Dear Younger Me, Here’s What I Wish I Could Tell You
Dear Younger Me,
February 10th is my birthday and it has been 8 days since I have been 36 years old.
That mean’s I am that much closer to being 40 in a few years.
There is so much that I want to tell you, but honestly, I don’t quite know where to start.
We have done so much self improvement work and have come along way and let met just point it out of how proud of you I am.
There are a lot of others who have said you couldn’t do x y or z but not only did you do those things the experts said you would not do do. You also did the things the experts said not to do like run. You complete two 5k runs with your daughter.
Most of all you are happy with life sure there are hard times but out of all of that struggle you still find the silver lining.
You are married now with a beautiful child who is a preteen and the 3 step kids teen years at times were scary, just detach and don’t take it personally. You really do make it together with your husband.
The guys from before the one during high school and the few before your husband were just lessons you had to learn to get to someone that was always there to look out for you and protect you.
You and your husband will face many trials together that are meant to break you apart on the inside but you two slowly repair each other side by said at one point miles apart. while doing so. You find each others flaws and are charmed by the quirks because no one is perfect. You two love one another and bicker a lot but that just means you care.
On the 23 of Feb in 2005 you met him fell in love and the world you knew changed. You had to learn the laws of another land, how things and people functioned and interacted with each other.
You thought you knew about how American’s minds worked and were ready to form friendships but then got burned over and over again. Shady flaky friends come and went as they needed you but a few handful of true supportive friends have always stuck by your side.
I know it’s not always been easy there are moments where you didn’t even know how you would make it and sometimes as soon as you started to move forward you took 10 step’s back.
You get a diagonses that you don’t even think you have because your symptoms are so mild compared to your siblings but at 21 your world get’s turned upsde down with a phone call. You are forever dubbed a freak and others online follow you but don’t talk with you much because they don’t know what to say or how to relate to a mom with 22q and a person who has 22q you are their unknown.
You were born to stand out and that is okay. I want you to accept that diagnoses even if those who were suppose to be supportive didn’t. You get tired of their put downs and shaming and the I know more then you do about 22q game because I have a child with 22q while I also have a child with 22q and I have 22q you don’t need to go out of your way to state so to all of those who think they are better then you. They are just inscure and think poorly about their own self worth.
speaking of self worth you discover you are like rubies and are precious in God’s eyes .That’s all that will matter.
Your father disowns you because you moved to the Michigan Usa from Toronto Canada a 8 hour drive which you did a few times with your husband and once on a grey hound bus back in 2005. It’s okay that your father disowns you. He was never there for you any how! and if he didn’t want his name mention in your book or on your website he should have treated you better.
You just are sad that you cant’ talk with your siblings because of the lies your father has told. People will keep trying to push their way back into your life who are toxic and just want to piggy back off you and use you to connect them to the people you know. You will meet others with 22q but you learn boundaries from many therapist who has encouraged you to keep on living and moving forward dispite the fears you face. You do get a group of supportive people who are always reading and supporting your online efforts to spread awareness about 22q then there are others who are out there looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Allow them to have their moment. It says all about them and nothing about what 22q is. Please be kind to yourself in the process and you take a social media break and discover who your true friends are.
Others become jealous of you because for what ever reason they want all you have. No matter how many times you tell them you don’t have it all together. My friend you have leaned many coping skills so many you are writing a book now because you were lucky enough to have come into contact with some amazing people God places in your path to guide you and accept you for all that you are who told you not to give in or give up.
Old me you never gave up your fiesty determin stubborn redheadedness was also passed on to your child and now she’s just as stubborn and strong willed as you are. Which I hope takes her far in life
Here is where I would stop and think about the next time if I had to do it over. (I sometimes dream of having a do over)
Dear younger me, don’t grow up too quickly. Don’t stop things so fast finish things you start!
I know it seems like you’re pretty old now. It seems like you have experienced a lot of life and seen a lot of things.
The truth is, you have probably seen and experienced more than your fair share. But don’t let it age you. When you are 40 you will not appreciate others making comments about how young you appear. You wont care so much though. You will look them in the eye state your age and ask them theirs if they are going to be rude you will turn it into an awareness campaign for 22q
Be patient. with yourself and with others life is short but it goes smoother with calmess
God still has a lot for you ahead even if you don’t think you deserve to continue living. If my youngerself knew all of the good my story would do I wouldn’t have attempted to over doses don’t do that and don’t do that again and again. Pills are not the answer Skills and pills are. Please allow time to heal you had a rough childhoold and experienced a lot of trauma that to the outside world you appear all and well but they don’t see the night mares, the flash backs or the panic attacks. They don’t see the pain and hurt. You didn’t tell them you didn’t want to be a burden to your loved ones any more. it’s okay they don’t think you are and prove it over and over again. One day you start apperiating their efforsts and just sit and be thankful
Don’t settle for average. Average grades. Average friends. Less than average boys. Finish school don’t allow your illness to get in the way you will need that high school diploma and college degree. Pay attention and attend that American history class you will need it to pass an immigration interview you will move to Michigan one day. Life will get complicated by doing so. Enjoy where you are at there are lessons you need to learn and many test by God you need to pass before you are rewarded.
Oh, younger me, if you could only see the amazing plans that God has for you, you would know that you still have time to grow up. Enjoy the ride. Don’t rush it.
Dear younger me, don’t let anyone else tell you who you should be what you should or shouldn’t do Only you show others how to treat you. I wish younger me learned that lesson sooner. We allow other’s to treat us by allowing them to continue to say or do things and not speaking up about it.
All your life, there will be people telling you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and who you should be. Take advice and wise counsel from people who love you, and more importantly, love the Lord.
Trust your grandpparents. They love you, even if it seems that they don’t always understand. One day Grandpa wont be around to argue with about God any more or to catch up with Day’s of our lives. By the way Grandpa was right God does love you
But don’t allow negative people to speak into your life. Don’t give them that power. They don’t have your best interests in mind.
Seek God for His plans for your life and follow those. He knows what’s best for you, and if you ask Him, He’ll always show you your next step. The Bible read it. Lessons are in there fir lifes instructions
Dear younger me, don’t be afraid.
This is one that you are going to struggle with. I wish I could tell you that it will get easier, but the truth is, it won’t. At least, it hasn’t yet. But living in fear is one of those things that compounds. The longer you do it, the more fearful you become. And you know what? It never helps. It never solves anything. Do it scared any way and fake it until you make it. One day you truly do make it
I know, I know. This is easy to say and so much harder to do.
But try to learn to face your fears rather than become buried beneath them. Take them to the Lord quickly. Choose faith over fear as much as possible.
I think this one is the most important:
Dear younger me, you are worth so much more than you think you are.
All your life, you have struggled with your self-worth, wondering if you really are good enough, if you will really amount to anything.
And you will.
Your whole life is not ruined because of that bad test in the fifth grade. You aren’t worthless because the boy in third grade called you ugly. Or that people never found you desirable. You aren’t a failure because you burned that dinner for your family and believe me, you will burn many more) by the way the family enjoys eating at fast food places. You don’t have to cook all your meals every night from scratch go out once in a while and enjoy the family time.
I want to encourage you to stop looking all over the place for your sense of purpose. You aren’t going to find what you are looking for. Please don’t fall into the trap of looking to your test scores, popularity or love life for your self-worth. No matter how many A’s you get, how many friends you have, or how many boys like you, it will not change you how you feel deep down inside.
The space that you are trying to fill can only be filled by a God who loves you more than you could ever love yourself.
Seek Him. Chase after Him. Desire Him with all you are.
Sure, the enemy will try to get you down. He will try to keep you from pursuing God and will tempt you to chase after frivolous things because he is a pro at distracting you from what’s important.
Don’t give in.
You know that armour that the bible talks about? Learn about it. Pick it up and put it on. You’re going to need it.
Dear younger me, you really can do this life thing.
Yes, it is hard. It is crazy and can be messy. There will be days when you wonder why you are even here.
But it is so worth it.
Don’t give up when you’ve just gotten started.
God has amazing plans for you. He wants to use you to do mighty things. Powerful things. I admit, I’m still figuring out what those things all are, but every day He makes the picture just a little bit clearer. Hold out for that.
Lukewarm Christianity is not an option. You are a follower of Christ. Act like it. Read your bible and memorize it. Pray. It’s your lifeline. Be proud of your faith, and tell everyone about your good, good Father.Praise God in the good times and the bad.
Don’t let pain destroy your heart. Don’t become jaded and closed. Instead, love like crazy. Pour out love on everyone you can. Be vulnerable. Be open. Take risks. Your heart will be broken, and so will your trust. But do not, I repeat, do not allow your heart to harden. God has given you so much love to give.
Younger me, give yourself grace in the difficult times. You are too hard on yourself. Set goals and have high expectations. But if God can give you grace, you can give yourself some too.
Hard times will come, and it will feel like tears are your only option. But laugh as much as possible. It really is the best medicine.
With God’s help, you will make it. Just keep on keeping on.
Your Future Self
P.S. When he comes along (no, I can’t spoil it and tell you your future husband’s name!!), make sure you don’t let him get away. Choose him over and over again. He really is one of the most precious gifts God will ever give you. I can tell you that you will be celebrating the day you met him in 2005 for many years. I’m writing this in 2019 and we are celebrating another year. Life is filled with ups and down’s It’s okay to get stuck in the muck don’t get so stuck you are in a rut after another rut. Your mess is your message!