Last year on my birthday I wrote this letter to myself..
Dear 29 year old you:
Welcome to the follow up letter that changes everything.
Let's be honest...this year has been a marvelous mess. Let's re-cap in a less than eloquent way, shall we?
Soon after writing last year's letter, your husband left you. That's right. In the middle of what you thought was a pretty happy life, all hell broke loose and at a very rapid pace, a bag was packed and his truck drove down the driveway. It was cold and snowy outside and there was no more firewood to heat your house or your soul. You were alone in the house with the kids, but immediately you called in the troops. And like they always do, they came. They held you for one whole day while you sat lifeless on your couch and cried. There were moans from the pit of who you are and an aching that is indescribable. You were fully aware that this was the end of your marriage.
You only laid lifeless on that couch for one day.
And then you got up because you decided that you had a pretty amazing life to lead.
In the days that followed, things become a little hazy but to be honest, far less than the years before. Suddenly you felt a burden lifted and a shift in your home that was remarkable. There was sadness, sure. Especially in the eyes of your children, but over all, things were happy and really joyful.
In the Spring, just two months after Daniel left, you and Jeni took the kids to Disney for Mabel's Make-A-Wish trip and it literally changed your lives. It was there that you felt this overwhelming peace to just simply go on. You took one whole week to look at those kids and be with your sister with very little distraction. You felt connections there that run so deep they will never escape you. You sat by the pool and prayed over your life, like you usually do, and you felt God whisper, "the plan is still good."
You knew it was.
And excitement for what was to come overwhelmed you.
Somewhere inside the muck and the mess of the year, you decided to let your hair grow long and tap into your inner hippie. Good choice.
Everywhere you go, people tell you how great you look. How happy you seem.
Because of your journey in the couple years prior to year 28, you were prepared for everything that was thrown your way. You truly learned how to "just go with it."
This year you became quite the athlete once again but truly not by choice. Early in the year, Mabel started 'the cry' that lasted for days at a time. The only thing that would calm her was walking in the stroller. So you did. Sometimes multiple times a day you walked and ran around this small town and through the cemetery. You spent much time alone.
Laughing. Singing. Praying. And sometimes joining in the cry.
But it was oh so good for your soul.
You started Mabel on hospice during year 28 and it was the best choice you ever made. There were no appointments to attend. There was no searching left to do. There was far less heartache than before. This year you simply held your baby tight and danced your days away inside of your home. You looked at her with a knowing that life is oh so precious and you were able to wholly and fully enjoy her.
This year you let go of several dreams that you once had for your life and you did it with great resilience. You questioned your choices but ultimately knew that you were still guided by the hand of God and trusted His plan. This year you decided to let go of homeschooling and the big kids started public school. Overall they adjusted remarkably well. The structure for their days has been an incredible blessing in an otherwise uncertain time.
This year you went to concerts, had many girls' nights, fell out of love, fell into love, opened your heart to new adventure and opportunities, ate far too much chex mix, started cooking for your family again, grew close to your dad, chose coke over dr. pepper, lost weight, gained weight, learned several new legal terms, made new friends, forgave hurts, took a writing hiatus, planted flowers, became a single mom, traveled with your sister, snuggled, wore a lot of red lipstick, dyed your hair far less, kissed, cried, fought, and let go.
This year you became more of your true self.
You are more confident, more capable, more strong than ever before. You love deeper, forgive truer, sing louder, dance more, run further, and eat often.
You are the absolute happiest that you remember being right now, today.
Don't forget it. You deserve it.
29 year old you,
You are at the beginning of a whole new life. The whole world is at your fingertips and you can still do whatever it is that you want to do. This year could have easily been a time of mourning the life that you once led but you chose not to stay there. You chose, rather, to embrace it and be in THIS life. The one that was handed to you. The one that you're blessed with.
And because you did that please remember these things about yourself today:
You are happy. You are joyful. Your days are rich and full.
You are beautiful. You are capable of anything. You are healthy. You're a good mom. You are powerful. You are sexy. Your faith is strong. Your walk is steady. You love life. You embrace death. You are funny. You are wild. You are passionate. You are a good friend and a good sister. You are an amazing 29 who no longer wonders or worries about what is to come.
Because whatever lies ahead is sure to be great.
Here's to a year of happy.