NOTE: I wrote this post in 2014 and never hit publish. Why? FEAR! I was being vulnerable and didn’t have the courage. As I was going through old posts in draft today, I found and read it. It brought me to tears! I’m so happy I wrote this to myself. I decided to publish it. I hope it inspires you to write a letter to your future self! Also, I want to keep this letter live so that I can read it again in 5 years. I may also write a new one. So here it is, I didn’t change one thing!
I am currently 31 years old. Last night, as I lay in bed, my mind wouldn’t turn off. This is normal for me. I have a hard time falling asleep because my brain doesn’t allow me to. My husband is out the minute his head hits the pillow. Then add snoring to the mix, haha. I was thinking about writing letters. I decided I wanted to write a letter to my future self.
Dear 40 year old self,
This is a bit more challenging than writing a letter to your past self. When writing to the past, you are sharing wisdom and lessons. You give advice on what to avoid and what to cherish a bit more. The letter has more confidence because hindsight is 20/20. Writing to the future has more uncertainty. I can’t predict the future. I can’t tell you what age 40 will bring you. I’m sure you will have more to say to me than I do to you. Regardless, I felt compelled to write.
So, now the question is “What do I want to tell you?”. Maybe this won’t be as hard as I thought. I’ve been doing quite a bit of soul searching since turning 30. A sense of freedom came over me the day after my 30th birthday. Maybe not a freedom, but permission. The permission to love who I am, accept who I am and be proud of the person I have become. With that, I spend more time focusing on the things I value in life. Sure, I still dream, have wishlists and want to better myself. But there is so much in my life that needs attention now. These things shouldn’t be overlooked because I’m too worried about the things that I don’t have.
I know that your babies are now 20, 16, and 13. I cringe and shed a tear thinking of those numbers being only 9 years away. I hope they love you then as much as they love you now. I know you are nervous about the teen years, but it will be okay. If it’s not okay, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for advice. You are not failing and have nothing to be ashamed of if you ask for help or admit that things just aren’t perfect. Above all, make sure they know how much you love them and that you are there for them. Being there for them doesn’t mean you will support their bad choices, but you are there even though they make bad choices. They are teenagers, they will make at least a few poor choices.
Remember how Carissa spent countless hours drawing and doodling. She is so artistic and is a loyal friend. Don’t push her to do things she doesn’t want to do or aren’t a good fit for her. She is like you and needs to determine her own path. Remember how Layla said she will live with your forever. She loves to brush your hair and paint your nails. She has the sweetest and most loving heart you have had the joy of witnessing. Make sure she keeps that heart. Don’t forget Evan and how you could always make it better. How he was scared of the dark and wanted to snuggle before bed and tried to get into yours whenever he could. He has a great sense of humor and is kind to others and adores babies just as you do. Don’t let him lose his soft side.
Take care of your best friend. You wouldn’t have anything without him. Tell him you love him and thank him for all he does. It may seem little but he needs to be thanked and appreciated. Start planning the trips around the world you have always wanted to take. They take priority! Save for them and make sure they happen. First stop, Satriano, Italy! If you haven’t already been. 🙂
I’m hoping that you continue to value what matters most. That you choose life experiences over stuff. I hope you always take family vacations and continue to eat dinner together at the table. You always wanted them to have better than you did. You and I both know that was never about stuff. That is about love, endless and unconditional love. Teach them to value life, love and be kind to others. To have patience and empathy. If you’ve lost sight of that, please refocus. When the end comes, all you have is your good name, the love you gave to others, the love you taught others to give and how much they loved you back.
Life is short, but I hope yours is long. Don’t gamble, make it count.
The younger you