Today is the start of my bi-annual 30-day blog blast. I figured to start it off with something to keep me a bit motivated through 2017. I’ve said it so many times: this last year has been an incredible year of growth. And to take the words from a movie I can’t get out of my head…

Every turn I take
Every trail I track
Is a choice I make
Now I can’t turn back
From the great unknown 
Where I go alone
Where I long to be

See her light up the night and the sea
She calls me
Yes, I know that I can go
There’s a moon in the sky
And the wind is behind me
Soon I’ll know
How far I’ll go

After this past year, I know I can go anywhere the moon and stars lead me. And if I could help my younger self this is how I would…

Dear Me,

I don’t beat around the bush with you and I’m not going to start now. I went back to read a lot of last year’s posts. I’m proud of how far you’ve come, even if there is so much more for you to learn and grow from. I’m hoping this year we continue to find happiness and peace.

Here are a few things you should learn quickly. It’ll stop a lot of heartache and pain and maybe your quality of life will be exceedingly better sooner rather than later.

First, I’m telling you this because I can tell the future. Ok, maybe not really but you really need to stop being a stubborn, hard-headed girl and just for once listen. I know the past hasn’t always been so kind to you but I swear to you that if you allow it to provide growth you will love the person you are. There is no replacement for what you’ve lost. But, know you don’t have to do it on your own. You have so many people who love and support you. That carefully constructed wall you have up? Ya, that thing needs to come down.

Second, forgive. Yourself and others. I don’t think we really have to worry about you forgiving others. You’re actually pretty good at that. Your heart wasn’t made to hate or loathe others. You also seem to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Ala q-tip, heat of the moment, and prom. Incidences where things went terribly wrong and you forgave. Now, show the same love that you showed others and forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Yes, you read that right. Everyone. Makes. Mistakes. You’re human, you are allotted those mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t be detrimental to yourself. Take what was done and learn from it. I’m telling you, if you can master this, oh my darling, how high you will soar.

Listen to the ones who actually care. Not the ones who pretend to care. You always had a problem with caring too much for everyone and not causing a fuss. Well, listen, cause a fuss. If there is something you are passionate about then go for it. People want to see you happy. Being happy doesn’t mean you accept whatever someone says to be true. If they tell you that you’re crazy, well guess what? You kinda are. But, you’re the right kind of crazy. The kind that you get addicted to. You know what I mean, the one where the kids jump on your back because they know they’re gonna get tousled in the snow as you try to carry them. Or the one where the volcano will explode and leave the kitchen a mess as y’all are laughing on the ground all because you put way too much baking soda. Good crazy. If people say you can do something like write book, trust them. Never be afraid to dream.

Next, don’t stop listening to your mom. Just because you are all grown up doesn’t mean you don’t need mom. Listen, you will always need mom. Call her. Don’t forget to call her. Your siblings are always talking to her. You should too. She knows you love her. But, sometimes it’s just nice to feel it. And when you do talk to her remember that she’s lived longer than you, had to take care of six children on her own and has seen every trick thrown at her from them. She knows when you hurt. She knows when you’re happy. When she tells you to tell her about your pneumonia when it happens, just tell her. Don’t wait until it’s over. Trust me, she will still whoop your behind.

Fifth on the list, never forget who you are. There will be a time where you lose yourself. It will come during a time where the whole world feels like it ended. Work will be rough. Home will be rough. You will hate everything about you. And everything about everyone else. You will fall away from the basics. You will walk away from God. You will hurt and hurt others. You will shut the door to every emotion known to man kind and walk a path you will struggle to get off of all because you forgot who you were. Don’t. Remember what makes you happy, who makes you happy. Remember your heart. Remember who you are.

Most importantly, go to God. Through everything. Big and small. Good and bad. Put your hand on your heart, feel the rhythm? It’s there because through your darkest hours God carried you. Even when you felt you were alone. Even when you were too afraid to open your eyes He was there. To shelter you. To guide you. To hold you. Even when you thought He was the cause of your heartache, He was there. All those times you pushed Him away, He just let you hit His chest and He held you. Go to Him in your darkest hour, during your most pressing need. Go to Him when you are promoted, or when you are nominated for an award. The most important relationship you will ever have is with Him.

As you go through this next 30 days, remember who you are and where God has brought you from. You do this blast to keep your mind at ease during the most difficult times of the year so let your writing bring you peace and healing. Don’t bottle things up and just take a deep breath and live for today. I am proud of who you are becoming. You need to learn to be proud of yourself too. My dear self, own who you are.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. And, always keep fighting.

With all of my love,