Letter #2: “rejoice in it all and let the mystery be.”
Letters to a Young Woman Project.
Women over the age of 40 write a letter to their younger selves.
My mom writes to her 18 year-old self a few months before her wedding with my dad. They celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Dear 18-year-old me,
It is March, you have just turned 18 years old and in three months you will be getting married. I can still see you sitting in the church pew filled with love and anticipation as you admire how your engagement ring sparkles in the light coming from the stained-glass windows. You think to yourself that this must be the most beautiful ring in the world. You wanted so much to be grown, to be free from adults telling you what to do and think, but you were also so young, so innocent, so sheltered and the reality of life was about to reveal itself with all it’s light and shadows.
I would like to be able to hold you and let you know that life will not always go as you expect or wish it to. I would have told you to be at peace with what life brings you. Understanding the impermanence of life and situations will make the journey easier. There will be heartache and disappointments, but there will also be such beautiful, loving, insightful and amazing moments. Life is full of mysteries, so rejoice in it all and let the mystery be.
I would counsel you to not listen to those who will try to plant seeds of doubt and insecurities. You will need to learn on your own to trust yourself. Do not let anyone silence your voice and never change to please anyone but yourself. Nobody else can live for you, dream for you, or love for you. It is your life to claim. Taking the time to know who you truly are and trusting your intuition takes time, attention, and courage, but it will be worth it. You must not shy away from the moments of fear and vulnerability for if you allow them in, these will be moments that truly shape you.
In four years, you will be amazed at the pure unconditional love you will feel for the child you will bring into the world. She will break open your soul and help heal the part of you that felt misunderstood and stifled by your upbringing. By allowing her the freedom to be herself and explore her own way in life, you will also gain much. It will be a great surprise to you when you realize that you have learned as much from her as she from you.
As I write this letter it is once again March and in three months you will be celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary. What a beautiful surprise! You will have shared all the joys and challenges of growing old with the one you love and that has always loved and accepted you for who you are. And sometimes you will still catch yourself admiring the sparkle from your ring and be filled with love.
So, remember to breathe and enjoy this wonderful adventure called…Life.
Love, Ivonne, age 68
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