Monday, November 12, 2007

Writing a Letter to Me

There is a song called: "Letter to Me" by Brad Paisley that I have now heard on the radio a few times. The first couple of times, I didn't listen real closely to the song but today I had the chance to listen to it in its entirety and the lyrics struck a chord with me. The song starts something like this:

If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at 17
First I'd prove it's me by saying look under your bed
There's a Skoal can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid
And then I'd say I know it's tough
When you break up after seven months
And yeah I know you really liked her and it just don't seem fair
All I can say is pain like that is fast and it's rare.

Anyway, after listening to it carefully, I asked myself... what would you say in a letter to your 17 year old self?

I'm not a song writer so instead of sounding good in song, I am writing a real letter. I think my letter would go something like this:

I know that you believe in mystery so this will be one of many for you to keep, this letter is coming from you, 11 years from now. But you say that this can not be true, well let me prove it to you. Right now you are trying to make a choice between the easy way out and following your heart. Let me tell you that your heart is right.

You are about to journey into a few scary yet highly rewarding years. He really is the one. He will love you until the end of time. Your love will pull the two of you through the hard times to come. You will be scared. You will question whether you did the right thing. Let me tell you now that it is all worth it in the end.

Let me tell you now, to live for today. Enjoy every step, every breath, every sunrise, every sunset. There will be a tomorrow but why throw away today? If you live for tomorrow, you will miss your son take his first steps and you will let his childhood pass by much to quickly. If you live for tomorrow, you will forget how lucky you are to have a loving husband. If you live for tomorrow, you will find it hard not to regret. However, remember that everything that happens makes you who you are. And looking in the mirror at this strong woman before me, I would not regret anything.

I will tell you, as you struggle through the next few years, that it is simply a training program for the struggles to come. It is a test of your strength. It is a test of your character. It is a test of your love. You will survive it to face the next challenge head on. Do not hesitate to take the bull by the horns at each pass and rely on your strengths to make the decisions you know are right.

Talk to those much older and wiser than you. Tuck away all of their wisdom so you can refer to it when you are my age. Ask the tough questions, you might just be rewarded before it's too late.

Oh, and would you start that journal back up and keep it going? I know it's hard sometimes to think of something to write each day, but it's something you will cherish.
I will see you some day when you are my age, looking in the mirror at your ever graying hair, wondering what tomorrow will bring and thinking about all the paths before you. The paths may not always be laid out in stone but thus far there has been a beautiful waterfall at the end.

I shall see you in 11 years.

Ok, so maybe this entry was a little on the strange side but I had fun writing it nonetheless. What would you say to your 17 year old self?

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