I was not a fan of life in my twenties. In fact, now that I can look back at them, my twenties were the worst years of my life. They were a time that I was overly consumed with being who everyone else wanted me to be. I was hyper focused on being perfect and making sure that everyone I met was convinced I knew it all and I didn’t need to ask any questions. In my twenties, I knew exactly what my life was going to be and I had everything mapped out to the day I would die . . .
Dear 20-something Mo,
There is no possible way to fathom what your life will hold for you! You will ride a world class roller coaster that takes you in directions you never even knew existed! You can choose to buckle your safety harness or not, because you see, the coaster is starting that slow creep up the first mount, whether you are ready for it or not. Hold on tight! because you get to that first peak and . . . . . .
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Away we go . . . . . . .and there’s no looking back!!
First of all, give your parents a break! Your dad loves you so much! His life is hard and he isn’t always able to show you how much he loves you, but he does, and unfortunately, you won’t realize this for years after he’s gone. And your mom . . .she isn’t always right, but she’s doing the best she can with what she knows. You get your courage and faith from her – two gifts that will serve you incredibly well as this roller coaster of life continues!
Stop planning out every detail of your future, because you are not going to marry Steven and you won’t have 10 kids and that vacation home in Ireland is going to have to wait a lot longer than you had hoped! You have more important things to do and God is in charge of your life. Thank goodness you realize that little ditty sooner rather than later!
Appreciate and love who you are right now, in this moment. You’re more beautiful than you thought. You’re more capable than you imagined. And you are going to accomplish major things, according to you and The One guiding you along the way. No other opinions matter.
You are so much stronger than you could ever fathom! When others tell you that you give up too soon, slip a pair of your shoes on their feet and tell them to start walking. They probably won’t make it to the next block. You are courageous. You are powerful. You are resilient! You are one of a kind!
There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. You learn this lesson on a cold January night in 1998. It is the first night you are alone in your new home. You make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and curl up on the couch with a blanket. The rest of the world is out celebrating the arrival of the new year. You sit in silence, looking at the walls that surround you and realize you have people who love you, a beautiful home you worked your ass off to purchase, a job you love, enough food to keep you healthy and strong, and a faith noone can shatter.
I’m not going to lie to you, you have an incredibly rocky road ahead of you when it comes to your health. Doctors will be baffled by you. They’ll think they know what’s best for you . . . .be patient with them because they too are doing the best they can with what they know. You are a natural born teacher. Teach them. With the same determination you teach the thousands of students who pass through your tutelage. And remember that you don’t know everything either. It’s going to have to be a team effort. You’re a team player. And you’re going to be just fine. Your faith is your number one asset! When you get tired, you know how to hand it all over to The One and let Him take it.
You’re pretty boisterous and loud right now, but gradually, you learn that LISTENING becomes one of your best characteristics. You don’t always need to know exactly what to say. Just listening is good enough most times. And your sense of gratitude grows each day. You’ll learn that even in the most difficult of challenges, you can find something for which to be grateful.
Finally, show the same kindness you offer others to yourself. You are beyond incredible. You are a child of God and God “don’t make junk.”