Dear Aly (To My Younger Self)
As I sit here and write this letter to you, I am 26 years old.
I know you will find that hard to believe... You didn't think you'd make it this far. But you are so much more resilient than you think. And so much stronger than you feel.
I wish I could reach back to you and shield you from the traumas you've faced. Or shelter you from that excruciating pain, but I cannot. I remember it vividly, though it's more of a whisper now.
I can promise you, however, that you pull through and- despite everything- you make it out alive.
I know that you battle with the belief that maybe you deserved these traumas. Maybe you're a bad person and ultimately the one at fault. And I want you to know that this belief couldn't be farther from the truth. You have so much love to give the world... Leave some of it for your self.
I won't tell you that there's a silver lining. I don't subscribe to the belief that everything happens for a reason. I don't believe that every event is a part of your master plan. But what I know with every fiber of my being is that how you fight your way out of that darkness has transformed you into such a beautiful person who helps to pave the way for others. You use your experiences as an armor to help connect and empathize with others... And this is your superpower. This is your gift.
Some people will tell you that your sensitivity is a fault. They are wrong. Your sensitivity is what makes you who you are, and who you are is loving, and kind, and strong and passionate.
I know you long desperately to belong to a 'real' family and I regret to inform you that this hasn't really changed. But you find your chosen family. No, it's not the same, but in some ways, it's much more beautiful. You have people who believe in you and support you and love you not because they share your DNA but because they love exactly who you are.
I know when you look forward, you see a void, and so I will help by illustrating our storybook:
You have the most beautiful baby boy, and he is the love of your life. He's filled every void and space in your heart until you feel you may burst with love. The way he looks at you is something out of a fairy tale. To him, you are magic.
You are an artist who designs stationery tools to help people prioritize what matters most- their mental health. You spend your days dreaming and creating and connecting with the community. It's where we're meant to be.
It's funny, I know you'll initially be surprised by this. You've been conditioned into thinking you have to work in management or as a teacher or something more "secure"... But isn't this the path you've always been meant to take?
Remember when you started the Kindy-One club in Grade 2, and facilitated a recess activity program for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students? You used to get into trouble for spending your allowance on prizes for them.
Or in Grade 3 when you started making- and selling- seed bead animals? You facilitated workshops for the Kindergarten students on how to make them.
What about Grades 6 thru 7 when you made and sold your own beaded jewelry to students and teachers at school?
You've always loved crafting and drawing and creating.
You've always loved paving the way for others to succeed.
And that's exactly what you're doing today.
I know right now it hurts like hell, and that you simply want the pain to stop. I know you feel unlovable and completely alone. And I know that if I were there with you today, you would beg me to make it stop.
But you are going to get through this impossible chapter that life has thrown you.
Nobody deserves to endure these hardships that you are facing, but you pull through. And that, my love, is magic.
I love you forever,
Aly & your beautiful baby, Blue