Day 24: Letter to My Younger Self

July 25, 2011

Dear Molly:

You are quite remarkable, you know.  Everyone around you sees it.  That sparkle in your eye…it was there the day you were born and is irrefutably the most beautiful part of you.


I know, though, that at 13 it might be hard for you to see it.  As bright as your spirit is, the world tells girls, especially girls with a wild and wonderful side, that how you look is more important than who you are.  But Molly, I’ve got a wonderful and powerful secret for you.  Anytime, you feel less than, ugly or somehow unworthy, you can (and I know this is hard to believe right now), listen to the inner voice inside of you that knows better.

I know, I know.  It’s easy for me to say that because I’m 50…and it looks like I’ve got it so together.  But truthfully, in many ways, I’m no different than you.  I have fears and doubts just like you.  Sometimes I get so angry and frustrated that I scream and shout and cry so hard I think my heart will burst, but the beauty of growing older and living a rich and often troubled life is the perspective it provides. “This too shall pass” was an expression your mom used to always say, and I didn’t quite understand what it meant until I got older and realized that the goal in life wasn’t always to be happy, but to be content.

Yeah…I’ve got news for you.  Life isn’t always easy or fun.  Sometimes it hurts so much you will feel like you want to scream and shout and run away.  The pain sometimes will be unbearable.  But you will survive, because that little inner voice is never fully gone.  She is just waiting for you when you are ready to rediscover her.

Boys?  Oh my God.  In a year or two you’ll discover the power of your own sexuality and how easy it is to use it to get the attention the outside world tells you, you need to be pretty, popular and happy.  But truth is, you already have everything you need to be whole.  Oh, but I forgot you already know…that inner voice reminds you of that every morning when you head out the door for your morning run.  When you are alone with the sunrise, the chilled morning air and the sound of your footsteps on autumn leaves, you hear her, talk to her and love her.   But once the school day starts and the noise of the ”should and ought to” voices take over, she gets tucked away.  That’s okay.  Running will be your sanctuary, the window in your day, when you hear her and your power, beauty and strength are celebrated.

There is much irony in writing this letter to you.  I want to tell you that you will be okay and that all the pain, fear and self-doubt you will feel and that will challenge who you are and at times in your life actually challenge your willingness to live, are going to lead you to your life’s calling, the wonder of parenthood and even your serving as role model to many, many girls your age now.  But I can’t.  No matter how much I want to protect you, warn you and tell you that you are beautiful, whole and powerful, this is something you will have to realize in your own time and in your own language.

Just know, Molly, that in those darkest moments, those most vulnerable moments, those moments when it’s hard to breathe and the ability to see outside the moment is blinded by self-doubt, you are not alone.  I’m waiting on the other side…the powerful you.  The woman you have become.  Empowered, beautiful and overwhelmingly grateful that the life you are creating is mine.

I love you, Molly.

9 thoughts on “Day 24: Letter to My Younger Self

  1. I type through tears. Once again you have jumped into my heart and head. You put my thoughts into words so elloquently.

    With 4 daughters, I watch them struggle every day. I want them to read this post. It is everything I want them to know. I know that they will not fully understand it yet but hopefully someday…..

    I wish they could see what the future will bring and be confident that it is all worth it. Those tough times are not the end of the world and on the other side is a wiser girl with more experience for the next big thing.

    You are a wise wondeful woman, Molly. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

  2. “Empowered, beautiful and overwhelmingly grateful that the life you are creating is mine.” Wow Molly, how fortunate I feel to have read these words of yours. Thank you. I am so thankful for the gift of your life crossing paths with ours. That being my sweet husband and three daughters -love to you from the fortunate 5.

  3. Thank you…this was simply, stunningly beautiful…such strength, compassion and wisdom that reaches into the very heart of the six year old, the thirteen year old, the twenty year old and so on in all of us. Thank you Molly for giving me something to share with my daughters, and something to savor for the young child, young woman, present self and future self in me. You are amazing!

  4. I really needed who you are now.. way back then. I certainly relate to your letter. Alas, it is never too late to learn from a teacher. ’86

    1. We all, you and me included, are doing within the moment, the best we can. It’s only in hindsight that we can see with backwards vision what we might have, could have or should have done. Love how life gives us an opportunity to do the might haves, the could haves and the should haves another chance in how we move forward.

  5. Molly I love reading your posts-each one leads to so many personal revelations. I am sending my oldest daughter her first care package. In it, I have filled a blank book with pictures, poems and letters-some for the days when she is on top of the world, reveling in who she is becoming, as well as days when she is over the top with pressure, wondering what she was thinking going 7 states away from home to follow her dream. One of the letters I have included is this one, with the words “Molly’s letter to herself….to me…to you” Thank you again for sharing this very touching letter full of wisdom and understanding. It is there for when she needs it. Another copy is on our refrigerator, just in case her sisters need it too 🙂

  6. Wanted to drop a remark and let you know your Rss feed is not working today. I tried including it to my Yahoo reader account and got absolutely nothing.

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