A Letter to Myself

Dear M,

I’m worried about you.  I’m walking this journey with you and watching you misstep after misstep, and I’m worried about you.  We’re coming up on two years since your mom died, and even though your zip code is different, you are stuck in the exact same spot you were in before she died.  You promised yourself that you’d do a better job of this thing called life, and you promised her you would be ok.  Are you?  Are you ok?  Cuz from where I’m standing it doesn’t look like it.

All the things you thought were keeping you from happiness you convinced yourself were because you had to give up your life to be a good daughter.  You blamed it all on  your mom.  You convinced yourself that happiness would be waiting for you after she was gone, and I don’t see that happening for you.  You’re still not happy, and I’m wondering when you’re going to get it together and go after the things that you’ve always been passionate about.  When are you going to stop just existing and start living?  When?

I know your biggest fear has always been ending up exactly like your mom, and I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, sweetie, but you’re definitely on that road.  Your health is taking the same road hers did, because she ignored her health in her 30s as well.  And look what happened to her.  Do you want your kidneys to fail?  Do you want to get diabetic myopathy in your stomach?  Do you want heart disease and failing vision all before you turn 50?  Do you? Because the way you’re going, it’s going to happen. And newsflash, you don’t have a daughter to give up her life to take care of you, so unless you want to navigate insurance, social workers, disability, dialysis and doctors’ offices alone, I seriously suggest you get a grip on your health.

And your job, no it doesn’t feed your soul at all, but it does pay the bills, really well.  So, stop being afraid of the game, and just jump in and deal with it until your books start to sell.  Don’t dwell on all the things that are wrong with it, and focus on the fact that in this economy, in this ridiculously expensive city, you have a really good paying job supporting a boss who is pretty easy to work for and you have it pretty good.  And accept that this isn’t your career.  You’re not stuck there!  You’ve never been stuck in any job!  You’ve always moved to a better situation when you put your mind to it, so do what you need to do to get to the best situation for yourself, and it’s ok if hanging out in this job until books start to really sell happens!

Stop stressing over shit you can’t control.  Stress is a legitimate thing that makes your body hang on to its weight, causes your headaches, drives you to eating unhealthy, and keeps you so exhausted that your social life is practically non-existent.  You don’t feel good enough about yourself to go out in public, and how sad is that?!?  Figure out what you truly don’t like about yourself, and change the things you can, and accept the things you can’t!  Stop throwing money after foolishness, stop trying to find fad diets and the latest nutrition craze and get back to the basics.  Go to krav maga.  Eat clean.  Take your vitamins.  Drink you water.  It’s not that fucking complicated, yet you manage to fuck it up all the time!  Enough is enough!

I love you enough to give you the tough love few will give you.  And I know it’s tough to read this, I’m sure you’re crying as you do, because I’m crying as I type it.  I want you to remember how strong you are.  I want you to remember that there have been numerous times in your life when you have overcome major obstacles.  There have been goals that you set your mind to and did not stop until you achieved those.  They all usually were around escaping places you didn’t want to be or beating out someone to be the best.  Well it’s time to muster up that gumption and apply it to the here and now.  Figure out what you want and go after it 100% and do NOT stop until you achieve it!  Don’t accept anything less from yourself than you’d expect from someone you love!

What would you be saying if one of your students came to you with the complaints about their life that you have about yours?  You’d tell them to get it together, figure out what they want, and not stop until they got it!  You’d tell them to be brave and strong and remember that no one hands you anything in this life, so they need to go take it!  So, my darling, why can’t you do that for yourself.

You support everyone around you, all of the time, and I know you feel so alone, now that your mom is gone.  She was fantastic at always being the one you could talk to, but she’s gone, so you have to do this yourself.  You always wanted to do everything yourself growing up, remember?  Do you think that was a coincidence?  It wasn’t.  It was a gift from above so that when you got here, to this moment, where you’re scared and weak, that you’d be reminded of how many things you did on your own without help.  You are capable of figuring out your life on your own.  You are smart.  You are driven.  You are strong.  So stop hiding.  Stop running.  Stop being so damn weak!

My advice to you is this:

1. Write every day.  Write the things you love every single day and never sacrifice that.

2. Respect your body every minute of every day.  Move it.  Fuel it.  Hydrate it.  Give it enough rest.  Stimulate it with activities.  Don’t allow it to continue on the path it’s on.  Make the change for good!  And make it now.

3. Widen your circle.  Go to events you are scared to go to.  See theatre alone.  Go to movies.  Explore your neighborhood.  Strengthen old friendships.  Cultivate new friendships.  Create the community for yourself that you so desperately are craving.  Don’t wait for it to find you.  Go find it for yourself!

4.  Stop living in chaos!  You’ve never been good at chores, and that has to stop.  The chaos and mess around you is impacting you!  Streamline your life.  Get rid of the stuff you don’t need.  Simplify.  Purge.  Keep only what you truly need.  Clean up your world from the inside out, starting with the condo.

5.  Let go of your past.  Stop comparing and contrasting to where you thought you’d be at this point in your life versus where you actually are.  You’re exactly where you should be, and you know where you want to go.  What came before is over.  You gotta let it go so you can move forward.  Until you drop all this baggage you’re carrying with you, moving forward is going to take so long, because that’s too much for any one person to carry.

No one loves you as much as I do, and I know you don’t believe that.  But I do.  I really do love you.  It would be great if you embraced that as fact.  You’re amazing, always have been.  You just forgot it along the way.  Time to remember, M.  Time to remember.

This letter is now here for you to read whenever you need a reminder of the fact that you got this!  You can do this!  I believe in you, and that’s all you need!  So once and for all, no excuses, no justifications, no more failing.  You know what you need to do to get happy and healthy.  So do it!  NOW!

Ciao for now,

M

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