As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Do you have life lessons that would have helped you through a difficult time?
Share those with The Band as you write a letter to your younger self.
My dearest, panic-stricken younger self,
It is okay.
No matter how alone and not okay you feel right now. No matter how frightened you are by the present and future. No matter how much you cry the ugly cry, violently shake, and hide in your closet due to the current state of things. No matter how frozen you feel.
Just know that you are not alone. You are never alone.
You pretend to be happy, content, put together, and calm, but you're not - you're far from it.
You are scared. Afraid to make any decision, especially the wrong one. Scared of the present and the future. Terrified that if you give up and let go of this "love," time, and place you will be a failure again.
You are so fearful that you think you don't know what to do, how to do it, or how to be.
You're not concerned with how other people might view your "failures," for the most part. Instead, you're afraid of what failing means to you; for you.
You are afraid to fall. To you, failing is falling. If you fall, there's no place to land - that is what you're thinking. Yes, it is. Don't tell me it's not. You're wrong. Oh, so very, very wrong.
You are afraid of being left behind. Everyone is off doing their thing and becoming "real" adults. (Pretending to be a grown-up sucks, remember that!) They're all graduating on time, getting married, and starting families. And you're not doing the same, at the same time. You're 22; you've got plenty of time.
You're not them. You do things in your own time and in your own way. Don't fear that your time means you're a failure. It doesn't. It means that you are you, and you're awesome.
When the pregnant Sky Woman fell from her home in the sky, the birds caught her on their backs. The animals spread mud on the back of a great turtle, and they placed her there. The animals broke her fall and supported her.
When Nick Cage's character, Seth, in City of Angels falls, he hits the ground hard, but he is still in one piece. He finds warmth and love; granted, Maggie dies. Probably not the best example, but the important part is that he got a chance to love her and the fact that he was still in one piece after a literal fall.
When you left that first college after freshman year and dropped pre-med, you felt like a failure. That was a failure. You didn't do well and made the decision to leave. Yes, you failed. It wasn't the end though. Your fall left you in one piece, didn't it? Your pride might have been a little shaken, but you got over that.
After every mistake, fall, and failure, you're left to make other big decisions about your life. You always pull yourself up and continue on. Because you must.
You are jaded by your experiences with failing. I get that. Believe me, I do. You are paralyzed by the thought of failing at anything and falling. You are frozen in place by the weight of what "failing" at this time, or anytime, will mean. You are the only one who views this as a failure, just FYI.
I must point out that you do, in fact, have a soft, warm place to land. You always have, and you always will. The love and support of your friends and family helps to break your fall. Don't forget that.
All you have to do is trust them and yourself. Don't take their love for granted or treat them like your enemies.
Hell, stop treating yourself like your own enemy. Not cool. But I digress.
You always have a place to land. It might be rough, but you'll land and be just fine. I'm still here to write this thing, aren't I?
Jasper Fforde, in The Well of Lost Plots, wrote: "Failure concentrates the mind wonderfully. If you don't make mistakes, you're not trying hard enough."
You most definitely are trying hard enough, even though you don't see it.
There is such a thing as trying too hard, and, baby, you've got to ease up.
You're trying too hard to make something last that shouldn't last. He is not it. He's not good to you or for you.
Leave it. Leave him. Leave that town. Go back home to your soft place.
It'll save us many tears, panic attacks, terrible actions and words, and broken friendships.
We all make mistakes. Staying in this situation is a mistake. You'll see that later. You'll wish you had listened to your gut, and, then, you'll get out of it. Things will get better. It is going to be okay.
Ease up on yourself.
This is one of many mistakes. You'll get through it. You always do. Don't be afraid to muck things up. Many failures and falls are for the best and they are awesome.
With all my deepest love,
Future Self5 Comments