This post is one from the archives, but I never finished the project, so I am doing a repost of this one with a subsequent letter to follow...
I still consider myself ‘young’, but most days I wake up feeling much older than the number that defines me. Life in general, with its give and take leaves me feeling this way. A strange mixture of numbness and pain. My joints have started to hurt doing different activities, such as standing up after crouching. I occasionally experience that thing called heartburn. On the same token, I catch myself mindlessly drifting through the chaos and stuck on autopilot totally unaware of what is going on around me. I have a whole additional post coming about this one… I often compare myself now to how I was ‘then’. Which was a way better version of myself, right? Wrong. I have found that lately I am the most content with where I am and how I spend my time as I have ever been. If I could send my younger self a letter, it would go something like this:
Dear childless, thin, bikini-wearing, energized college student,
Are you seriously waking up at 5 AM to put a roast in the crock pot? Don’t do that. You will become plenty versed in about 8 years. Yes, it’s healthy, but so is a subway sandwich. You should be sleeping. Soon you will have to cook the roast after a mere 5 hours of rest. Relax. Take a nap.
Give up this obsession with perfection. Put the chemistry book down and go golfing instead. You are not perfect, will not do everything perfectly (or even come close) and really should spend your time doing things you enjoy. Find your center. Find what REALLY makes you whole, because we both know it’s not filling prescriptions 12 hours a day. If you don’t, you will be lost. You are already destined for a successful career, but that does not create a fully satisfying way of life. You will absolutely be unable to love everyone adequately if you cannot love yourself. Someday you will find yourself so exhausted that simple tasks like stopping to put gas in the car become difficult (this will be A LOT of days actually). This is why it is so important to never become lazy in developing your foundation of self.
Many days all you will have is your sense of humor, enjoyment in a good book, the outdoors, and the disorder of a family milling around you. Let go of perfection. But do not let go of yourself. You can do anything. You are beautiful, despite what is about to happen to your body after birthing babies. (VICTORY!).
With Love and Admiration,
Your Older, Frumpier self.
PS – After you DO birth the babies, you will find yourself purchasing and doing things you would never have imagined (eating pre-chewed food and wearing super ugly one piece swimming suits). I promise the good outweighs the bad but stop making fun of the ladies at Target purchasing said items and doing gross things.
I could have gone on and on, but cut it back because I know you are all too busy for that.