Today’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is a bit different, and it was a difficult one for me to write. I had to write a letter to myself — past, present, or future. I chose to write to myself at a point in my mid-twenties, when I had everything all figured out.
At least, that’s what I told myself back then.
Dear 20-something Me:
Right now, you see yourself as being so daring, so willing to take a risk. You think you’re brave because you’ve been parasailing and you’ve gone to Europe and you want to try skydiving. You talk about taking a year off and driving cross country with an old pop-up camper so you can write, write, write.
But face the fact, Kiddo: you’re never going to do it because deep down inside, you’re afraid. Afraid to be alone, afraid to take a risk, afraid of failing. You’re terrified of city driving, of getting lost, of dealing with a flat tire by yourself in the middle of nowhere.
It’s not just the cross-country trip that’s got you in a cold sweat. You put on a good show that fools a lot of people, but you’re afraid of everything. It’s just so easy to talk about your dreams and make your plans without ever following through; if you never actually try, you’ll never have to deal with failure. You’ll never have to accept defeat.
Stop letting yourself be guided by fear. You’re going to miss out on so much in life because you’re afraid to fail, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of being hurt.
Here’s the thing: You are going to fail, you are going to make mistakes, and you are going to get hurt. And you know what else you’re going to do? You’re going to survive.
Sure, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life. But a lot of things are going to go right, too.
So go on the date with the guy that you’re about to turn down because you think he’s out of your league. Okay, maybe you’re right and he’s setting you up as a joke, but maybe he thinks you’re out of his league. Take that chance.
Apply for that dream job instead of missing the opportunity because you think you’re not organized enough or smart enough. You’ll never know your limits if you don’t push them once in a while.
Finish writing something — anything!– instead of throwing it away at the halfway point because you worry that it’s no good. Stop worrying about rejection letters that you’ve never received because you’ve never had the courage to finish your work.
And Kiddo, I want you to listen to me on this one: in a few years, Depression is going to hit, and it’s going to hit hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure.
Understand that fear is okay. Letting fear control you is not.
You’re stronger than you know, and a lot more resilient. You’re going to survive the failures and the mistakes and the hurts, and you’re going to have a pretty good life with a lot of amazing people and breathtaking moments. It’s all going to work out if you just step back once in a while and take a minute or two to believe in yourself.
You’ve got this.