Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A letter to myself

I've been tagged by Heike at goddess in the groove! I'm supposed to write a letter to my 13 year old self, so here goes.

Dear Suzzanne,

Thirteen is a difficult time for a young girl, but trust me, it's not nearly as hard as you're making it out to be. Less drama is always better than more if you want people to trust you and if you want your word to mean something.

There are a few things you'll need to know as you grow up, because growing up is so messy and so hard. I could write a book on the things you'll need to know in order to succeed, but I know you well enough to realize that you wouldn't read it anyway. You're far too strong willed and impatient to read a volume of wisdom, even if it was guaranteed to prevent all your problems and make you famous. So here are just a few pearls that I know will help you navigate some of the biggest obstacles and bumps.

First, your mother doesn't really dislike you and she's not always mad at you. She's working a full time job, working on the farm nearly full time, raising a family, struggling with her own health and marriage issues, and trying to juggle some pretty meagre finances. In short, she's stressed out and doesn't think about you nearly as often as you think she does, although she loves you desperately and completely and that love will grow as you both get older. She will give you her last penny when you need it and will go without necessities to provide your wants. She will be your best friend as you get older and you will be one of her best friends as well. When she's gone, you're going to miss her more than you could have ever imagined, so make the most of the time you have with her.

Second, stop comparing yourself with others. Stop it right now. Do you hear me? You're completely unique and completely different than anyone else, just like every other person who lives on this planet. Each individual is a work of art, and you are no exception. You aren't any better than anyone else and you aren't any less than anyone else. To elevate yourself above others so you feel better about yourself is wrong, just as it's wrong to elevate others and make yourself less in your own eyes. Of course, there will be people who will do both of those things, but that doesn't make it right.

Third, people are not your enemies. You will have to relate to them eventually, so start now. Don't second guess yourself, just be yourself. Yes, there are people who won't treat you well, but for the most part, people will treat you just the way you treat them. If you want to have friends you must show yourself friendly. That means you must make an effort.

Fourth, be thankful for what you have and for the life you've been given. There are people who live their whole lives with less love and less opportunity than you've already had in your first 13 years. Learn to be content with life as it is today. Tomorrow has it's own problems and you'll deal with those as they come, but be happy just to have lived this day. There's a lot to be happy about if you start with gratitude.

Fifth, choices--all choices--have consequences. Some are good, some are bad, but all choices carry consequences, so think before you act. Innocent people often pay the consequences for the choices of others, so this makes it all the more important that you think ahead and count the cost, both to you and to others, before you act. One thoughtless act can reap a lifetime of sorrow or trouble for yourself and for those you love. Morality, values, ethics and priorities are a reflection of who you are and they guide your actions, so think and consider thoughtfully before you make a move.

Finally, you have a lot of natural abilities, but you have been given the gifts of an iron clad work ethic and a sharp mind, and you must make use of both in order to succeed. All the natural talent in the world won't matter for one minute if you don't apply "elbow grease", sweat and good old fashioned ingenuity to the process. Expect temporary failures, but don't be put off by them.

You're bursting with life, potential, and expectations, kid. You've got more going for you than you think you do. Trust me, I've got a vested interest here, so I know what I'm talking about. Good luck. I'll be waiting for you.


I'm tagging Pondside, Yarnplayer and Debra in France for now. Boy do I need to read more blogs!

10 comments:

Faith said...

That was great Wooly - hope your 13y old self has lived up to expectations.

Casdok said...

Yes a lovely letter! :)

Cait O'Connor said...

That was a lovely heartfelt letter.

Wooly Works said...

Wow Mama! Did you write that without crying? I think it took a lot for me not to cry while reading it. Especially the part about Grandma. Nice letter! You did a very good job considering you dragged your feet about it.

Pondside said...

Lovely letter, Wooly. I like the affection for your 13 year old self - it comes through.

Kathleen said...

Well, in spite of having written my 13 year old self a letter, I am refusing to grow up. My daemon is a male snow leopard, named Nithrius.

LittleBrownDog said...

Great letter, Wooly - especially the bit about your mother - I think teenagers naturally tend to be extremely self-absorbed, which is one of the things that makes life so hard for them. But I guess it's all part of the process...

ChrisH said...

Your mum sounds like a great person to have had on your side, and clearly would have done anything for you - it's good that once we get beyond our thirteen year old selves we understand what parents sacrificed for us. I love the photos on your blog.

yarnplayer said...

That is an awesome letter!

goddess in the groove said...

How wise :). I hope your spirit got the satisfaction out of writing this letter, such as mine did :).

Warmest Greetings......