Friday, January 18, 2013
As part of this week’s challenge for my Sunny Gals team I am supposed to write a letter to my future self.
Dear future Linda:
I am so proud of how far you’ve come! You’re an amazing woman, who has surmounted so many obstacles to try to live life to the fullest.
You grew up in a home filled with insecurities. Your mom was very insecure and passed that on to you. You were also a very overweight child since about first grade, and struggled with all the pressures and mean things that kids do to others who are not the norm. You got married to a man you fell in love with, just because he seemed to love you. You hadn’t had that from a guy before. He turned out to have a lot of problems and after 5 kids and 16 years of marriage you picked yourself up and went to college and started out on your own again. Still battling the same weight issues and a lot of the insecurities. But you started to change, little by little. You started to find out who you were. You learned that just because your mom was afraid of trying new things or going anywhere by herself, or lived in general fear all the time, you didn’t have to do the same anymore. You learned you could succeed in college with 5 young kids. You learned you could raise them by yourself. You started to learn how strong you were.
As the years passed, you continued to grow and know yourself as a person more and more with each passing year. But the weight struggles and some insecurities continued. You did a lot of caregiving to your mom for a number of years before she passed away, even though it was very difficult. You made her last years better. But through all those years of taking care of others and school and work you didn’t learn to really take care of yourself. Then, in the summer of 2009, a couple of months after your mom passed away, something started to change and grow in a new direction. Kids were grown and you weren’t having to be a caregiver anymore. You finally started to concentrate on yourself, little by little. You started to exercise just a little bit, and you started to eat a little better, and you started to lose weight. You had done this for brief periods before but it never lasted. But this time you kept moving forward. Then in November 2009 you found Sparkpeople and amazing support and resources. You’ve lost weight, and kept the majority off, for a few years. Longer than any other time in your life. You’ve consistently worked on exercising in various ways. You’ve had your ups and downs. You still didn’t quite reach your goal weight but you kept working on it. In your mid 50’s you started running and for the first time in your life you felt like an athlete. You did a lot of other things you never thought you’d do.
And now, future Linda, it’s been a number of years and you’ve come even further. You’ve continued to grow and change as a person. You’ve learned that we should never stop growing, for if we do we become stagnant and die. You’ve pushed through more challenges over the years. As you move forward into the ages that people consider “senior citizens” you realize that you don’t have to grow old according to the calendar. You can strive for new things. Maybe by the time you reach 65 you’ll run your first half marathon or marathon. Maybe you’ll get to try kayaking as you’ve wanted to do. You’ll be hiking further and further and doing backpacking trips. You’ll continue to experience life in a whole different way than in your 20’s or 30’s or 40’s. You’ll continue to reach for the stars and find new worlds to explore! Things you never thought possible before will open up to you. And you’ve learned to have true peace with yourself and to celebrate the good and the bad both in your life because they bring growth and continue to help you to go achieve things you never dreamed of.
Future self, I’m so proud of you for the life you’ve learned to live and for being the person you are.