Things have been pretty crazy the last day or so, and I got down on myself a bit for not being caught up to the schedule of this challenge. Between huge demands on my time, and my mental illness, I routinely fall behind on things like this and then get frustrated at myself, throw my hands up in the air, say “Fuck it.”, and give up.
Not this time.
When I first looked at the #loveme challenge questions, I knew this would be a very tough one for me to do. Life going crazy and allowing me to procrastinate on it was a coincidence that I wish I were talented enough to be responsible for, however, I am not.
Dear Little One,
I didn’t know how to write this. I still don’t. One of the biggest hurdles has been deciding what age to write to you at. I’ve decided that age is simply a limiting factor, and you are me, at the beginning of my life.
The first thing I want to say is that I’m so, so sorry. There are things you will go through that I couldn’t prepare you for, no matter how many words I wrote. Things that nothing could actually prepare anyone for. I wish I could tell you why it was you that these things had to happen to, but I cannot. I only know that evil exists in this world, and that it will wound some more than others. It will wound you more than most. I believe that God has a reason that it was you, rather than someone else, but I am not arrogant enough to profess to know what it is. But I can tell you that whether God has a reason for it being you, or whether you build reasons out of it using your own two hands, that it will have a reason either way. You will use it. Scorched earth will grow rich gardens, with a little love and some time. You will see hope when others do not, because you will have truly known darkness. That is honestly, with all my heart, reason enough.
You are going to always feel that you are different, somehow set apart from other people. I know you will question that feeling incessantly, but at the end of the day, it’s true; you are different. You are not set higher than others, or lower than others (though you will feel both, at different times in your life), but you are set apart. A lot of the roots of what makes you so different will be tangled and painful to even think of, let alone experience, but they will also change you unimaginably. Yes, there will be pain. But there will be so much more incredible diversity created in you, out of those experiences. You will be richer (and yes, more different and set apart), for having gone through them.
You will naturally think in a rather mathematical way, so you understand (no matter how old you are), that a glass being half empty and a glass being half full are the exact same thing in terms of volume. They are completely different things in terms of perspective. It’s a common enough saying, and you will hear the words optimism and pessimism thrown around throughout your life, but the important thing is to realize that for you, with what you will go through, perspective is even more important than it is for the general populous. You will grasp and cling to hope, you will refuse to believe in no win scenarios, and you will endure far more than you could have without that attitude. If there is anything that will come to define you in your future, it’s that you will always keep getting back up. You will not be able to stop all the things that life will throw at you from knocking you down, and it will never be easy to get to your knees and stand once more. But you will do it anyway, time and time again, to the point of stunning the people who you trust enough to let see it.
Feelings and experiences are like a thermostat, and frankly, most people live their lives at room temperature. You are not most people. Experiencing the bitterest pain will enable you to experience more glorious pleasure. The emotional pain you endure will give feelings of ecstasy and joy, with a pureness that can only be truly felt when you know what the opposite feels like. Life will drag you all over that thermostat with your feelings and your experiences at first. But eventually, you’re going to be the one twisting the knob, and you will seek things out that will enhance you and change you forever.
More than anything, you need to know that you really will do your best. It’s not going to feel like it. You’re going to constantly feel that you are not living up to your potential, that you aren’t giving it your all, but that is just blaming yourself for circumstances beyond your control. I’ve seen how hard you’ve fought to survive, and trust me: it’s a story for the ages.
You are worthy and beautiful and loved.