I see you.
I see the woman you want to be. I know her. Parts of her still live within your 46 year old self.
Contemplating Life at 20
I know you think you’ve got it all figured out. How life should be. How love should be. What a relationship takes to be a “good one.” You have this crazy fairy tale idea of what it will be like when you meet the one, but I’m here today to tell you a few things.
You’ve got a lotta good things going for you. You don’t mind working hard. That’s good. Work ethic is what will carry you. Your creativity can spark an idea, but follow through, your word, and your work ethic is what will see the job done.
It’s good that you have committed to working while still in school. You know the value of a dollar and that means that you appreciate both the big and the small things that your parents do for you. You don’t take things for granted.
Beauty is skin deep
You’re beautiful. You just don’t know it. You’re self conscious and silly and don’t see what others do in you. It’s ok. Many people can’t see it in themselves, as well. But I want you to know that beauty is fleeting. People won’t be attracted so much to what’s on the outside, as they will when they see what’s on the inside. What drives you. What you’re passionate about. What you wanna see through, in this lifetime.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I’m writing to you today to tell you to relax.
Do not take things so seriously. There will come a day when your kids will call you a “fun sponge.” That will hurt, but it will also be a wake up call. It will be your chance to show your kids that you CAN be fun. That you CAN be silly. That you CAN have fun with them and laugh till your sides hurt.
Contemplating what LOVE is means you figure out what it is NOT
I’m also writing to tell you that LOVE isn’t what you see in the movies. And it’s also not what you criticize your parents for. Nor what you compare your sister’s marriage to. It’s all of those things…and so much more.
It’s late night ice cream runs. And sleeping with your baby girl upright when she’s sick because she can’t breathe. It’s being spooned and comforted when you have a nightmare. It’s talking through your fears. It’s holding hands through the good times, and holding tighter through the bad times. It’s watching your kids shine with pride during school plays and performances. It’s looking over and seeing the love and admiration your husband has for his son during a Taekwondo tournament. It’s holding space for your daughter when her heart is broken for the first time. It’s being able to exhibit self restraint when your husband is combing Baby Girl’s hair to not do it over the way you would like it to be done.
Love is so many things
It’s butterflies and catching your breath when you finally meet the one.
And trusting that even through the hardship and heartache, that God will see you both through it and make you whole again..
It’s belly laughs, and painful tears. It’s disappointments that fade with time, but are overshadowed by success and breakthroughs. It’s remembering the good, forgiving the bad, and staying committed to your promises and vows, even when you feel lost.
Love is service
It’s chicken soup for when your kiddos are sick. And foot rubs when you’re mid-lifing and your body has changed immensely. It’s seeing the once little kids who used to play on the rug together, horsing around in the pool laughing, and then enjoying a glass of sangria with the family.
Love is holding on
Sometimes, it’s also holding your husband tight when life throws him a curve ball. It’s standing by his side and waiting for him to tell you, that he’s ready. It’s forgiving someone when they haven’t even asked for your forgiveness. It is knowing when to walk away from something that is too painful, and someday you will learn that it’s even easier when you hand that pain over to God.
Love is smiling through the tears
It’s smiling through the tears. And tearing when you’re happy. It is embracing your partner’s flaws and understanding where you both came from, and how that shapes your understanding of this thing called LOVE.
It’s Thanking God because He knew what He was doing. He knew what He was doing when He laid it all out for you…and those conversations with your sorority sisters where you contemplated free will, destiny, and believing that things will be as they were meant to be. It’s those same conversations with your sorority sisters who you have seen through their own heartaches and disappointments and this time questioning what love is while you have children, and husbands of your own.
Find your purpose
Life isn’t easy. By any means. What matters now is what you think of yourself, and how you use the talents that God has given you to achieve your purpose in this lifetime. We get one shot at it. Take the time to figure out what else you are good at and use it to help others. Starting with the students you want to teach when you graduate college is an awesome way to begin…you can only imagine where it will take you as you grow on in your years.
Always be KIND
Continue to be KIND.
Continue to ask questions.
But be quiet and wait for others to answer.
You will soon realize just how little you know, and how much more you have to learn.
That part of your life will never end. You will continue to learn. And it will be fun.
Remember You are BLESSED
But most of all, because you are so blessed?
You will experience LOVE in so many more ways that you could have ever imagined.