked away from my favorite place on earth for the last time.

I still can’t look at photos of this place so dear for longer than a few seconds because it is so overwhelmingly sad to know that its part in my life is now only accessible through photos and memories. It is in the past, and that will not change.

Last night as I was arranging the last [but most significant] room in my new apartment, I picked up the 25-year-old real estate slip for the property I miss so very much. The tears came easily; and after putting it in a temporary place of display, I had to leave the room for a while instead of shoving it in a box or drawer, determined to keep it in view.

Maybe embracing beauty means taking these small steps of acceptance. Maybe it means giving it as much time as is needed. Maybe it means taking bigger steps and letting all be unearthed at once and grieved in truth and acknowledging of reality. I don’t know.

I do know that regardless of circumstances, I am and forever will be beyond grateful to have called this special place home for nearly 25 years of my life. It is a beauty all its own, and I am blessed to have shared in its wondrous glory.

Beauty in Rebuilding

Sometimes we get exiled from our “homes”… from our comfort zones, from the known, from our own lives, our own selves… This is a very difficult thing that is painful, even traumatic. 
Thankfully, oftentimes we are eventually freed from this exile and have the opportunity to return “home” (or whatever is closest to that). 

This does not mean everything is rosy right away. 

There is brokenness and destruction from the past that needs healing and rebuilding and restoration to work through in the present and future. 

This takes effort. It also takes time. Oftentimes quite a bit of time. That can be frustrating. Don’t be discouraged, though. It is always worth it. Always. Never give up on that process. It may be the most important thing you ever do. 

It is a major blessing to have someone or someones to come alongside you in this process. Don’t take them for granted. Don’t be too proud or too afraid to accept their gift. This is part of the process. Trust those you have good reason to trust. Growth always requires some risk. You probably know who is a good risk and who isn’t. Trust your instincts and then trust others. They may let you down, yes; but you gain something valuable just by choosing to trust them, to let them in on your rebuilding process. Most likely, they will only help you to trust more; they will come through for you, and that can be powerful healing in and of itself. 

Trust. 

Persevere. 

It’s worth it. 

You have so much to gain. 

Rebuilding is very rewarding. 

You can do this. I believe in you. 

Please believe in yourself. You are worth it. 

And if you have been here, if you’re enjoying a rebuilt life… be that person to come alongside others and help them rebuild. Be present for them; listen. Be a ray of hope and encouragement. Help where you can, carefully and humbly. This will serve both of you well, better than you can imagine.