Sunday, May 16, 2010
I drove past a group of children playing this afternoon. They were lost in the sunshine of this glorious Sunday...laughing, chasing each other...living in the blink of their innocence. For some reason, in that moment, I felt like I was looking upon myself at that age...I was connected to the pure expression of their childhood. It was like driving past a filmstrip projecting my memories, and finding myself reflective on their boundless expectatations of life, love, and destiny.
What are the things I would tell my 11 yr. old self? Would that insecure little girl ever believe that this is who she became? Would I tell her that it all works out in the end...and that she is a remarkable, one of a kind, exceptional child of God? I would tell her so many things...
Keep this letter...you will fall back on it for peace in moments of feeling lost. Sweetheart, you sure are special, there are some things you should know about the future.
There will be people who will come and go in your life...don't ever hold a grudge for the way someone will treat you in your youth...they could very well leave an indellible mark on your life in the future.
Love your parents...they have done everything to the best of their ability, hon. They have never maliciously tried to hurt you. Be kind to them, they are going to fiercely love you for all of their days...and that's what they are hoping you will pass onto your children. You will love them differently as you grow up...they will frustrate you, disappoint you...anger you....but know this: one day you will be a grown up, and you will see them as people, flawed, but committed to you as unto their last breath. They will teach you lessons on how to be compassionate and engaged in this life. They will teach you to choose responsibility for those who have less in this life..."to whom much is given...much is expected".
Love your sisters..and be thankful everyday for them. You're doing life together, because God ordained it...he constructed the fairytale of the 3 sisters. Sometime in the future, you will have close friends who lose a sibling...and you will choose to walk alongside them. Never end a conversation without telling them you love them, they need to hear it the most.
Don't let other people impact how you feel about yourself..I know that seems impossible, but God has put you where you are...and every person who crosses your path will teach you something. Even when they are cruel to you, and tease you, and try to make you feel less than...hold in your heart that this life is big...this world holds moments of magic that are for you, and you alone. Learn how to be a good friend by demonstrating protective loyalty towards those you love. Stand for those who can't stand on their own, not out of obligation, or in a search for praise...do it, because it is right.
Live in your moments. Look at the world, and realise it's all for you. Don't be afraid to feel overwhelming emotions....joy, exhileration, peace... anger, frustration, grief. These emotions all add to the complexity of your human journey...and no feeling coming from your heart is wrong. Don't doubt, or downplay how you feel....it matters...it matters very much, sweetie.
Remember the kindred moments you have with Keri. She shapes your childhood...she is in the brilliance of your glowing girlhood. She won't be around past your 15th yr....so be present in every giggle over a boy, stamp the memory of her smile in your soul...recall her glittering laugh and spirit when you want to mourn the loss of what seemed to be a flash of youth.
Remember how I said to not hold a grudge? Guess what? Mike Baskett will be one of your best friends. I KNOW...I sometimes don't believe it either. He will come into your life when you desperately need an ally...you will find each other at a time when you think the world needs to be figured out...and you will take that on together over many Tim Horton's triple/triples. He will save you in a way Jenn, he will see you for who you are, and you will see him. You will realize that 2 souls can find peace in each other...you will discover the peace in silent moments with a soulmate. You will feel safe with him...and that will restore things stolen from your little girl self. The night you both fall asleep on the couch at his apartment in Toronto in May of 2007....remember that...hold it close. Remember what it was to be with a man who had nothing but faith in you, and wanted nothing more than to be your close friend. This relationship will teach you so much Jenn. And in December of 2009, when you see his back turn to shut the door after a morning spent in church together...don't regret for one second that you told him you loved him....DON'T second guess that choice...it's the last thing you will ever say to him.
To sum it up sweetheart, strive for these things. Love God in your own way...don't ever try to fit the mould. Be real, it's what will bring you overwhelming peace. Love the people you are doing life with...and tell them often...even if you feel like it doesn't always land. "I love you" is NEVER regrettable. Be kind to yourself. Don't try to be someone else...and if someone doesn't like you, then they have afforded themselves a huge loss. Take on challenges with abandon...be fearless. Stand up for those who can't do it for themselves...legacy begins early.
I love you girl...your incredible passion for life is going to impact those around you...for all of the insecurities you feel now, mark my words, this world will never be the same because YOU were here.
Jenn with two n's....(Mike Baskett gives you that nickname...I know! He's so cute!!)