If there is one thing in this life that I regret, it’s that there are far too many things I would go back to warn my younger self against.

A letter to a younger me:

Alex,

Sweet sweet Alex, do everything you can to preserve this happiness you have. You are so good and so pure, and the universe is going to do everything in its power to take that away from you. I don’t know yet if all the obstacles you will have to struggle over will be rewarded one day. But I do know in their own sick and twisted way they will make you stronger.

The first heartbreak you will ever feel will be at 10 years old. Mommy and Daddy will sit you and Maya down on New Years day and tell you that they don’t love each other anymore. You will grieve and mourn like any child would. You’ll be upset and angry but it will get better, things will get easier.

The next obstacle you will have to face is when Mommy comes and talks to you after a date with her boyfriend and tells you that he has proposed. She will ask you if you’re okay with them being married, and you will respond “No.” You will then have to watch the light fall from her eyes as tears well up and her chin trembles as she says “its alright baby.” And she’ll pull you close and kiss your head as tears of your own eyes run down your face.

The hardest obstacle will come for you at the young age of 14. It will heed no warning and leave mass destruction in its path. A few weeks before school starts when you are supposed to attend the first dance team meeting with your mom, you will find her, blue in the face and slumped over in her office chair. Within the next hour doctors will come into the small, packed waiting room and tell you that she didn’t make it. Everyone will cry except you. You won’t cry until the next day when your soon-to-be step sister finds you and hugs you. You won’t grieve like everyone else this time. In fact you won’t even begin to grieve until about four years later. You will be to busy building a suit of armor surrounded by tall brick walls and a moat, that you will forget to grieve. One thing you will have is good friends. Friends that care and want to listen. Don’t forget them.

Unfortunately the loss of Mommy will affect you for longer than you will want. She will be in the back of your mind always. Her loss will make getting out of bed most days the hardest thing in the world. But because you are so damn strong you are going to do it. You are going to prove so many people wrong and make others so incredibly proud of you. But in all of this you will lose yourself for a while. You will find refuge in people who will end up hurting you making this pain only her poignant and last a little longer. But soon you will find your path again and you will be so relieved when you do.

The next and most recent obstacle will come in college. In the first few months of your freshman year you will get your first boyfriend. He will be the second guy ever to break your heart. He will say all of the right things in the beginning. He will make you feel safe and cared for. But then you’ll be blindsided two months later when he breaks up with you. After this you will be angry because you had so many gut feelings during the relationship that he wasn’t in it as much as you were. Later on after the break up when you two are talking you will receive full insight into the kind of person he truly is. He will tell you to your face that you weren’t good enough for him. He will tell you his true intentions behind the relationship and you will hate yourself for being so blind with infatuation and ignoring all of those gut feelings. But you will not falter, because you are not weak. Some boy telling you that you aren’t pretty or interesting enough won’t make you view yourself as less of a person.

Alex, I’m writing you this letter because these experiences will make you want to become an unfeeling and calloused person. Don’t let them. People expect that from someone who has felt so much pain. Continue to prove them wrong. With all of your might continue to be pure and good and make other people happy, but don’t forget yourself a long the way. You are so much like Mommy. You leave such a lasting impression on every person’s life that you touch. You are a light in world of darkness, so do not let it go out. Don’t be consumed by the pain. Don’t let those trying to pull you down swallow you.

I love you. You are worth it.

-Alex

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