Eminem the philosopher. I think he got it right. Life is really unpredictable, isn’t it? That may qualify as an understatement, at least for me. Growing up I took so much for granted and I did not give much attention to the “how’s,” “what’s” and “why’s” of life. I see this in my grown children and it really drives me crazy. I often have to remind myself that they are no different than I was, so don’t judge too harshly. However, that’s the thing – I want them to be better than I was. I want their pathways to be smoother and their tough pills to swallow, a little more palatable than mine were. I’m a mom, that’s what I do.
I give advice and sometimes they take it and sometimes (usually) they don’t. They have to make their own decisions and live with the results – good or bad. Now, looking back, I can appreciate that, but then, not so much. I see them struggling. They prefer the security of home, but are itching to be on their own. They are hesitant and yes, a bit scared. I totally get it because I was once in their shoes. Headstrong, adventurous, curious and hopelessly optimistic…that was me then. I’m still headstrong and curious, but a bit less adventurous and optimistic. I think the word that I would now choose instead is “realistic”. I’ve learned a lot from my past and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything even with the bumps and bruises.
Recently I’ve seen this meme on Facebook:
Hold on. Those would be the two words that I would have written in that note to myself. They are also the two words that I tell to my older children.
When the world is your playground and your opportunities are plentiful, hold on;
When the lights seem to dim and your options are few, hold on;
When you can’t sleep at night because the butterflies of young love flutter in your heart, hold on;
When you can’t sleep because you are heart-broken and alone, hold on;
When the blessings are bountiful be grateful and hold on;
When your blessings are few and you are sure that God has forgotten you, hold on;
When you want to high-five yourself because you scored a great deal on a used car, hold on;
When you realize that there’s not enough money to go around and maybe you should have stuck with public transportation instead of buying that used car, hold on;
When you find “The One” – that perfect person that you want to spend your life with, hold on;
When the inevitable ups and downs of marriage cause you to question your sanity, hold on;
When your first child is born – the most perfect baby in the world – and you are consumed with a love that is greater than anything that you have ever known, hold on;
When only two years later that perfect baby is a not so perfect child that tearfully screams “I HATE YOU!”, hold on
When you finally save enough money to purchase a new house, hold on;
When your new house becomes an old, drafty, worn down money pit, hold on; and
When life takes you on this wonderful, heart stopping, amazing and even sometimes terrifying ride, hold on.
Admittedly, not every moment of this life, my life, has been good. In fact, some of it has been downright horrible. I think most of us can agree with that to some degree. There have been moments when I’ve been tempted to let go, throw in the towel and be done with it all. Those were my lowest points and thankfully it wasn’t the norm. However, I had no idea those days would come and if given the chance, I would alert my younger self to that fact. I would tell her that there are going to be a lot more sweet spots than dark days and sometimes you are going to have to look for them. Just. Hold. On.
*This post was written in response to a blog prompt “If you could write a note to your younger self…” given by Cynthia at Centering Down. If you would like to read other posts by my fellow bloggers, please click here.