Friday, November 18, 2011
Letter to My Younger Self
Learn to love earlier. Learn to laugh and live and let go. Don’t worry so much what others think. Dance. You will have a critical life decision to make in the seventh grade gym. You are sitting on the bleachers talking with friends. It is your first dance. It is everyone’s first dance. You are awkward and shy and unsure. You want to move to the music. You want to, but you won’t. Mostly you will sit there while everyone else has fun. You will worry that guys will see if you dance. You will worry that guys will look and that you won’t do it well. Mostly you will overthink. You will overthink fun. This will not be the last time. You will never dance from this point on, at least when anyone is looking. You will never dance and you will always think of this seventh grade gym with regret. Let go now. Have fun with yourself. Have fun with others. Get out of your head and into your body.
Know when to go and when to don’t. In high school at that party with that one guy, go. In college at that party with that other guy, don’t. Don’t ask me why. Trust me on this one.
Know this, who you are is not determined by any man’s opinion of you. Who you are is who you are. Who they think you are is who THEY are. Unless, of course, they think you’re wonderful, then just go with it.
Food is not love. Food is not comfort. Food is not validation or a therapist or a friend. Food is food. There will be times when you are sad beyond sad and times when you are pushed to every limit you could possibly have. Talk to someone. You have many people in your life who care. You have many people who will listen. Just talk to them. Do not be so uptight about seeming weak. No one cares if you are less than perfect, no one but you.
You will gain, and you will lose. Gaining will make you feel like crap. You will be miserable. You will have trouble breathing. You will have trouble sleeping. You will have neck fat. Neck fat. Your feet will ache from carrying so much weight. Men you don’t even know will tell you to move your fat ass. You will go home and cry. You will eat more to feel better. Mostly, you will feel invisible, not better. Food is your addiction. You will feel as if you are not important, not present, not worth looking at. You will believe that life is all about others, you will tell yourself that your needs are not important, and you will push yourself aside. Do not do this. You will use yourself up. You will lose you. You will lose the one person who should love you most in all the world.
Then you will lose weight. You will feel great. You will have both energy and enthusiasm to spare, a renewed joie de vivre. You will love others like you didn’t love them before, in a better way, a richer way. And you will love yourself. You will remember what it is like to get a look from a guy and you will like it. You will think to yourself that maybe you are not as old and used up as you thought. You will take this love for living and throw it out at the world in a good way. Get to this part sooner. You will like it.
On being you……….
You will spend the first half of your life hiding. In school you will hide behind the other students. You are self-conscious about your clothes, about your looks, about your lack of social life. You are always the new kid. You will move more than you even care to know right now. You will make friends easily, but then you will move again. You will feel always as if you are the odd man out, the square peg in the round hole. But you will try. Keep trying.
Don’t be intimidated by others who seem to have more, seem to be more. More is a moot point. Everyone has his shortcomings, his weaknesses. Everyone has his family secrets to overcome. Those who have more in some areas, have less in others. This is where you will come in. Move, motivate, encourage, inspire. You’re good at this. It’s why you’re here.
Do not hide your gifts. Do not hide you. A present packaged with a fat red ribbon is gorgeous yes, but, oh, to think what’s inside that box--the beauty, the craziness, the comfort, the joy, the fun. You benefit no one by playing small. Have fun! Have fun and encourage others to have fun!
Put your full self out there every day. You are more special than you know, and you have so very much to offer.