Dear 17 (there’s always more;)

img_8455Dear 17,

Those that die…  they don’t want to… not really …

They just don’t know what else to do…

It’s not that nobody is listening…

It’s that nobody hears…

Nobody has time to really absorb the impact, the compound effect of what’s happening…

The words are never clear, or never clear enough…

But, TRUST ME…

NONE of us want to die…

You’ll learn… it’s gets all too real…

Love YOU & who YOU are!

Love,

Me

PS ; THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO YOUR STORY!

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Dear 17, (starting and stopping)

Dear 17, (starting and stopping)courage is the absence of fear

You’ll start with the greatest excitement! It makes you tingle. IT’S FUN! You know what I’m talking about. You’ve always been this way. Like the day you got your driver’s license. No more taking the car when you shouldn’t. You got lucky on that one, you won’t always be so lucky.

Actually, one thing you should know… we create our own luck. I’m still learning that at 46.

Sooner or later, the excitement wears off…. Sometimes it’s the monotony, sometimes you think it’s too hard (that damn anxiety and self esteem thing again), or maybe someone doesn’t think your excitement is warranted and you take it to heart.

That’s when the trouble starts. You will let it get to you. It will devastate you. It will STEAL days from your life, DON’T LET IT!! I say that now, but I still let it. I still have to talk myself down. We’re just sensitive. It’s a good thing though, trust me.

It will take you years to understand how sensitive you are. You will accept it, but at the same time, take offense to anyone that tries to use it against you. Problem is, it’s too late once they step inside your space. You react. You can’t help it… It’s a defense mechanism. You learned all about it in college in one of your psych classes, there were plenty. Ha, I love psychology, you’ll see Enjoy the classes, pay attention just a little bit more, it helps you navigate through life more than you realize.

About the sensitive-reacting part, that’s gonna be a problem. That’s the stopping and starting catalyst!! Ugh, I wish I could help you learn… I’m still learning, guess I always will be. Aren’t we all?

Your biggest problem… you let your reaction to the outside world consume you. It changes you.

It changes your relationships.

It changes your thinking.

It changes your ability to think.

It changes your ability to function.

You basically shut down.

Kate, you need to get over that shit… you lose days of your life!! It’s NOT healthy. It’s toxic. I know it’s the anxiety. I wish we knew then what I know now. (sigh)

The shut down, that’s the anxiety. It interferes with your whole world. It’s ugly and it hurts. It’s heavy, the weight may not be visible, but it’s there and it’s real. When you finally figure out how to lift it off of you, you realize how heavy and consuming it actually is. You only realize the weight when you feel the weight lift. It won’t lift until you finally address it and do something about it. That’s the hard part. That takes strength.

courage - put you first

It’s ok to be afraid…

Strength isn’t something we have. It isn’t something that people are. Strength is something that people earn. Strong is something people become. And you will. You are so much stronger than you know. You will prove that to yourself over and over again. I will still take decades for you to really believe it though.

You see, at 17 you’re still learning who you are and what life is all about. Being a kid and growing up is the “learning” part, it takes years, even more than those arbitrary 18 years that precede “adulthood.”

Adulting is hard shit! Enjoy your youth. I wish you knew how much you need to enjoy your youth, we all do. We make it too serious, and it doesn’t have to be that way. I think we’d all be a lot healthier and happier if childhood wasn’t so serious. #lessons

Make life work for you, my dear. Hold your head up. Face your fears. Share your strengths. Share your wisdom. Help others. It will all help you be who you want to be.

only impossible journeyThe only things you cannot accomplish are the things you don’t attempt. #truth

We’ll chat again soon, promise.

Love,

Me

Dear 17 (that d@~m hip)

Dear 17, (that d@~m right hip)

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You WILL get stronger!

You laugh, but it bothers you. That’s a defense mechanism. You’ll learn more about that during college when you get your psych degree.

You jokingly say, “yea, that’s my birth defect” thinking that it doesn’t have an effect on you, it does. It has more of an effect than you think.

When your friend rides behind you biking when you’re in middle school and says, “Hey, are your legs different sizes?”

OMG, EMBARRASSING!!!!

What do you say, accept, yep, “that’s my birth defect hahaha”… not funny.

You know your legs are different because your hips were twisted at birth, as an OB RN/PED RN/Ped NP, I think it was probably hip dysphasia. Who knows, the documentation was different back then.

You know you had casts from your hips to your toes when you were 1  month old for the next 30 days of your life. Then, braces until we walked. I’m glad we don’t remember. The stories they tell seem like they’re talking about someone else, until we look at our legs… fullsizeoutput_45d2

You think it’s worse because you favor the left one.. gymnastics dominantly left legged, driving a stick shift, etc.

Oh, Sweetheart… it’s not the clutch that makes your leg bigger, it’s not the cartwheels and round offs either. It truly is a birth defect, and you need NOT be embarrassed about it. You hear me?

It will take a lot of pain, emotional and physical… “Mom, it hurts when I vacuum,” scoliosis, muscle spasms, pulled muscles, shoe lifts… oh, the shoe lifts (eye roll) that you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY REFUSE to wear on your shoes.

OH. HELL. NO! What will everyone think? I already can’t keep up. I WILL NOT put that on my shoe for everyone to see. I’ll suffer.

Ah, youth. We suffer either way. We would have suffered with the lift too, so tit for tat.

So, the back pain continues, the hip pain continues, and the stomach pain (whole different letter, and we’ll get to that) continues. Your self-esteem will plummet, you will think it’s your fought and you should do better, you know better but that doesn’t matter. You come from a good family. You have every advantage in the world. But do you? Really? Maybe. Maybe not. Only you know. But you don’t know. That’s the problem.

You are never sure; you just don’t know, you’re afraid to know… it freezes you. Literally. What if what you know is wrong? What if you don’t do the right thing? (Heartbreak of the future: Josh is the same way. It kills me. I feel it for us at 12, 17, 23, 27, 35, and I don’t want it to hold him back too. Maybe I can make a diff. Maybe I can take what I know now and help him.)

We know almost nothing at 17, that’s why I’m writing these letters. I have so much to say, and I’m not sure how to get it out. So, I’m writing… to you.

Back to that hip, it’s gonna get worse… you won’t realize it’s your hip for years. You will pull your groin muscle… oh… duh, you’re 17, you’ve already played most of your high school field hockey career. Wish I could tell you to play at Towson U. To not be afraid. To realize you were just as good as everyone else. Why would you think you weren’t? The leg. Your hip. Your back. Your self esteem. Your anxiety. It always comes back to the damn anxiety… and the anxiety stems from physical issues that aren’t being addressed (the hip is just one of them). That unknown and uncontrolled anxiety will cause decades of pain.

Here’s the good part, you will eventually figure it out… It takes a long f^@%ing time, excuse my French. We suffer long and hard as we figure it out. It takes years. Problems with our health and problems with Joshua’s health, intellect, development, it gets pretty bad. It almost destroys us, the family us. Know you are strong enough to get through it and be better for it. Trust me. Trust us. Trust you. 😉

I guess you realize this isn’t just about that right hip. I’m writing this to help you understand how BIG the LITTLE things can be. In my early adult years, there was a book that was published called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, some of the small stuff/ the emotional small stuff needs to be sweated. (I don’t think that’s really a word, but this is my letter, so it is now.) We need to quit telling people to suck it up. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Sometimes, you need to accept your weaknesses, your challenges, the imperfections that are perfectly normal and who you are.

So, understand, that the hip is gonna get worse, orthopods will say you have a “shallow acetabulum yhada yhada yhada…”. Nobody will really help until you find Dr. D, the osteopath that helps you. And, she helps you figure out it’s not just you, she helps you figure out a little about Josh too, it’s not just you mama. (Insert another eye roll, the mysteries take years to unravel.)

Know that hip will limit you. It will stop you. You will use it as an excuse. You won’t understand the problem for so many years, that “yea, haha, it’s just my birth defect” is really a lot more… the effects compound.

All of the things in our life that stay with us day to day compound. Hence, The Compound Effect. You’ll learn about that one over time too, life compounds in every possible way, count on it, and plan for it.

Stay tuned; I’ll fill you in a little at a time as we go along.

Love,

Me.

P.S. btw- We are all crooked, just in different ways, it’s not just you, my dear. Truth. 😉

I am strong

It could be me, but it’s my girl. Our girl. She’s amazing!

 

 

Dear 17, (re: sleep, adhd, anxiety, Mo)

DEAR 17

(RE: Sleep. ADHD. ANXIETY. Mo.)
fullsizeoutput_593Mo: I don’t know where or when I learned it, but I learned to just go to sleep.

Me: That’s it…. That’s the problem, I didn’t. I never learned how to go to sleep.

Mo: I know. I see it. I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. It’s great.

Me: If something is on my mind, my ADHD brain won’t shut down; I’m up for hours trying to figure it out or get it out. When I do go to sleep, my anxiety wakes me up worrying about what I need to do and I can’t go back to sleep worrying that I’ll forget to do it! It’s a VICIOUS CYCLE. I hate it. It’s a very unpleasant world to live in. It never goes away either. But, I do it, I deal with it, so yea, that…

 


I wish you could know that’s what it is. It would save so much of you. If only I could tell you that’s what all those sleepless nights are from. ADHD and Anxiety. Sorry. It’s gonna hurt for a while until you figure it out.

Oh, yea. Morgan. 🙂 He’s still here. There will be quite a hiatus, but it all works out in the end. Enjoy what you learn while you fly solo.

Truly though, we never do quite get over Morgan, good thing too. He takes damn good care of us. As you see by the convo above (btw- you’re 46 now). You and Morgan are the best of friends closer than any of your other friends, you are each other’s center. Damn good thing too, you won’t be able to live without him, and sometimes you’ll want to lock him out of the house. You will once or twice. But seriously, trust the bond.

If he wasn’t here, we would seriously fall part. Not just the heartache part, we’ve already lived that one, it will never be as hard as the first time, trust me. It hurts each time, but you’ll outgrow that part a little each time too. The heartache is livable; it’s the day to day taking care of one another that you won’t be able to live without. Not just because you love him, but because you need him. He fills in your blanks. He knows where to support that ‘effn ADHD and anxiety stuff. It really does interrupt our world. He’s there to catch us when we fall. He makes us look damn good.

Step back when you need to, but fight for that shit, you hear me! He’s willing to deal with all our BS, maybe because he knows he has his own. Don’t we all. You don’t even know yet, but you’ll learn. He’s ours, don’t let the next few years worry you too much. You can hold your own. You’ll get some support, take it. Enjoy life. You only live your 20s once. Oh, jeez, sorry, you have no idea what I’m talking about. Just don’t blink.

So, also, a little heads up on that ADHD and Anxiety thing… it’s gonna get in the way, it will take you a while to figure out, but you’ll still succeed, you don’t have a choice. None of us do, and somehow you figure that out. Follow your gut… most of the time, 😉

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be sure to fill you in more as it comes to me. I’ve got a few other things written down, not so sure I’m ready to share ALL THAT yet though. You know. It’s still pretty fresh for you right now.

As these thoughts come to me, I’m writing them down. I wish you could really read them. Who knows, maybe, someday you will and that’s why I’m sitting here writing them.

More soon.

Love you, Me.

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Some random Sunday out enjoying the Shore and some music.

 

Dear 17,

Dear 17,

You will have amazing kids, they need somebody like you. Not you at 17, but you later. The “you” you become. Let me tell you what I mean…

You are clueless. You will go through life that way… not your fault, we all do. We never know if our decisions are right until they are done.

At 17, you don’t even know what life is yet, really. This, all this life that you’re living at 17, it’s all just part of the lesson, part of learning what life is. All the heartaches, triumphs, anxiety, fears, growing pains, it’s all just a way for  you to learn. Learn how to not be quite so clueless.

One of the hardest lessons is learning HOW to make mistakes. Sure it seems easy, but trust me, there’s more to it. You see, those mistakes are the key to NOT being clueless. Without making those mistakes, you WILL be clueless forever. MAKE MISTAKES, lots of them, they are your lessons.

Follow that love of knowledge that you have, that love of helping and giving to others, that love of adventure, and especially whatever that instinct is you have to “try anything once” – that’s a youth thing and one you might not want to outgrow as quickly as I know you will.

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Don’t be afraid. 

What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. Won’t seem like it at the time, but truer truths will never be spoken.

Anything worth having is worth working for. At 17, I know you already say “anything worth having is worth fighting for”… wait until you really have to mean it. Watch what you fight for vs. what you work for. Hard work will get you further, and build your character. Fighting will do just the opposite. Always choose positivity over negativity. ALWAYS.

Anxiety WILL stop you. It will slow you down sometimes, and it will paralyze you others. It is actually going to change the course of your life. DEAL WITH IT. Once you figure it out, then, you can really deal with it, and really help others. Trust me on this one. 😉

The whole anxiety thing is going to take until your mid-30s for you to even recognize that it is the catalyst for so many of the interferences in your life. Suck it up, buttercup, and keep moving forward. It’s ok. It’s gonna piss you off. Figure out how to deal with it. Anything having is worth fighting for, right? 😉 Then, and only then, will you realize your path…

Greatness isn’t something you are born with (no matter what your bloodline).

Greatness is something you have to discover within yourself. You must be open to it. Seeking. Less afraid to make mistakes. (This is why you have to deal with that anxiety.) You’ll make enough mistakes to start to get over them, trust me. Mistakes are just lessons we haven’t mastered.

NEVER STOP SEEKING YOUR GREATNESS… this is the whole “wisdom with age” thing everyone speaks of. You’ll be in your 40s before you know this truth. Nine years of college and graduate studies will not do it for you, those years will aid you, but the struggle is yours alone.

I have so much more to tell you, but most of it you’re going to have to figure out on your own. DON’T let it scare you. The scared ones are the ones that rarely, if ever, find their greatness.

More later.

Love, Me. fullsizeoutput_38eb