Dear Sweet Young Melissa,
You are only 28 now, but you feel like you’ve come so far and you don’t know how far you have left to go. You will look back on your life and on your first ten years of adulthood and you’ll want to cry. And that’s ok. You can let yourself cry, if you want. But never wipe your tears. Feel them leak from your eyes and slide down your face because you’ll learn soon enough that’s what healing feels like.
And you’ll learn you need a lot of healing. You’ll learn just how tough life can be and you’ll wonder why and if it’s worth it. You’ll wonder if it’s worth it so many times; and you won’t know sometimes and other times you’ll feel quite certain. You’ll be rather cynical at times, too; and you’ll tell babies how awful the world is and to never grow up. Because you grew up and you grew down. You grew down so deep it felt like you were falling.
You will think you’ve reached the bottom only to find there is no bottom. It is an illusion that something will be there to catch you – the bad sort of catch. The kind of catch that breaks your fall by breaking you into a million tiny pieces. But that doesn’t happen, dear child. You’ll find you can fall infinitely and break infinitely from the sheer speed and force of life. There doesn’t have to be a bottom to break you.
The falling helps you forget, though. It helps ease the pain of memory. But you’ll forget who you are. You’ll forget about Sweet Young Melissa with hopes and dreams and a heart and a brain and courage. And it will take you a while to remember again, but know this: eventually you will remember.
You’ll remember you have been with you all along.
Remembering who you are feels like floating. So you’ll float your way back home from time to time – back to the home deep within. The home called you. And you’ll pick up all your broken pieces along the way and you’ll do what you can to reassemble yourself. You’ll fall and you’ll float. You’ll disassemble and reassemble. And this is all completely normal. You are going to wonder that sometimes, too.
You will tell all the babies the world is awful. But, you need to know now it is also awfully beautiful. I want you to know the world is so beautiful. And all of those people? They are beautiful, too. But you already know that because that gift you have – the one where you see humanity in people’s hearts – it’s real. It is a rare gift, a special gift, and that gift is going to help you see all of life is beautiful.
Someday, when you remember who you are and you’re hovering over your life, you’ll see.
But first, you have some growing up to do, and I’m not going to spoil that for you. I’m not going to tell you what’s going to happen when or why or if it’s worth it. I’m just going to tell you that you can do this.
You can do this.