Dear 20 year old me,
When you were standing in the back of the church, dressed in white, holding your Daddy's arm and looking into a church filled with people... that feeling in your gut wasn't butterflies, and the shaking and tears as you walked down the aisle spoke silently to your heart. You knew it then, you knew it the moment you stepped foot into the limo that took you away to a life you had just childishly chosen. Life would change from the dreams you had for yourself at 17. When the fork in the road gave you a choice, yours was a difficult one. You were young, and foolishly in love, or so you thought.
The doubt in yourself never waned. The feelings grew stronger, and the time to live with purpose, love & joy again tugged longingly at your heart.
You were stronger than you believed you could be. Somehow, one day at a time, that glimmer of who you used to be... who you COULD be again... would come flooding back in waves that enveloped you so quickly, you could hardly catch your breath. A new path was suddenly before you, and only five short years of heading in the wrong direction were enough to catapult you into your next journey. It would not be an ordinary moment of awakening, but one to be relished with every fiber of your being. You were free to live, once again, as if taking a breath for the very first time.
Now, twenty-five years later, some of the scars have healed, as the memories fade from that time you wish to erase from your life. But do not forget, as much as you try, that good has come from that dark and stormy time in your life. Strength once lost has been found again, and living for the moment is a choice you now make daily.
You are transformed, happier, and wiser with each year that passes. Embrace it.
45 year old me