October 30, 2013

If I Could Talk to My 12-Year-Old Self.

I know today was a rough day at school.

I know it started when you woke up and looked in the mirror and saw only jumbled shapes that made no sense when they combined into face.

I know you had waffles and maple syrup that isn’t really maple syrup, but you don’t care because it’s what was in the fridge and it tastes good, so whatever.

I know after breakfast you got tired even before you got dropped off at school.

School is hard on your system—it taxes everything inside of you.

It’s not the math or the science or the reading or the teachers—all that stuff is a welcomed release.

It’s all the other stuff that’s taxing.

It’s getting out of the car and walking through campus with all the other kids who are trying to figure out how they fit into the social hierarchy.

No one has specified exactly where you fit into all of this, but you figure it’s not generally favorable—you do not feel liked when you come to school.

You know this because they write about you on the bathroom walls, and they say things to you during class when it’s your turn to share your poems and when you walk from third to fourth period, there are notes exchanged and whispers had and all of it just makes you feel so…ugly.

I know your teachers know about all of this and sometimes they talk to you, but it does not make you feel better. I know your parents know and no matter how many times mom calls you beautiful or talented or desirable, you just feel cold.

You will cry today. I am not here to convince you that you shouldn’t. The way you see your life right now is legitimate and important.

But I’m here to let you know something else, too.

You will have everything that you want out of life—once you start wanting your life exactly the way it is. And that acceptance is not something to be scared of—that is not the day when things stop happening and your world comes to a halting stand-still—that day is the day your life begins blossoming open to you in ways you never imagined because it is the day when you will say, “I give up control, take me where I need to go.”

I know you’re confused right now. I know confusion settles in your bones and shakes you up about yourself, other people, how the world works and how you should feel about all of it.

I know that you are frustrated because you feel like you are saying things and no one is listening.

Please know, sweet child, these are gifts. These are gifts because these are great teachers.

Your confusion and your frustration and your grief (and whatever else you may be feeling) are the springboards from which your mind will fly. You will learn to think and question and perceive through all of this, and your thoughts and questions and perceptions will be layered and detailed and specific and will feel wholly yours.

I’m not saying that your thoughts and questions and perceptions will always be pleasant to you—I’m sure that you will always come across thoughts that don’t feel so good to you because they make you feel a certain way about yourself or about the life you share with others.

But your thoughts will always be a reminder (should you choose to listen) that you are alive.

You are alive, child.

Maybe it doesn’t feel like it right now, but your life is a gift.

And it doesn’t matter if you don’t see it this way, because I know you live in a time-frame of minute to minute and day to day, where the only question is, “will Alvin be nice to me tomorrow?” and “I wonder what I got on my history test?”

You cannot see that this is all leading someplace so grand, so absolutely beautiful, so completely outside of any of your imaginings of what life could possibly be.

You cannot see that these tears that you rescue from the recesses of your heart daily—that express your longing and your sadness and your separation—these perfect torrents flowing from your bloodshot eyes are all leading you to moments of looking into another’s eyes and finding love, opening your mouth to sing and finding grace, sitting under the stars and feeling reverence, expressing huge bursts of laughter and feeling release, sitting before a meal and having thanks.

You will not always feel this way.

You wake up and look up at the ceiling and wonder if you will ever love or feel joy or courage or if you will ever just get to a place and think I am happy.

Let me tell you something: you will.  You will, you will, you will!

You are not going to believe me when I say this, and I am not so much saying this for you as I am saying this for me, but you are glorious.

You are glorious and wonderful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

You will turn into me, and that is a person I love being, and I will turn into someone else, who will also hopefully feel even more love.

And one day, you and I will be sixty years old and we will be looking back—at 60 I will be looking back on myself now, the way I am looking back at you in this moment, and I will laugh at the gift of life—about all the things that brought me suffering and all the times I looked up to the sky and asked the thunder storms to give me answers, and the answer is always, simply: life.

You have cried everyday for the past two years. You will cry everyday for the upcoming few years.

I am not here to change your experience of knowing yourself in this moment, I am here to offer one thing only: a reminder that there is love.

There is only love…everything else is so stupid. (You will get to have that thought one day.)

Your life is moving, it’s moving towards love.

Keep waking up, sweet girl.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise




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