To all my children, about All The Things:
Don’t rush it. This is not your last chance. This is not the best you can do. If you had to ask if you should settle, you shouldn’t. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If you wonder if you could have tried harder, you probably could.
If you are scared to do it, there might be a reason. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
That said, take a step back and look at your fear from across the room, like you’ve never met You before. What are you really afraid of? What is the worst that could happen if you faced your fear? What is the worst that can happen if you don’t? What will you miss out on because you think you aren’t enough of something? What will you endure because you decide that enough is good enough for you?
Your life will never balance. Hell, your checkbook, or whatever modern equivalent you now use, probably won’t.
Don’t shape your life around a future that may never arrive, around a dream that you might arrive at to find it doesn’t fit any more. Plan for your future, but don’t live for it. Live for you. The you that is here right now. That is the only You.
Respect this You. If someone doesn’t believe in You of the Now, let them go. Every one of us lives our own universe, with others just satellites in orbit around us. Remember that even people who love you still love themselves first. You cannot break someone by protecting You. But you can break You by letting your voice grow small in their shadow.
You need to be whole. Learn to say good-bye gently, and hello with warmth and hope.
The best choices in your life will still arrive with bags full of doubts and dirty laundry, and the worst choices might still bring you some of your life’s greatest gifts.
If it’s hard to decide, it’s because there isn’t a Right Answer. There is only Your Answer. And you will answer the question wrong. You might even fail. But you only lose if you give up.
Even though you will think no one cares, even though you might think there is no way out but Out, you will be wrong. Wrong is okay, and Wrong must happen every time you learn something new about yourself and your place in the world. Every morning that you wake up brings you closer to who you are meant to be, no matter how dark that one morning seems. Every second you spend on regret is a second squandered that could have been joy, or rest, or love.
No matter where I am or who You are, I will always love you. This is the love that I carry from my mother, and my step-mother, and my godmother, and grandmothers and their mothers. Maybe your dads and such, too, but they don’t weigh in on these matters with much clarity or purpose.
This is what will carry you when you are sure you cannot walk another step. I will carry you. We will carry you. You just have to let us in. And we will tell you that you are strong. That there is no way but forward. That every step is a step closer to the light of your life. That this light, whatever and whomever and wherever it may be, will shine from within you to illuminate your way. And that we are All just moments behind you, enthralled in your journey.
Because it is our journey, too. And because you are not the end of the road. You are a guide for the next unsure explorer. Forge ahead with the torch of love, unafraid and yet unsure, which is the best way to Be.
All Your Moms