A Letter To Myself
Dear 2008 Self,
Things aren’t easy for you right now, and we both know that. You’re going to make it through everything that you think you won’t. You’re going to get through this and things are going to be okay, even better than they were before. You don’t think so yet, but you’ll see it. Your anxiety isn’t just going to go away, and you’re going to make some choices that you aren’t proud of – you’re going to let people in your life who don’t deserve their place, and they’re going to leave a painful mark when they leave. It’s going to hurt seeing friends or more walk away. It’s going to hurt to see them leaving you. You’re going to cut people out of your life, and that’s something you should be proud of. You cut them out because they weren’t good for you. They weren’t good for where you wanted your life to head – and you should be proud. You should know these people were dragging you down and sending you in the wrong direction.
During these bumps in the road, you’re going to blame yourself for everything. You’re going to place blame on every action you made and replay them all in your head every night before you go to bed. Eventually, you will learn that lying in your bed thinking about every decision you made that led up to this rut isn’t healthy for you. You spend your time lying in bed and you feel the depression amplify. You feel your anxiety flaring up constantly and you feel like you can’t get out of bed anymore because the world is caving in around you. When you finally got up, you realized you needed that. You needed to get up and be a functional person – you needed to clean that house, eat that meal, talk to your family and friends. You can’t live in isolation. You know that though, don’t you? You’re worth more than the decisions you made. You’ve made some good ones and some bad ones, but you’re worth more than the dwelling on your past.
Everyone makes decisions, and you can’t blame yourself for each and every decision that was made. Other people played parts in your decision making. You didn’t force people out the door, some of them left anyway, and it wasn’t your fault. You didn’t have a say in making people leave. Some of them just left on their own, and some, well, we both know who you shut the door on. The ones you shut the door on, you had your reasons and they don’t need to be justified. You let your ex walk away because the abuse wasn’t worth it. It never reached a physical point, but the emotional abuse wasn’t worth hanging onto anymore. It wasn’t worth trying to be his perfect person anymore when all it did was drag you down. You’re better off without him in your life. Your ex-best friend was just as bad. You were always giving, giving, giving, and when she walked away, it hurt. It stung so badly but months down the road you realized you’re better off without her. It took some time but you realized she was just as toxic as he was, just in other ways. You can’t keep giving to someone who refuses to give back. You can’t keep trying for someone who doesn’t care enough about your well being to try.
Sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s okay. Your first years of college didn’t go so well. It was your fault – that you can’t deny. You didn’t even try. It isn’t your fault that other things happened. It isn’t your fault you weren’t ready for it. If someone is your friend, be prepared because friendships sometimes fade away. They’ll turn into things you don’t know what to do with, and eventually, the contact fades away. It isn’t your fault if someone strays away from you – not always, anyway. Sometimes you’ll wait it out and you’ll see the light through this dark tunnel you’re in. You get out of it. Sometimes you’ll find yourself wandering back down the tunnel and you’ll wonder how you got there. Turn around. Go back towards the light at the end.
Your mother will become one of your best friends. It’s unexpected as you’ve always thought her opinions didn’t matter as much as you should have. Some of the people you let in your life could have been avoided if you talked to her more. Some of the decisions – that first tattoo, that awful piercing you wore around for a year, the random shopping sprees, the boys you dated, the craziness and impulsiveness of life… Some of that heartbreak and pain could have been avoided if you were better at listening. Sometimes mother really does know best.
You’ve reached the light before, you started your own business and for a long while, you felt content. You felt that you were doing something right and everything was going to be okay. That was a beautiful moment, and you’ll reach it again. You reconnected with your family on a more meaningful level. You’ve forgiven some people from the past – you don’t talk to them, there was no huge forgiveness speech, but you’ve forgiven them. There have been people who have forgiven you for the past and that’s even better. It’s a boulder being lifted off your chest. You need to know that everything is okay. Everything turns out okay and you’re going to be okay. It takes time, laughter, tears, pain, joy, but you make it through. You make it through every little bit of these things. Everything is okay. You know that through these times, you can do it. You can get through this because the light is there.
You may not be where you thought you would be when you were younger. You may not be what you wanted to be now, and you may think this is the worst place of your life. It’s not. There’s so much more to come with light and love. There’s so much more to come with everything, and you need to accept that no matter what, your happiness does matter. You can’t live your life for someone else and you can’t live your life with the goal of keeping everyone else happy. You have to understand that you’re a person and you’re an amazing one at that. Keep your head up, keep going forward, and never, ever give up.