Dear Courage, Essays & Thoughts, On Relationships

Dear Future

To the child I hope I have

There are going to be things in life that are beautiful. There will be the first greenery to pop up when the snow melts, the smell of fresh flowers and plants, new sheets on your bed, the new episode of your favorite TV show finally airing. There will be books that you enjoy, and books that change your life. There will be videos of cute animals you love, the feeling of finding your favorite places in the whole world, and getting rid of all the material you no longer need for a class you are no longer being forced to take. The first day it’s warm enough to go out without a jacket, and you sit around with your friends just soaking it up. Buying the perfect pair of sunglasses. Lying in bed with the windows open, the breeze floating in. This world will be filled with so much loveliness that sometimes you will feel like your heart is going to explode. I didn’t think that was a real feeling, my heart aching and wanting to explode. But it is. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I’m overwhelmed by it. You will experience that one day. Maybe it will be when your dog falls asleep on you, or your best friend writes you a beautiful card, or your significant other tells you why they love you. It might even be when your celebrity crush does something adorable. Who knows? The only guarantee is that you will feel it.

You will find an outlet for your creativity, and you will feel good about it. Maybe writing, or painting, or drawing, or singing, or playing the viola. There will be something that comes into your life and opens you up in entirely new ways. People will be interested, your family will support you. As long as your passion isn’t murder or theft, I will be behind you. I’ll tell you stories of your parents when we were younger, and your grandparents, too. I will share everything of myself so you feel like you are comfortable doing the same. You’ll get tired of my stories, I’m sure, but I’m going to tell you anyway. And you’re going to deal with it, because I created you.

But the beautiful things in life will be balanced by the ugly. It is a universal truth, and it is a painful one.

There will be bad days, when you feel sick but have to push through and get to class. You’ll get the flu or strep throat and feel like you want to die. One time, you will probably throw up and lose control of your body, and you will shit yourself. It’s heinous, but it’s true. I won’t love you any less. One day, we’ll even laugh about it. I’ll probably laugh about it first, but you’ll come around. You’ll have fights with friends and feel like you can never go back to that school; kids are mean, and they always will be. Sometimes you will be drawn to the wrong people, but just like my mother did for me, I will gently encourage you in the direction of the right ones. They’re out there, they just might be a bit harder to find.

There will be nights, when you’re a little older, that you will feel so depressed or anxious that you fall apart. I know those nights well. They are not the end of the world. When you’re having an anxiety attack and you think your heart is hurting, you may try to dig it out. You might wake up with claw marks on your chest, but not fully remember how they got there. Those will go away in a day or two, and you will be okay again. Know it is okay to break down, but it is crucial to let yourself come back together. Don’t get caught up in being sad. It feels good, in a twisted way, for a little while, but you cannot stay like that forever. You’ll have to learn when enough is enough and it’s time to keep moving forward. Don’t ever be ashamed of depression or anxiety. Do you know how many people deal with those things? Everyone. Do you know how many people take medication to help them deal with those things? Most. I do it, and I will be painfully honest with you about the low times in my life so you can see how I’ve healed and progressed. You will never be alone, even if you feel like it on occasion.

I hope with all that I am that you and I will be close. I hope you will let me be part of your life the way my parents have been part of mine. We will fight, and I will yell. You might even yell too. That will make me yell more, probably. But I already know I’m going to be so enchanted and in love with you. Everything can be overcome in some amount of time, in some way. And I will be here to help the process along. I always tell myself, “It won’t hurt forever.” When I got my ears pierced, or my first tattoo: it won’t hurt forever. I knew if I could just get past the initial pain, I would be happy with whatever I had done. But now I use it as a general mantra. Fights, break-ups, losing someone close to you. They won’t hurt forever. You will not hurt forever.

I can’t wait to meet you someday. I promise to give you a great name, not anything weird like Nectarine or Mercutio.

Love always,

Your mother

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