After a rough few months, I was very much ready to do some serious thinking and resetting. I was going through some things back in GA a few weeks ago, and I came across the letter my 8th grade teacher had us write to ourselves to open at graduation. Reading now… it meant so much more.
I needed to read it again. I need the reminder of where I was and how far I’ve come- but especially where 14 year old me wanted to me go.
Instead of going into details about the letter- I took pictures of a few parts. So let’s take it back to 14 year old me- I still rush through things `(like writing and checking my work). So please ignore the handwriting (which hasn’t changed much) and all the mistakes along the way.
I wrote this 10 years ago.
When I read this- I have mixed emotions-
I’m proud of myself for knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel and things would get better- that I would make them better. I even reminded myself to remember things I already conquered.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy- and sometimes I get upset and wish it was.
But then- some of what I wrote makes me sad- I can see and remember the scared, self-conscious, upset, bitter, and much more girl.
At this time, my feelings towards the outside world and diabetes had really come to the forefront of my thinking. I saw it everywhere. I was bitter about how people treated me and what they said. I was resentful for the comments and misunderstandings. The diabetes part was okay- but everyone else’s interaction… wasn’t.
I wish I had remembered the bit- the bit about my dad and it all hitting me later- because…. it did. I didn’t even grieve until college. Until I was open to and able to afford it (grants to attend counseling at UGA health services made this possible).
I made a lot of promises to myself and surprisingly kept a few. (Going to vet school was not one of those things- but things change right?) BUT! Heck yes to these promises! Again- I have mixed emotions… I remember getting told the statistics about me graduating because I had a disability- because of the family income- because I was in a single parent household. All of the “no” and “you can’t” comments became common things I heard. Things I struggled to ignore- you hear things again and again- and it gets etched in deeper and deeper. I don’t believe in the phrase “words will never hurt you.” They do- and it takes a long time to rub it away.
I did in fact graduate high school. I did get into UGA (I didn’t apply to the University of Iowa- but I did get into Iowa state). I did apply for as many scholarships as possible, and they made a huge difference for me.
I do often remember how “quiet” I used to be- how I let people walk all over me. I wouldn’t speak up, and when I did- I was always questioning everything- you could tell. I didn’t want to admit I had no idea what I was doing. I felt what I had to say didn’t matter or wouldn’t change anything around me. When I would speak up, it would be a shock to people around me and not taken well.
Working on this took longer- and it still does. I’m okay admitting I have no idea what I’m doing– but I still find myself hesitating to speak up if I’m not sure of myself- which I would never speak up back then- this is where research and articles come into play for me. They give me comfort. But- I’m definitely not quiet or anything like that anymore (but I’m still working on it). I now- if I’m passionate about it- have the tendency to not shut up about it or drop it.
I was however confident enough to know I would succeed- and YES I DID.
Reading this was a much needed reminder- I keep striving to do better and am so critical of myself. Revisiting 14 year old me- put things into perspective for how far I’ve come. As we grow up, we of course change and maybe don’t keep our promises- but I feel like I kept and acknowledged the core ones.
Do I make myself more promises? or keep using this as my guide? I guess we’ll see.
Sometimes I just want to drop everything and not bother- I just want it to be easy- but I’ve always known it wouldn’t be. I have always known and still know… that it’s worth it.
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