Today is my 35th birthday. I love birthdays therefore I love today! My mum posted this photo of me last night on Facebook. Ever since I saw it I haven’t been able to get a few things off my mind, so here’s a letter to baby-me.
Dear Baby Me,
Hi there, cutie. Happy birthday. Today we’re 35 years old (or young, depending on how you look at it!) Can you believe we got to 35? Amazing! There’s a few things I would love you know, and wished I could have imparted into your soul while we were this age, but I know that everything we have gone through has made us who we are.
First, look at that double chin! For years now I have warred with the fact that when I take photos I have a double chin. I put it down to the fact that we need to work on it, and try to rid of it. If I’d remembered that I’d had it at such a young age I would have started embracing it earlier. It appears it’s a part of us, and something I shouldn’t try to change! It’s cute at this age, why shouldn’t it be cute at 35?
Second, that hair! We were born with hair of the orange/red variety. I believe on our birth certificate it states Strawberry Blond. Now, growing up you will be teased for having this hair colour, and we will hate it. Hate it with a passion. We will want to dye it as we get into our teens, but mum will be relentless that our hair is ‘beautiful’ and that people ‘pay lots of money to get our hair colour’. I wish I could have told you that when we are older, and especially when we are 35, we will love our hair colour. As an adult we would have experimented with bright red, and blond, and other colours in between, but by the time we get to our 35th birthday we will be sporting a very short hair style in our very natural colour. I would tell you not to be afraid of the colour because it will darken and won’t be so ‘orange’. It will take us until we are 34 to actually be courageous enough to chop it all off, but it will be one of the best hair decisions we ever make. It will give us so much more confidence, so hold tight, we’ll get there.
Third- bullies. Growing up we are going to face some harsh critics in life. We will be called all sorts of names, for no reason, and they will hurt our feelings. We will feel lonely, and chant ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’ and we won’t really believe it, because bullies suck, and they are mean. By the time we are 35 we will understand that bullies are just insecure, ignorant people who need no attention paid to them. They are often lonelier than the person they are picking on. So just know, that we will have come out of it so much stronger. Being brave is going to get us through it all.
Fourth-family. We will grow up living in a variety of places, in fact we will end up going to a lot of schools, and by the time we are 35 we will be back in school!!! Our family will be small, and although we will fight with our brother, we will love each other, sincerely, and forever. He will always have your back, and no matter how many times you yell and scream at each other, in the end, he’s your brother, and always will be. Mum will work hard for us, and will have some tough times too, but she will always be there for us. We must remember to tell her we love her, heaps of times, so she remembers she is valued. I’m fairly sure we took care of that one alright. Growing up, we will wish we had a sister. Don’t worry. By the time we get into our teens we’ll discover a wonderful surprise. We have a sister!!!! Although she will come into our life later, we will still have loads of time to get to know her. She’s a lot like us, even if she didn’t grow up with us!
Fifth – Love. Now, love. There will be many times when we don’t love ourselves enough, and we will be lonely. We will be friends with many people, and especially with the boys. Friends. We will spend a lot of time fretting over why we don’t have a boyfriend when everyone else does, and I just wish I could have implanted in your brain that it will be okay. You don’t need a boy to complete you! You will be amazing without one, and being friends is so much easier! Also, by the time you are 35, true love will have come into your life a couple of times! You will love many times, and have love in your heart, for many. You will learn valuable lessons about love and yourself, and finally, by the time you are 25, you will meet a wonderful man, who you will marry and who will love you for everything you are, not who you want to be. He will love all your curves, all your quirks, and all of you. He will help you to create three beautiful children, who often mirror who we were when we were kids! An emotion that we will only discover closer to 35 is that we are valuable, and self-loving of us is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It will take us a little rough road to get there, but we stayed strong, and we made it!
Sixth – Kids. You will grow up constantly loving and wanting children. There will be many times in our life we will wish for kids, and it won’t happen. It will devastate us, but it will make us resilient! I would tell you, there is a plan. There is always a plan, and kids will enter our life when they are wanted the most. Lots of surprises are in store, and when we are 35, we’ll still be surprised every day! We will question if we are a good mum, often, but then when we receive our 35th birthday card, our 6year old will write in it ‘I love you mum and I like you being my mum’. See, we will do many things right! We just need to chill.
Seventh – self image. From this photo you can see we aren’t ‘petite’. It will haunt us for a very long time. We will never be the same as everyone else, and we will feel like a failure, often. If I could, I would have implanted the wisdom to know, that by the time we reach our 35th birthday we will have been through many transformations, and will be more in control of how we feel about us. We will have done many thing we didn’t think possible, including running two half marathons when we lived overseas! There will be many times we can prove to ourselves that if we will it, we can do it. Committing will help us to achieve anything. We should have relaxed during our middle years, but now we are older, it has made us stronger, so we can praise those moments, and know they were all a part of our plan. Depression and anxiety will come into our life, but we will fight it, and it will be a battle we will win. Although we will constantly be fighting, we will be stronger than we ever thought, and the dark roads that don’t seem to be there, will slowly light the way to a better place.
So, baby-me. Just know, that our life will be filled with loss and laughter, and strength and adversity. You will be closed off to many people, and it may come across as snobbish, but understand, that every day is a step closer to be the sincere self that you are. Remember, as long as we are sincere to who we are, and those we love, we will be real. I love this picture of us, as it shows a child who is ready to take on the world, and the world, we will take on. We will not be perfect, but we will be who we are. Be strong, and remember, the love starts with us. Positives outshine the negatives, and this year, as throughout our life, we will shine brighter than the sparkliest gem! All those that come into our life will come for a reason. They may stay a short time, they may stay a while, but they will be valuable, and they will teach us many things. Keep learning, keep being, and keep living. The best is yet to come! Live, Love, Learn.
Lots of love,
35 year old, me.