The wedding is finally here. It’s really here! Kealoha and I are officially getting hitched. Hotel is booked. Flowers ordered. Food set. Dress and all that jazz ready to go. Friends and family coming in to town from all over Michigan, New York, and Florida. We are so excited. Of course, to say that this makes me a little emotional and weepy is an understatement. Last night I was crying while watching Chopped. Granted, I cry while watching Chopped a lot, but this time there were big tears. Sometimes being happy is hard to handle.
I’ve been thinking about the blog I wanted to write before the wedding. Most of what I want to say about Kealoha, I’ve already said.
What I want to do instead, then, is talk to my former self, my self from two and a half years ago. If I knew how this story would end, I could have told her so many things. Of course, you can’t know the future…you just have to believe there is one. So. I write this letter to who I was two and a half years ago, but maybe I’m also writing it to some of you. I’ve had comments from readers and friends going through things I went through. So. This is to me and to you.
Dear Tanya of 2009,
Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Know that with choosing to start over, you are choosing a hard road, a sometimes lonely road, but it is the right road. Stand up for yourself. You don’t need to justify your choices to anyone or defend. Just be quietly strong. Others will come around to seeing why you made the choices you did.
Believe the future will be better. You will find yourself one day with a broken foot. You will collapse on the floor of your kitchen and you will cry and sob at the sheer weight of your losses and your fear. You will have no money. You will be afraid of losing your teaching job and your narration gigs. You will be terrified of losing you children. You will not be able to walk on your own. When your sister says, lovingly, that at least thing can’t get any worse…laugh…and believe her. From that moment on, you will be stronger. You will be new. You will emerge, a Phoenix.
Fight for what you want. You will do surprising things. You will buy a house because you are determined and you don’t accept people telling you ‘no’ anymore. You will teach and give your heart to your students. They will appreciate you for who you are.
You will be lonely. You will cry. It’s okay. You will need to be on your own for awhile….because you will need to remember who you are. You can only remember who you are when you are quiet and there is no one around to distract you.
You will screw up. You will make bad choices. You will go on bad dates and try to convince yourself that this is what you deserve. Then you will wise up, and your new strength will tell you to move on. You will not make those mistakes again.
You will open your heart. You will learn to love a friend. Your kids will thrive. Your new home will be warm and inviting. There will be laughter again. Your confidence will grow. You will still worry about money and choices and whether you are a good mother to your kids, a good partner to your fiancé. It’s okay. It’s good to worry about these things.
And when you are ready, when you have finally stopped being angry about the past and when you can be strong in the choices you’ve made…then…then you will wear a 1950s dress and your friends and family will watch you marry the man who has been in your life for 15 years, but always on the outside of it…until time and experience and living allowed you to see him for the first time.
No matter how bad things get, believe things will change. Things will change, because you have made them change. You did not leave it up to Fate or wishful thinking. Things will change because you willed it to happen. Things do change. For the better. You can do this.
Maybe I couldn’t tell myself these things then, but I think somehow I believed them anyway.
So. A letter to myself…but also to others of you out there. Maybe the whole foot thing won’t apply to you, but it might if you think of it as a metaphor.
Cheers, Tanya of 2011