Dear Future Me

When you were young, there were so many things you thought you knew. You thought you had finally found the answers – only to realize that maybe you were wrong. You thought you had overcome your battles, only to face more. There were times when you thought you had hit rock bottom, only to find out there were more depths. You came through some very rough times. You had many, many amazing times.

When you read this some day – you are going to look back over your life and think about all the amazing, scary, wonderful, horrible things in your life. You are going to laugh, cry, and be amazed. But most of all – you should be proud. You have marched to the beat of your own drummer your whole life. You have three amazing kids that you can be proud of. You have a scarred, battered body that has carried you through each step of the way no matter how much you abused it, neglected it, and ignored it.

You have used your mind to reach, stretch, and think for yourself. You have learned about the important things in life and learned to let go of what isn’t so important. You have learned it is more important to love yourself than to have others adore you. You have learned that sometimes it’s okay to not know, to laugh too loud, to make a fool of yourself in public. Because those who matter don’t mind, those who mind don’t matter.

You have tried to fill your life with people who are giving, caring, and accepting. You have let go of people who are toxic, negative, and mean. You have made friends who would not only keep your secrets, but help you hide the body. You have learned that just because they are family, doesn’t mean you have to like them. But you should love them, because family, whether you like them or not, is important. And like them or not, they will be there for you. You have also learned that being there for you doesn’t have to mean doing it for you. You learned that helping people does not mean doing it for them either. And you have also realized that there are some people you simply can’t help. You will not save the world, but you can save yourself. And you can help others. You have made a difference in the world. You will probably never be famous, or rich, or even very popular. But in some people’s world – you are important. And that’s enough.

You will look back and wonder if what you did with your life was enough. Probably wonder if you could have done more. And the answer to that will probably be yes, you could have done more. But it’s okay that you didn’t. There are always missed chances, opportunities you didn’t take, and choices you would have made differently. But there were no wrong choices, no wrong paths – simply the paths you took and the paths you didn’t. And no matter what path you took – it was a beautiful journey.

So when you are sitting in your rocker on the front porch of someplace, with your purple hair (it might be blue) and thinking back over your life, remember that you did your best with what you knew at all times. Cherish the wonderful memories you made with those around you. Laugh at the times you thought you would never live through, because you did. Smile at the many people who have passed in and out of your life. Hug those who stayed. Be comfortable in the skin you have, it has brought you through everything, even if it doesn’t look perfect, and your body aches. Those are simply signs that you have lived your life fully, not just been an observer. And congratulate yourself – because you and only you filled the pages of the story of your life. And it’s a great story.