A letter to my 14 year old self
Part of my healing process was to write a letter - back to my 14 year old self. It was strange, daunting, raw and I cried.
I love you and all that you are, flaws and all, and so I need to share with you this - the greatest advice that I can give you is to "Respect and Love your SELF!"
It may read to you right now as being the strangest advice, and I understand why you would think that because I remember the days at school in class, on the school quad at lunch or even on the softball field how it was either yelled to me or secretly whispered – but I have heard it before and many times.
The accusation - ‘you love yourself’ or ‘you are a lovo’ was not the nicest thing to hear along with the name ‘thunder thighs’ (drumsticks) – which was yelled as I walked across the quad or prepared for the swim of my life at the pool, which just meant surviving the race and hoping the one-piece stayed put and kept everything in place! Maybe you are starting to hear it, and if so - it is none of your business what people think about you or your fantastic drumsticks! Who really cares about drummies anyway unless of course you are starving and rip mum’s roast apart and then you would be in BIG trouble! Just let me remind you that you need them and they support you!
Loving yourself means keeping your ‘tanks’ full, otherwise if they are empty, you cannot perform or be supportive to others, because when you are running on empty tanks – what can you possibly give anyhow? Self love and looking after yourself will help fill your tanks. Keep to your fitness routine and eat healthy food – you need it to keep you strong.
Remove all toxic thoughts, people and feelings from your life, as they do not serve your purpose. Your purpose is unknown to you until you are around 28, so just have fun and learn to love yourself more everyday - that is what my main message is to you, and it is important.
Make mistakes! Don’t be afraid of them and most importantly, own them and be accountable for them. Don’t brush them off - there is a lesson to learn always and the lessons matter! They become your ‘red light’ for future situations. Embrace them because once you understand how you tick and why; you realise they are mis-takes on your life. When you reach your mid 30’s, you have that ‘aha’ moment knowing they were mis-takes for a reason, and then you giggle and think maybe your life story should be on screen. So don’t attach yourself to anyone, anything or any lifestyle - that would be a mistake. You are not an attachment. You are not Velcro. Take risks!
Movies always have ‘takes’ and I have Sandra Bullock in mind with Diane Keaton – the perfect combination for the best seller & movie you write called "Pompoms, Red Wine, Love & Therapy".
So - behave in English for Mr Crowe and Mr Brown, because everything they teach you, you will need later on. It is all about the spelling and grammar!
Dismiss, disengage and detach yourself from anything or anyone who will hurt you or harm you, as it is not your place to focus on their fears & insecurities. My advice to you is to focus on just living in the moment, respecting yourself every day and facing what scares you the most. Challenge that, not someone’s behaviour – it is wasted energy and you will only be giving your power away – it is not worth it. And at the end of the day, are they respecting their self?
Hold onto those who are your biggest supporters and release the ones who aren't. You will find over time who is in your TRIBE, your dream team, they are the cool ones to hold onto. You will find that in your early 30’s, you become an observer of life and people and just hope that they are OK. It is just the way you look at life, valuing humanity and always looking for the greater good in people. But do not expect it all the time. You will be hurt by their actions and you can choose how to respond to it.
Your journey will teach you so much, it will entertain you and expose news, which you cannot grasp. Accept it & deal with it! Emotions will be hijacked and you will feel isolated, but you will be ok. Do not be afraid to ask for help, as there is nothing wrong with doing so.
Forgive all who hurt you, for if you do not, you are giving your power away. Forgiveness helps you heal, and it helps you to move on. Most importantly, forgive yourself, as it can help open your mind to new experiences. Living with a closed mind and heart from not forgiving yourself or others, will take you nowhere - just to ‘bitter land’ and that can eat a person from the inside out – it is a disease!
The risks and mis-takes in your life are your compass. They and the lessons you learn from them, will guide you. And for goodness sake, keep your ‘stuff’ in order - otherwise you could spend days searching for something important – like your hair brush! Oh, and never let anyone near your diaries!!!!
Don’t worry about the need to prove yourself to some softball coach. Those who believe in you, will coach you to perform. It is that simple. These are the coaches who you will look back on and smile, because they truly believed that you were good enough, and years later you will realise just how big the part was that they played, and the respect and gratitude you have for them - Coach Sue & Judy Cooper, Coach Walker, Coach Leddingham and Coach Leggo! Yes, you make State, 3 times!
B, I want you to know that softball is not everything in your world, and even though you may disagree right now, you will realise later in life how it moulded you into a strong person with discipline, determination, dedication, desire and drive and an almighty passion for life and what you can get out of it. I believe the most important thought we have about softball is that it is not all about winning. You will lose more games than you win, but most importantly it is how you react when you lose. What was your role in it and what did you learn? You will learn that a team with a humble attitude, the one which creates opportunities’, is much more than a team that tries to control every game. This is what you move towards - becoming humble. You have an opportunity to play in a team that has this attitude, and you will absorb it and embrace it. From this, you will become grateful, because you can play at a level that you only dreamed of – and this gives you the sense of gratitude towards Mum and Dad because they make sure it happens. Yes your ability was there along with the hard work you put in, but just remember who is supporting you the most - and I don't mean your drummies!!!
Your first love will bring heartache and it will hurt like you have never hurt before. No matter how hard you think about what you did wrong – better still, think about what you did right! Try to let go, and remember all that was good, as they were memories you created together. The rejection and fear of never seeing him will consume you for a while, but you have so much going on with softball, so remember this – when you see his next girlfriend at a party, please keep your mouth shut. Walk away when she approaches you - so you do not feel the punches to your face and the concussion in the next week – it is not a good feeling for you. Don’t be surprised when “ROCKY” becomes a new nickname – which of course compliments your drummies I guess!
I want you to know that even though he is not in your life for sometime, he will be back and it will be a friendship made on a unique connection and it is very special. It is one that can break in a second but mend in a heartbeat. You will love him for the rest of your life - unconditionally.
Stay true to your ‘SELF’ as it will be the best medicine for you because there is no room in your world to be anybody but your ‘SELF’. You are talented and gifted enough to get through this thing called life and you will stumble, trip and fall at times but do not ever look back or hold onto what you cannot have - think of it like ICE - it is cold, wet and burns after a while, so why would you want to hold onto anything that hurts you?
Get rid of it.
It is toxic.
It is not part of your plan.
Live with trust, not fear. Living with trust allows you to live with an open mind ‘that all is possible’, as opposed to ‘impossible’. Take the word and break it in half – IM POSSIBLE!
It is possible to be who ever you choose to be. I am not attaching this to a position in life, more-so the behaviour of one’s actions. 'I choose to VALUE ME and be respectful, honest, loyal, dedicated, disciplined, determined, creative etc.'
Having this thought will help you to obtain all that you desire, and if you choose to live this way, your goals become reality. The steps you take towards whatever goal it would be, seems possible, even to be a Parramatta Eels Cheerleader! Yes, you make it – drummies and all!
When living with fear, our behaviour is nothing more than ugly, in the sense of self-bullying and self-doubting, which lowers your esteem. When we act on fear, we act out with resentment, sadness and anger, and we try to control situations – yet we can never control situations, just our mind, so go with trust, and if there is something that is not working for you and you want it so badly – I want you to let it go because it is obviously not part of the plan. It is the ICE effect I wrote about before – trying to control a situation makes a person desperate – that is not healthy behaviour. Release!!!!
From 1997 your life will take a different path and one you never imagined, and it is here where you start to gain substance and thoughts of survival, because you feel that your compass has broken and you have no idea where you are going or who you are anymore. You feel like you have lost your identity. You will be tested physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and there will be days where you just want to give up. So you dig in a little harder and get a little smarter to beat the devil. You will spend days writing and reading – yes you love reading and you build your own library of self-help books. Two ladies and one very smart man become your best friends – even though they don't know it!
Oprah, Jewel and Dr Phil!
Through Oprah and her TV show, your self-pity starts turning into empathy for others who have problems bigger than yours, and you slowly start a new path, and your beautiful heart starts beating with hope. Jewel, a singer, soothes your soul. You read about her life and journey and realise you have 'belief' in common!
Throw in Dr Phil's sage advice with John Gray – Mars & Venus man, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Louise L Hay and you have powerful people & books, which guide you to cope and move towards a better life.
From 1996 to 2016 you fight to save your voice - to have a voice - and you study for a Degree and Diploma to build a new life – one which you attach yourself to wholeheartedly because you feel you have something to work towards after hearing a song on the radio – “Rome Wasn't Built In A Day.” Through grieving, soul searching and exploring, you will start to get your mojo back and realise that you had lost your spirit and you need to get it back – thus ROME!
There will be expectations that you will marry, settle down and have children, but the window closes. It was not part of the plan you realise, and yet children become a huge part of your life. Even though you yearn for a child, you realise that hanging onto it only hurts and so you let go of the ice!
Beautiful friends and family, especially Mum, Dad and Kylie, have your back and there will be a moment where a special young woman enters your life in 2006. Ashleigh becomes your Rory, as you are her Lorelei – and the bond is precious! You will realise her strengths and weaknesses as she will with you and together you create a much needed friendship built on love, trust, honesty, dancing, laughter, Will and Grace, Clinkers, Merlot and the Parramatta Eels! There will be rocky moments, but silence will not go more than 21 days for the connection is far too strong for you both to walk away. She is the daughter you have never had – and that is something to hold onto.
When you turn 45, your purpose in life hits you hard like a fast pitch and you start to create a foundation for Veterans & youth – they (the kids) will be your children and fill the love lost from not having your own.
I am not telling you how to get there, this destination - you need to figure it out for yourself because there are no shortcuts in life-I have already tried!
So for now, I will leave you this -
1. Do not expect anything – you are not owed anything. If you want it – work hard for it and CREATE IT!
2. Be grateful for what you have and don’t whine about what you don’t have.
3. Walk – it’s good for your soul, your fabulous drummies and it becomes a great think tank session!
4. Keep your manners because it is part of your DNA – do not forget them!
5. Remove all toxicity from your life – people, food, bad habits, bad thoughts and feelings etc.
6. Live. Intensely. Feeling. Everything. LIFE!
7.When something does not go your way – don’t kick yourself, it hurts and the bruises are ugly!
8.The only thing you can ever control is your mind – if you don’t like the way you are thinking – change it. It is that simple!
9. Don’t be afraid to speak about what you have experienced or know – your strong opinions have come from experiencing life, not reading about it.
10. Do not ever feel mis-understood – it is not your problem, they will figure it one day.
11. And remember – ‘It is none of your business what people think of you”
Love me! xxx
Look after the back and love your drummies.
Mum and dad are your biggest supporters!