Dear Me 10 Years Ago,
As I am about to finish this decade, I cannot help but reflect on everything you will be doing over the next decade. You may not be able to fathom it, but let me give you a glimpse of how much your life will change over the next 10 years. I also want to make sure you know what a strong, hardworking, kind and beautiful woman you are. I really don’t think you hear it enough.
You became a new mom in 2009 and there have been many ups and downs. Over the next decade, you will be facing your lowest lows and the highest of highs. You will question your marriage many times. You will bring another child into the world, making you a mother to 2 amazing little humans. You will enroll in college, earning your associate’s, and eventually your bachelor’s degrees. You will continue to work in insurance, growing your career beyond a point you ever thought possible. You won’t pick an easy career, but you will pick a rewarding one. You will get divorced. Your grandparents will pass away. You will feel all of the feels. Every single one of them. And you will survive.
After all of that, when you are pretty sure you’re done feeling all of the feels, you will open your heart up again to someone. You will realize you’ve met someone that sees you, values you, and helps you see your own worth. You will get closer to your family again. You will see rainbows. And Flowers. Everywhere. And sunrises and sunsets will warm your soul in the most quiet and mundane moments. You will take vacations with your kids. You will learn more than you thought possible. You will grow. You will become strong through your vulnerability. Most of all, you will LOVE your life. You will know sorrow and joy. You will know pain and love. You will know fear, and courage. I admire you for everything you’re about to go through.
While you may not know what you are capable of, I see the strength you have and I know what is possible. I am living a joyful life because of the work you’ll be doing. It is easy to lose sight of your value. You are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible. I know that you don’t think going back to college is possible. It is scary, expensive, and feels like a big risk. But you will do it. And you will be so proud of yourself when you’re done. Your children will see you walk for graduation, and you will know it was all worth it.
Nothing about the next 10 years of your life will be easy. You will wrestle with who you are, and who you want to be. You will need to make tough decisions about what you want in life and what is worth fighting for. You will have moments of sheer terror and fear, and you will have moments where you are living in the light at the end of the tunnel. I am most proud of you because you will never give up. You will keep fighting for a better life. This is the thing that brings a tear to my eyes when I think about how far you will come in the next 10 years. You will fight for a better life, and you will win the battle.
Your children will see how hard you’re working to give them a better life. They will have their own struggles, but they will always have you. Through it all you will be their rock. Their foundation. They will share your humor, and sarcasm. You will feel so very proud of the people they are becoming. You will worry about them, as every good mom does, but you will rest assured that you are keeping them safe. And you WILL be able to embarrass your children in just the right moment.
I know this feels out of reach. The life of joy. Earning a bachelor’s degree with 2 small children. The great career. It feels like it may be too much, or too hard. And it will be very hard. But it is not impossible. You will do it. I am proof. I am thankful every single day for the woman you are and will soon be. The woman that decides to go back to college, despite every single person that discourages her on her path. You are brave, and hardworking. You are smart. And despite all of your self doubt, and perhaps some of the negative feedback you may be hearing, you are a beautiful woman. You deserve to be happy. Do not stop fighting for it.