The Home Page

Monday, November 5, 2012

DEAR 20 year old JO,



You are so lucky. You have a beautiful little girl who will turn 1 in just 3 months and though you don’t know it yet, you are expecting your second child in 10 months. It will be a son and yes, having two babies before you turn 21 might sound daunting, it will never be too much for you. These babies will be the center of your universe for many years. Enjoy them.


Speaking of enjoying them, remember to play more and clean less. Remember to rock and hug and giggle with them and let the mopping wait. Go to bed when you’re tired instead of trying to do it all. “It all” doesn’t even matter in the long run. Being rested, healthy and being with your kids, that is all that matters.


The man you have catered to and been in love with most of your life isn’t going to be there for the long haul. As a matter of fact, he isn’t even going to be there for the short haul because you will be learning soon that he loves something much more than he loves you or his children.  He will not choose you when you decide to force that choice for the well being of your babies and your own physical health.  You will raise them, for the most part, on your own.


I don’t mean to scare you with this information, I really don’t. But when you are 25 you will look around and begin to assert yourself. You will stand up for your children and as hard as it is, you will do the right thing. You will leave that man and you will go through some very difficult days, months and years. You will do just fine in the end and discover just how capable and strong you are. You will be proud of yourself at some point, but there won’t be time nor energy for that for quite some time. Hang in there, it will all pay off.


When you turn 32 you will celebrate that birthday with your forever man. He is not the type you have ever dated before. He is unlike anyone you have ever spent more than a few hours with. He is the man who will walk through all the days of your life beside you. He will never be behind you, never lead you; this is the man who will always be at your side. Spend these years before meeting him getting yourself ready to be the partner he is looking to find, that’s what he is doing.


I want you to know that these are the days you will have a hard time remembering when you are in your 60’s because they hurt to remember and you will learn to erase the unpleasant and a lot of the pleasant will get erased along with the pain. That is sad, but it will help you cope with a lot of change. It will help you work through the two job days, the not enough food days and the loneliness of a failed marriage. No one will be able to help you through that loneliness; it has to be experienced while you grieve the loss of your dreams. The father of your children will not remain in their lives, but that will take a few years to happen, so for this time, I send you hugs and beg of you, enjoy every minute of this time with your wonderful husband and children, because when the changes come, they will be so hard to bear.

Also please know that the family that surrounds you now will always be there. When you decide to reach out, they will reach back. The in-laws, who seem to pull away, will be back. They do love you. It will be a long time before you allow yourself to believe that. You will not be close to them again, so enjoy them while you are part of their lives. You will be respected for your decisions and your demeanor. Let that be enough.


At 20 you are all you need to be. You are everything you want to be and your family is just beginning to develop. You are and should be very happy and very loved. Looking back from 62 to you, I know you are a good person and a devoted mama. That little girl in your arms is just about the only focus you can handle right now and that is exactly how it should be.


Oh, and 20 year old Jo, also know this; for all the hardships you will be facing, you will never for one second regret one of the choices you have made to this point in your life. You have done well.


Your future self

Age 62.
Jo




37 comments:

  1. And you forgot to tell her what a fabulous lady she turns out to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I didn't tell her that, because I am still a work in progress. LOng way from fabulous! But I love your fabulousness, too!

      Delete
  2. Wonderful, uplifting letter. You tell your your youngerself honestly but at the same time you tell her it is all worth it. And I know you believe it, breath it, and live it. Such a wonderful person to know. Love ya Jo. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me 2...I think we are all living proof that the good and the bad and for sure the ugly things we do and live through are all learning moments...or years! Love you, too, Jenn and awfully happy to know you.

      Delete
  3. What a great letter. It's amazing how much we all have to go through to get to where we are at this moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking back is always the easier part.

      Delete
  4. It's amazing to see what kinds of things we can live through and come out better for it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have all lived through so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And come out on the other side to write the story. It's life.

      Delete
    2. Sigh. It's so true. Loved reading this. Love that you found happiness, too! ;)

      Delete
  6. Love that you're able to see what's important even through the hardships. You are so positive. So inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lois. I don't feel any benefit to seeing all the negatives or allowing the not so good things to have power...they were overcome and I am living a pretty good life now, so what's to whine about. Learn and move on.

      Delete
  7. What a nice tribute to yourself and your children. I am touched by this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you...we had some rough days, but when you have to make things happen for your children, you do it. I have never regretted those days because that is when I learned who I am, exactly. I have never been afraid since those days have passed.

      Delete
  8. This was so beautiful. I appreciate how lovingly you wrote to yourself. You delivered the hard news, but with encouragement. Somehow we do get through those awful times, don't we? They change us and mold us, but they also teach us wisdom and compassion for others.

    Thank you for joining in with us. I feel like I've gotten a chance to know you better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chloe. I have done these letters before, but always to a teen me, never to a happily married me. Twenty was a good time for me and I had no idea it would all fall apart. No idea.
      I might have had an easier time if I had even considered that my marriage wouldn't last forever, but that never occurred to me.
      I am who I am today because I did get my kids safely through that period. I did love them enough and give them enough of me while working 2 jobs because they were all that mattered. Today, I give the strength to them when needed because I remind them, I constantly remind them, we made it together through worse times than this and we'll do it again, if need be.

      Thanks for doing this...it was good for my soul.

      Delete
  9. Your strength is inspirational to me. Loved the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, Helene. What a lovely compliment.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful letter to your younger self. It's a blessing and I think a necessity that we don't remember everything, especially the pain. I'm so glad you found happiness, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, forgetting is not always a bad thing. Inconvenient, but not bad!
      Thank you, Carpool Goddess.

      Delete
  11. It's so hard to get through those tough years, but you did it--and it sounds like you came through with your self-respect intact. That's such a gift! Thanks for sharing this.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Karen, I not only came through with my self-respect, I actually found it in the midst of it all! It is a gift I cherish today, because no one can take that, it's mine to hold or discard. I choose to hold it.
      Thank you.

      Delete
  12. You are strong and lovely and kind to yourself. Having had my third daughter weeks after turning 21, I know where you've been, how hard it can be. I especially like your note that at 20, "you're all you need to be." That's the best we can hope for at any age. Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your post and I think you did just fine with your 3 babies. I did, too, with my two.

      I believe we all need to teach our children and our grandchildren that we are all exactly enough and all we need to be at any given time. I do believe that God gives us the right tools for every situation and therefore, we are all we ever need to be.

      Thank you, Lisa.

      Delete
  13. Terrific post. We want to protect our children from the pain and heartache we went through to become who we are, but they have to go through their own journeys. Time is an amazing teacher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lynn and I honestly don't think I tried to protect my kids from being hurt because my own has taught me that the hurts are character building events and I wanted my children to have character. I wanted them to experience their own lives on their own terms and believe me, they are doing that!

      Delete
  14. You have gained so much strength and wisdom from all that hardship you endured. This was such a lovely letter. Well done Jo.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy. They were hard times and also very good times in terms of my own growth and the character development of my kids. They are now in their 40's and have plenty of strength and self-value. All I could hope for!

      Delete
  15. Sad and sweet and so beautiful. Thanks for sharing that with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joy. I really appreciate all the feedback from this blog hop and it's been some great reading!

      Delete
  16. Wonderfully positive framing Mme. Would that we all could be as content with now and the choices we made as you are. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see no reason to regret. It changes nothing. I am who I am because of all my past choices, so I embrace that past and celebrate my now. This is life.

      Thank you, Nerthus

      Delete
  17. Another wonderful letter. Certain sentences just seem to shine, like this one: "Spend these years before meeting him getting yourself ready to be the partner he is looking to find, that’s what he is doing." Getting ready to be the best person you can be, for yourself, magically leads you to the person you're supposed to be with. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marci. I also found many wonderful letters from this incredible group.

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Love you, too. And when I was 20, I would have wished you were mine. Oh,I still do. ♥

      Delete

I really want to know that YOU were here...please drop me a note or just say Hi ~ I do love a comment and it keeps me motivated!

You write and I will answer. Eventually. Show the love!