Letters to my Past Self

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I got the idea for this post from Tabitha over at Arbitrary Scrawling...and thought it would be perfect for my Day 2 of #NationalLetterWritingMonth. 
{I could spend HOURS on this girl's blog!! She writes so beautifully and eloquently about so many things that I identify so well with! She is my inspiration for a lot of things, and I hope someday we can be friends for real!}

I have never done anything like this before. I kind of wish I could go back and read these letters to my past self. It would have been so great if someone could have told me these things at all of these ages! And if I ever have a daughter {and I really hope I do someday!} I am going to MAKE SURE she knows all of this, right from the start!

To Emily at Age 4

You are on your way to such a fun life on the stage! You have every single word of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Beauty and the Beast" memorized! Along with all of the songs from every Disney movie ever! {Thank you Disney Sing-A-Long videos!} This talent is really going to come in handy when you get bigger and start doing theatre and singing! Memorizing lines and music is going to be a snap for you!  

You are such a lovey-dovey little girl! Everyone at church loves you! You are the Pastor's Little Girl, and all of the grown-ups think you are the cutest thing...and of course you love that! Because all you ever want is to wear dresses that twirl, bows in your hair, and for everyone to tell you how pretty you look!

But your also a very safe and cautious child. Mom is going to try and put you in gymnastics, but you're only going to like the parts where you get to stay safe on the floor. Your teacher is going to put you up on the balance beam and tell you to put your arms out to the side. She'll say, "It's okay, I've got you!" But still you won't do it because you don't really trust that she is going to keep holding you. You'll keep your hands on hers just to be sure. Oh, Emily, trust your teachers! They are not going to let you fall! They are there to help you learn. Little do you know, you are going to struggle with trust your whole life...and you are always going to be afraid of falling. Overcome your fear NOW!

Future Emily

To Emily at Age 10

Grown-ups still love you. Your teachers over the past few years have loved you. You love learning, and you do so well in school! But other kids...well...you have had a very hard time connecting with them, haven't you? You've spent a lot of time playing by yourself.

See, you are a "self-sabotager". You won't understand this until many years later, but the reason you keep making, and then losing, friends is because you don't really feel that you are worthy of having a friend. You can really become bossy and controlling with the other girls because, even at your young age, you are afraid of losing control. You are already so sure that other people aren't going to like you, so you give them a REASON to not like you. I know. It doesn't make much sense does it?

And you're still afraid of falling. You won't try anything new. You won't jump on the trampoline or a bouncy house if someone else is on it. You won't climb anything that's too high off the ground. You won't go tubing on the lake with your cousins. Even while watching everyone else have so much fun doing these things, it doesn't matter to you. Because you're so sure it'll be too scary and you'll fall and get hurt. And as a result, other kids are going to think you aren't any fun.

You have bad anxiety, you will always have it, and it's okay! It's not your fault. People aren't going to understand why you do the things you do, and it's always going to seem like everyone just leaves you, but it's going to be okay! The people who matter will understand and help you through everything that feels too hard or too scary for you. And after a long while, you'll have real and genuine people in your life, that are truly going to stick around for the long haul, and see you through a lot of stuff!

Future Emily

To Emily at age 16

You know what makes you come alive. You know that dancing, singing, musical theatre, and show choir makes your world go round...but it's all so temporary. After the performances end, you feel like life is over for awhile, until the next thing starts.

School seems so pointless to you most of the time, and things are very, very hard for you there. Your brain doesn't function the same way as the other students, so you can't learn the way everyone expects you to. The problem is, your anxiety is so bad that you convince yourself that you won't be able to do it anyways, so why even try? Then you get angry with yourself, and you feel worse. Oh it's a viscious cycle that you'll be stuck in for a long time.

You like {most of} your teachers, and they seem to like you...although I think some of them think you can be kind of dramatic and needy. Which is certainly true to an extent...you DO need reaffirmation right now. Your worth comes from being accepted by those around you...but especially adults. The fact is you ARE more mature than other people your age, but you need the adults in your life to know that. And it's because you can't connect with people your age. But it's okay...because you're on a higher emotional plane than they are, and they can't stand it.

And this year, you are going to have major surgery that is going to change your life forever. It's going to take away any possibility of having a career in ballet. But you're going to look back and see that God had a bigger plan for you! You are going to instill the love of dance into your OWN students, and watch THEM excel! And teaching them is going to make you come alive more than anything else ever did! Now I know you're afraid you'll come through the surgery, but never be able to dance again AT ALL...but let me assure you that's a fear you don't need to have! You are going to find the world's greatest adult ballet class, with the world's greatest teacher, and make new friends that are going to enhance your life more than you could even imagine!

You're 16. You're so insecure. You question every little thing. But God's GOT YOU!

Future Emily

This was a really fun process!
I highly suggest trying this yourself at some point! It is surprisingly therapeutic!

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