Because this topic has been coming up a lot for me lately.
August 20, 2014 to the August 20, 2004 me
Dear 33 year old me,
I want to tell you a few things. Some things are going to happen to you very soon. You may not believe me when I tell you what’s out there waiting for you. But then again, maybe you will.
In one year from your today, you’re going to find out that your husband is gay. You will be surprised and devastated. You will feel as thought your heart has been ripped out of your chest. It will explain a lot, but that won’t make it any easier. It won’t matter at that moment that your marriage pretty much sucked anyway. As you go through this, take care of yourself and claim what is rightfully yours. Claim your anger and your bitterness and your feelings of betrayal. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should be happy that your marriage ended this way because it’s better than how most marriages end, or that at least you know it wasn’t you, or that it’s not really his fault or any of the other nonsense that people will tell you. It is okay, in fact, it is absolutely essential for you to experience the anger of being lied to for 14 years, the betrayal of not knowing who the man you were married to really was, the absolute unfairness of having your choice in proceeding with this relationship away from you because you weren’t told the truth. If you don’t deal with these feelings when you have them, they will stick with you for a long time. Trust me.
I know you will take good care of your kids. And I want you to lighten up on yourself your parenting. They will turn out to be good people. It’s not the end of the world if they eat Kraft Dinner for a few days in a row. What you feed them is not a reflection of your character. You are doing the best you can, and that is more than good enough.
Let your friends in. Let them help. They will still like you if they see the real you. The one who is scared and hurt and frustrated and confused. They will probably even like you more, because you will seem more real. Let them help.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to punt the assholes and the douchebags. You don’t need to justify your looks, your body or your choices to anyone. Recognize when someone is doing nothing but tearing you down, and get the hell out of there. You don’t need to be nice to everyone.
Take your time getting through the other side of your marriage. Take the time to figure out who you really are. You’re going to feel like meeting someone, or lots of someones. It’s okay to experiment with that. Don’t feel guilty, just be safe. Read the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” and believe every word. Even when you really, really, really don’t want to believe it. Even if your friends tell you not to believe it. And when you do decide to try again with somebody else, remember the balance between magic and control. Remember that you are not broken. It is not true that the only reason someone would want to be with you is because you can help them in some way. There are men who will want to be with you because you are cute and funny and smart and all around awesome.
Try to stop obsessing about your body and your looks. You deserve love no matter what your body looks like. The sooner you learn that if you love yourself and your body, the sooner other people will start to feel the same way. Put off that weight loss surgery. Work on loving you instead. But definitely still get the breast lift!
I guess it sounds all doom and gloom. But some really good things will happen too. You will have so much fun and get to go to so many cool places and meet great people. You will make some awesome new friends and your awesome old friends will always be there for you. And I will too.
With love always,
43 year old me
August Writing Prompt #1. Write a letter to yourself 10 years ago. What do you know now, that you wished you’d known then.
It turns out that maybe I was writing this letter to me today, as well as me back then.