I just started a new book. It was left on my desk yesterday with no note. Books always have a way of finding me, but I wish I knew who this person is because I would thank him/her. This little number is a compiling of well known people and the notes they would write to their former selves.
Inspired by so many insights from people like Oprah Winfrey and Joe Biden, I decided to write my own note to self. My son Cole asked what I was doing when he saw that I was writing in a book, which he found appalling.
“I’m writing a note to my younger self,” I answered with a smile.
“That’s impossible,” he answered, “and you shouldn’t be writing in books.”
“I’m not really going to send it anywhere,” I retorted. “It’s just figurative, restorative. And you can definitely write in books that you own. Actually, I highly recommend it. It’s liberating.” He stared at me and shook his head. This is the look he gives me when he thinks I have lost my mind. These moments always give me an opportunity to realize I am the old person in this conversation and “mom” will never be synonymous with cool.
So here it is, my note to myself as I graduated from grad school about 20 years ago.
You are just finishing up grad school, and I know you don’t feel like you have many options, but someday you will realize that you do. You will marry that guy you are with, and it ends a lot worse than you can even currently imagine. To be honest, it pretty much ends the way you think it will: tears, pain, and sorrow. You will have two boys and they will open your heart and show you what true love really looks like, and it is amazing. You will learn to love yourself as well as others with a “somewhat” unbridled abandon. You will also stay in that job you are about to get even though there will be days, weeks, years when you are not sure how you are going to do that without losing your mind. That job and the people in it save your life in many different ways, but that is for you to find out.
You will find the love of your life, and it will be everything you thought it would be. He is completely worth the wait. Those two boys, children you never thought you even wanted, are amazing and kind and loving. Your entire family falls apart, but among the rubble of all that, you will find your strength. You are stronger than you know and braver than you ever thought possible. Final Thought: When he shows you who he is, believe him. It saves you every time.