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 …
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.
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 …
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!