This post is part of the series of letters to our younger selves, sending them hope, courage, and the love it takes to grow older and wiser. My hope is that this series will encourage others, young and old, to be a better version of themselves starting right now, today!
A Message Sent to Yennie Through Space & Time
There are so many things I want to tell you! So many ways I want to go back in time and help make your life easier, but I know that everything that happened was perfect. Right now, in this instant, as I write this, I’m traveling through space, time and dimensions to get this information to you and help you feel better about your existence…to alleviate you and give you a glimpse of the radiant light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Little Yennie in the above photo was taught that girls have to be pretty and well-mannered. You took that to mean that maybe you weren’t. You started overachieving, people pleasing, exceeding expectations in other areas to make up for your perceived ugliness and not-enoughness. I want to tell you that you were always pretty and kind and compassionate—all little girls are. Please don’t spend so much time trying to be pretty and perfect to those around you. You have always been enough.
And remember how you thought the name Eyenie was too “weird” and you wanted to “blend in” and “be normal” so you asked your mom to register you in school as “Jenny”? Her spelling betrayed you and for all of elementary and middle school, you were called “Yennie” instead. It kind of made you feel even weirder. I want to tell you that people think your real name Eyenie, is lovely, exotic and unique…just like you. There is no such thing as “normal”. Embrace your freak.
You rebelled by not rebelling at all. By doing your best to be as good as possible. Look at this room in perfect order. You’re sitting, all prim and proper, trying to earn this award every day of your life. I want to tell you from my heart that nobody is perfect, no matter how hard they try. And though this may surprise you, nobody is actually expecting all of this from you! And going against the grain and speaking up and disobeying and just being yourself is all natural and healthy. It’s what 12-year olds are supposed to do! I want you to live a little! And not loathe yourself when you color and live outside of the lines. Love yourself and be compassionate.
Here you felt hideous. Frustrated. Defeated. It was hard work getting straight As, keeping the house spick-and-span, taking care of your sister and supporting your mom emotionally. Give yourself a break! You are doing the best you can, and it is truly good enough. Tweens aren’t expected to help raise kids, earn extra money by babysitting and take care of everyone around them. I want you to release some of the responsibility that is not yours, and lower the expectations you have on yourself. And sometimes, getting a B or C or even D puts some hair on your chest, and gives your soul some rest. In case you were wondering, things get waaaay better later on. WAY. So just be patient.
Dress-up was one of your only escapes. It felt good to pretend to be a courageous, rocking badass. I want to let you know that you are all of those things, even in your neat trousers and button-up shirts. I am sending you the courage to express your style and artistic nature outside of the house! It is part of you, and there is no reason to fear bringing attention to the creative parts of you. It’s part of who you are!
Here it’s obvious you’re doing everything you can to be invisible. To disappear. To not call any attention to yourself. But, your heart was bursting with creativity and color and happiness, however, you only gave all of that love to others. You spent your alone time hitting yourself, yelling at yourself for everything you thought you were not. You stared in the mirror and put scotch tape on your face, trying to see how to make yourself pretty. You hit yourself and cried often because you were “fat” and “repulsive”, two words that your inner jerkface always spewed out. You know what? You were lovely and kind and smart and creative and wonderful! And being 6”1’ is actually cool when you become an adult. I want you to know that nobody’s paying as much attention as you think they are. Further, you don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea (or tall drink of water). So, just do your thing.
In this photo, you were trying your hardest to dim your razzle-dazzle and light so that others could be in the spotlight. You are giving your power to your friends more than ever, letting them define and determine who you are, what you like and don’t like, how you think. It was easier for you to play second fiddle, ride in the sidecar, be the sidekick, hang out in the shadows… You were terrified that walking to the rhythm you heard in your head and heart would mean losing the people you loved. You filled the voids you felt with fast food and chocolate that you binged on until you were in pain. Punishment for being so weak…and so inadequate. You know what? I want you to break free and say what you want to say! Do what you want to do! It’s your life, and your true friends will love and dig you no matter what. You don’t have to be a doormat or pushover for people to know you’re nice and kind and generous. SHINE!!!!! Let it all hang out!!!
Above all else, just know that everything turns out more than OK. Happiness is possible, and you do get to experience it. Self-love exists, and you will revel in it. Fear is self-inflicted, and you learn tools to deal with it as you continue moving forward, unfrozen. Nobody can ever please everyone all the time—not even you; you float in the freedom of it. Just be who you are, embrace your freak show, and remember that you have always been enough. And you are loved.
Over to you…
To meet other women who are ready to kick childhood and other traumas to the curb and be part of an amazing support network, check out the Sisterhood Tribe.
I’d like to thank Eyenie Schultz, of LucidMusing.com, for her wonderful contribution to this series and allowing us to share in her journey from the “so called imperfections, weirdness, and ugliness” to the confident, beautiful, ravishing, magical and fabulous uncommon chick she is today!
If you would like to write a letter to your younger self to be featured in this series, contact me. The more the merrier!