DAILY PROMPT: “Present-day you” meets “10-years-ago you” for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.
It’s cold this Saturday but I’m warm and toasty at home. The sun is shining outside but then I know that’s a pretty deceiving scene considering I need a sweater indoors. I’ve always been a “hot climate” person. After all, that’s what I had been raised in back home.
I had to take care of a few things for work this morning but found myself drifting here before handling any of the more serious things in life like my online class, maybe my art journal (finally on the multi-page layout I’ve been dying to start working on) and homework. (Not mine..)
Ten years ago, I was a new mother, marveling at this wonderful boy I was given in May.. I had already gone back to work, my mother was here helping me take care of my bundle of joy, and everything was DIFFERENT now that I had that other life depending upon me. Not just as a food source (I breastfed him until he was 2), but because I had another reason for existence. I had someone else to take care of, and that was all that mattered.
That would be quite an experience seeing me then even as it is an experience thinking back now after all that has happened. Were the guys at The Daily Post thinking of me, I wonder, when they thought up of this prompt? Of course not! But another one of those prompts from the universe that is just so apt. (Or as we would say in the vernacular, “swak na swak!” LOL)
I would sit across from the me 10 years ago who would be ordering a Skinny Decaf Cafe Au Lait. Present day me would be holding a cup of the latest sweet drink concoction, still skinny, but no longer Decaf. In an espresso store, I’d ask for a double shot. The me 10 years ago would have very short hair, thinner than I was now (the effects of having had to diet to keep my gestational diabetes during pregnancy at bay). I’d look tired but I’d be glowing… happy in a naive sort of way — but not harassed or haggard like most new mothers were. She would have a bigger smile than me, but my smile would come from deeper within than hers would. So shall we…
THE MOST CHALLENGING THING in your life will come nine years going forward — although you will think the worst would have come a year earlier. Lesson learned: Don’t ever think the worst has come to pass just because you thought your whole world fell apart at one juncture in your life. That might just not be the big explosion you thought it was — something worse might come along.
There will be some very painful lessons learned, but you will survive them a better person. That little boy you now cradle in your arms will be your anchor, and his love and devotion will hold you up. Hang on to that.. that is all you need and that is what will pull you through.
Do not ever doubt your strength. Your first challenge made you think you were not as strong as you thought you were. The second will prove to you that you are far more resilient and stronger than you ever thought possible. You will be surprised by your capacity for hate and forgiveness at the same time — and you will see you were wrong to think you weren’t as big a person as you actually are. Embrace who you are and never doubt yourself!
Trust your instincts and try not to give everyone so much benefit of the doubt. That will be your undoing. If your suspicions are aroused by some act or thing or other, act on it immediately. Do not sweep it under the rug. Sadly, those people who you thought were better than you are a notch below in reality. You give people too much credit. You should give YOURSELF more. Hang on to that and you might have an easier time weathering the storm than I did. But the good news is, you WILL make it through.
THE MOST REWARDING THING that will ever come your way just entered your life. That little guy will love you like no other. His devotion to you will be the envy of even his father. All the love you give and pour into that little person will come back to you in immeasurable amounts and unending waves. He is worth all the sacrifice you will ever find yourself making and I know you will never hesitate to put him first above everything and everyone else, even your own happiness.
At the end of it all, when the chaos quiets down, you will find that he is your best reward and the best thing that ever happened to you. And no matter that there will be times when you doubt that you are being a good mother, you will know later on that you gave it your 200%. You are a good mother and will always be one — and the best part of it is he knows it.
Ten years from now, you will realize that his entry into your world changed your life in more ways than you ever thought, not always for the better — but those changes were beyond your control. Not everyone and everything looks at his arrival the same way, and do not get angry with yourself for not having seen things unfold sooner. Everything happened for a reason, and the universe has a funny way of unveiling the truth. When that happens, hang on to the one truth that will forever hold you up — that young life that you gave birth to is the best thing that has happened to you. And that will make up for whatever else comes to try and steal the thunder from that gift.
THE MOST FUN THING you have to look forward to will be going to places you never thought you will ever go to.. Paris twice (with a side trip to Chartres on your own!), Brussels and Brugge, Orlando almost every other year with your little guy.. and don’t worry about missing ‘home’ because you will go home almost every year in the next 10 years.
In the grand scheme of things, you will have a good life in the next ten years. Even at its worst, the fact that you know where to run and what to do will make it look like just another one of those bumps in life, though in reality the earth swallowed you up and you almost drowned.
Never let go of who you are. Do not let the conventions of life force you to change who and what you are inside. Do not let others mold you to be a person that isn’t true to your real self. Do not wait for ten years to pass before you find yourself again — hang on to it because it is what will pull you through when others try to take your and your son’s happiness away. You’d be surprised at how tough a fighter you can be — but then you should already know you are a formidable opponent in any field — more so where your son’s happiness and future are concerned.
I’d be lying if I said you won’t have any regrets 10 years from now — because there will be many. But once all is said and done, you will still say you would have done it the same way if given the chance for a do-over. That little boy is all that matters. You wouldn’t be where I am today if others were not as heartless and selfish — I wouldn’t be smiling from across the table reassuring you you will be fine — if you weren’t able to overcome all that heartache and disappointment that came your way. Just remember when they do that even those who hurt you will bring something better into your life later on. Their selfishness will make you appreciate things in life a little differently, and will steer you in a different direction that isn’t all that bad after all.
Welcome the new things that come into your life. Hang on to the fearless person you have always been — even as those around you try to put YOU in shackles. You are one strong woman and you will see that work to your advantage at the worst of times. You will make it — because you are stronger than everyone thinks you are — stronger than even you think YOU are.