Dear 14 Year Old Row.

*I love this song by P!nk!  It’s amazing, with a  poignant message, and everyone should heed it.   I know that you can’t view this video on my blog, but PLEASE, watch it on YouTube.  It’s worth the time.  Trust me …

Many, many years ago I was 14 years old. I can see myself as if it were yesterday. The geeky girl with no fashion sense. I was a wallflower, so ordinary that I literally blended into the background, never really seeing anything special about myself. Never being one who called attention to myself, I was quiet for the most part until you got to know me. I had a mother who proclaimed me “ugly” and a “mistake.”

Fast forward to today … almost thirty years later … to remember all of this and to write it down brings tears to my eyes. I look in the mirror and try to convince myself that I have since healed that part of my past, but I see my inner 14 year old self and I feel that hurt all over again, reminding me that I’m not yet completely healed. If I could go back and talk to me, I think of all the words that I would love to say. I would like to write a letter now and tell that 14 year old girl all that I know now …
1984 - I was 15 in this picture.Dear 14 Year Old Row.,

Wow. What an amazing young girl you are. You can’t see it yet because you are slightly clouded by everything that’s happening and hurting you at this moment.

First of all, your mother is DEAD WRONG. DON’T believe her, Row. Please, plug your ears, and don’t listen! You are NOT a mistake, maybe unplanned, yes, but not a mistake. You were placed here on this Earth for a reason. You will make a difference in many lives. And as for being ugly … think twice about that. Look closely in the mirror. Look inward and you will see that you are far from being ugly. You WILL transform into a beautiful woman. Trust me on this one.

Study hard in school. Do your homework. You are a very smart girl with so much potential, you just lack direction and guidance. You will find that you are capable of , and so much smarter than you give yourself credit for. You know what you want to do, who you want to be … DO IT. Don’t let people talk you out of it. You’ve always known … your heart has been telling you for years now. Don’t be afraid to go away to college … it’ll be a great adventure. And college is cake!

The children you desire to have are amazing! Oh my God, are they ever beautiful and so amazing. You carry your children within you well, and you are a good mother … so different from your own. Better, stronger, wiser. You are close to your children, and your children trust you. Don’t ever question why you were blessed … just know that you are. Know that you were blessed with them for a very good reason … just know that YOU ARE the BEST mother for them.

Never stop moving. Keep running, cycling, exercising, working out. You will find workouts fuel you. Without it, you are not you. By the way, you look AMAZING in your 40s, than most do in their 20s – just so you know.
As for the boys that passed you up … too bad for them. Know that they were NOT the ones for you. There will be many that come and go, that break your heart (and you break some, too) … just know that they are all leading you to the love of your life. You WILL become the woman that will turn heads, and make those boys wish that they hadn’t passed you up. He’s awesome, by the way, your husband. Everything you ever wanted in a man/husband. You are a good wife, and you have a great relationship. Not perfect, but no relationship is ever perfect. 
Keep writing. You love writing. Make your lists, write down your dreams, all of your goals and aspirations. Keep sending your friends snail mail. Your words are so impactful, thoughtful, meaningful. Your written words come to life, and people love how you write with feeling and sincerity.
Be happy. Life has a tendency to weigh hard on your Libra scales, tipping them off balance at times. Just know that you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually you are “balanced” … You ARE stronger than you believe. You bounce back quickly, and get yourself back on track. Ride out the rough patches and believe that all will be well. Always look on the positive side, and watch how you react to things.
You ARE beautiful. I know it’s hard to see it now, but you are. Even at 14 you are beautiful, but we’re spending too much time comparing ourselves to people and girls who don’t matter. Yes, they’re beautiful, but so are you! When you believe it, you will see it … you will see YOU and just how gorgeous you are. We are all beautiful in our own way, Baby. We are not meant to look like everyone else. You are beautiful as you, and you only get better. Really.  I’m not kidding …
Believe in yourself. You are strong, smart, powerful, capable, beautiful. You ARE. No matter what anyone else tells you, YOU ARE. What they think doesn’t matter, as long as you believe in YOU.  You posess a mental toughness and a tenacity that is to be rivaled.  You are resilient!  You are a very tough cookie! Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t or that you can’t. Your mind is powerful, and I have seen it in action, taking you to places that you have never dared believe. Believe. You have to believe in something whole heartedly first before it can happen. ALWAYS BELIEVE in yourself!!!
Love yourself. Really. This is important. YOU matter. You are important; very important. But you have to love yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are loved, even if it’s only by you at that moment. As long as you can look into your own eyes and tell yourself that, you’re good. What everyone else thinks or believes means nothing as long as you have self-love, Baby.

Your life is good. You *really* have a very good life. You are happy, healthy, self-sufficient, self-motivated, goal oriented, independent, strong, beautiful, smart, funny … You are a good woman. Really, and you life is very, very good. You are very, very BLESSED!

Oh, Row., had I known all of these things then at 14, we would not have wasted so much time fretting and crying about it … But I know now that every thing, every person, every experience has all brought me to the place where we are at today. We are *exactly* who we are supposed to be, with the people who we are supposed to be with, doing what we are supposed to do … Know that. All of the answers that you seek are inside of you. You already know all of the answers. You already know.

Know that God does not make any mistakes.  You have a purpose.  You have meaning.  You have a reason.  And remember that God answers all prayers – be it yes, no, not yet, or I have something better in store for you.  Trust.

Live life. Have fun. We’re gonna be okay, really. I love you dearly, 14 year old Row. Row. Take care of us. I’ll see you when you get to me … 

Love, Row. at 422011


P.S. Don’t worry … you’ll be able to reach the pedals of any car that you choose.  You’ll be able to drive, okay?  Stop worrying about that!

One thought on “Dear 14 Year Old Row.

  1. Corina 2 February, 2011 / 07:49

    Row, this is the most perfect post I’ve ever read. You have so much wisdom, and I am proud to know you.

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