{My 500 Word Challenge}: Day 4-Write a Letter to Your Younger Self

“Here’s your chance to get the words and emotions out of your heart and onto paper.

Write something that you wish someone would have told you 10 or 5 or even one year ago. 

Pay it forward. Share your best advice with the world.

Lucie,

People will say words they don’t mean that will flutter past you like planes made of paper. You can either choose to catch them, or you can choose to let them drop. The words that hurt? Let them drop. It doesn’t do you any good to cling to those that make you miserable and hateful. Forgive, forget, rinse & repeat.

Your relationships with those around you really tells the kind of person you are. You are a kind, decent person; do not allow yourself to be used by those who have ugly hearts. You can build people up, but don’t be so self-destructive. Remember, as nice as it is to be important, it’s more important to be nice.

Don’t fall for the word “love”. Many will use it to manipulate you, to hurt you. It’s an easy word to say to vulnerable girls. It’s okay to say, “no” or to leave a situation that makes you feel uneasy. Never stay with someone that doesn’t make you a priority. Remember to make yourself a priority.

Life hurts, but there are ways you can cope with the pain. Remember what the doctors taught you: natural light makes a big difference in your room. If you’re feeling down or mopey, turn on some lights, open the blinds, and let in all the light you can. Listen to really good music at times like this too. Take care of yourself because some days, you’ll need energy in the reserves, and if you don’t take care of yourself, your energy will be depleted. It sounds dorky, but it’s true.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Leave the past in the past. Learn lessons from it obviously, but don’t keep rehashing the same mistake merely to make yourself feel guilty again and again. I know guilt seems like a proper response to some of the things you’ve done, but the endless cycle of guilt needs to stop.

Let it go. Let the past go, let the men and women who hurt you go, let the children who bullied you go, let the people who brought tears stinging to your eyes go, let the boys who punched you in the back of the head or pinned you to the floor go. Don’t keep reliving those dramas. You deserve to be happy. Also, confidence is not such a bad thing to have. Your humility is beautiful, but do you know what else is beautiful? Knowing that you’re a kind, loving, empathetic, interesting, beautiful woman.

There are so many lessons I wish I could teach you, Lucie: manage your money well from the get-go, obtain credit, don’t fall in love with people merely because they love you, respect yourself. It’s okay to fight back. It’s okay to be self-serving, just don’t be selfish. It’s okay to forgive yourself. It’s okay to ignore the demons and take care of yourself. Just learn to accept the moment. Turn your brain off sometimes by unwinding. Keep learning always,whether it’s by going to school (don’t quit school when the going gets tough, find a way, but stay in school) or watching instructional videos or by reading everything you can get your hands on. Read, immerse yourself in the beauty of the world, learn, grown.

-L.G.

PS: A sneak peek of one of my poems from my poetry book, based on this very prompt.

Someone Should Have Told Her

Don’t leap for the word,
even if it dangles in your face.
(The word “love” feels so light
when really it is as heavy as a boulder.
It keeps you tethered
to your step for years.)

Don’t let ghosts haunt
the very terrain you walk
on a daily basis.
They will not remember,
and their eyes will remain dry,
devoid of tears.

Dance in the rain
(even when you hear cracks of thunder
in the distance)
.
Watch the sun rise,
let yourself cry,
and be okay with letting go.

(Let go of the monsters hiding under your bed,
the real monsters, the ones you need to be afraid of, wait in broad daylight.)

Learn to love yourself and all your broken crevices;
for those splits are where the sun shines through.

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