Today I feel so full that I couldn’t carry myself across a room without spilling over. I feel as confident as a springtime that knows there are no blizzards left in its sky. I am in love with all of the Phil Collins and George Michael songs I heard on the radio today. I am buzzing.
Hey, girl. I’m talking to you
The strong, lovely woman that just finished another mini marathon today, the kickass broad who is starting to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the insanely capable mother-to-be, the current mother who is beautiful and stunning and smart (I want both of you ladies to be my other mothers, but I'll accept that you're beacons of light and strength raising the next generation).
Yes, you. (Specifically you four). And also to any woman who has ever doubted herself, who has ever been doubted, who has ever for a single second believed that she is weaker than she should be. I have a message for the voice that second guesses, that doubts, that negates, that breaks you down:
Fuck you. Fuck you so bad.
I want to tell you all the things I would tell you if I knew that you would always hear them. If I could reach my fingers through the barbed wire that surrounds your harshest mind, and make it soft forever, this is what I would say to you:
I wish you all the love in the world, and I wish it from yourself.
I wish I could fill up your well of self-grace and make it some mumbo-jumbo version of the eternal fountain of youth. I hardly believe blindly, and if you were the true piece of junk that your nastiest inner voice tells you then I wouldn’t be here believing in you today.
I need you to know that I have forgotten your worst mistakes, and have continued to celebrate your greatest victories. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t been proud of you, that I haven’t felt priveleged to be in your corner.
Those long phone calls and late night chats have only left me with a feeling of love. Not of judgment, not of critique. I look back on all the tears we’ve shed together as some of the most important times of my life, and moments that I’ll treasure forever.
I wish I could tell you how much I admire you.
How you’ve continued despite adversity, despite challenges, despite the shitty mental hurdles that have begged you to fail. But you have arrived - here, in this moment - safely and so full of amazing intuition and wisdom. And I thank every molecule of the cosmos that you have.
I wish I could tell you that your hair has never been greasy.
I really, really wish I could tell you that your “greasy” hair has never left an oily stain in my memory. What has stuck in my mind, and what I’ll tell my grandchildren about, is your contagious smile, your impeccable style, your honest self. Your weirdness and the strange drunk nights we somehow stumbled through together.
I wish I could tell you, and that you’d believe me forever, when I say you are a capable and deserving woman with so much to offer. You are insightful and organized and, ugh, if I can say it without sounding so currently cliché, you are a badass bitch in the best way.
I have watched you, all of you, trudge through the past decade of adulthood. If I were to zoom out and look at the trajectory, your progress would be off the charts - you see the tiny ups and downs of every minute of every day, but I see the big picture: you are not who you were ten years ago.
I wish I could tell you how truly I believe that if I were to introduce current you to ten-years-ago-you, that the younger version of you would be in awe. And if I told baby you that she was looking at her future self? Forget about it. She would be shocked and amazed and so excited for herself. She’d feel like the shit. (Not like shit - like THE shit).
You are brave.
You’ve taken chances, faced bottom-of-the-barrel situations, dealt with so much resistance from your family and friends. Sometimes I have been the one to resist you (and I was wrong - hah! You proved me wrong, and I love it and I regret ever doubting you for a single moment and I owe you a million coffees to make up for it).
You have grown more than you’d ever believe mentally and emotionally. I’ve watched you untangle yourself from unhealthy relationships, endure the most difficult family stuff and jobs and classes of your life, and I’ve seen you do it all with a rainbow streaming out of your butt. I hate to hear you are struggling, or that you are sad or that you feel like you’re not making enough progress...
You are more yourself than I’ve ever known. You are more in tune with your body, with your mind, with your work/life balance than I’ve ever seen you be. Your experience has given you the amazing capacity for creative problem solving that you would never have had if it had not been for those difficult days, months, years.
I wish I could tell you I would take away those sad valleys in your life if I could - but only if I could preserve the lessons that they’ve embedded in your bones. You would not be the strong, smart, capable-ass woman that you are today without them.
I wish I could tell you how much my ego wants to take credit for all of it and say how proud I am of you for your work like you are some sort of weird child of mine. I struggle with saying that I’m proud of you because that indicates a sort of ownership that I cannot claim without sounding like a psychopath.
It has all been you.
I would have never stuck around if you weren’t kind, interesting, funny, intelligent. There is no one-sided relationship - I love you because you are worthy of love. Girl trust me - if I got through most of my twenties and still decided you were worth my time, then I guarantee you’re golden.
I wish I could tell you that I only look for apologies when you’ve done something truly terrible, like killed my pet fish on purpose or pooped in my favorite shoes. Even then, if you are genuine and you at least sound like you won’t do it again in the near future, I will forgive and half-forget. Other than that, you don’t need to apologize for taking your space when you need it. Whether that means taking some time away from talking to me constantly, or it means you need to take up an hour of conversational real estate to talk about what you’re going through - you can take the space, unapologetically.
I see you, and I want you to claim the space when you need it. It’s honestly better for all of us, because guess what? Sometimes this girl needs space too, and you’ve always been gracious enough to give it to me.
I wish I could tell you that you’re winning as a human being, and that you’d believe it. But, I do know this: on my own darkest days, it’s nearly impossible for me to believe anything, no matter who says it. I get so far into my own mind that I don’t even want to hear happy things about how capable I am and how not-greasy my hair has always been.
I wish that you could bookmark this post, print it out, tattoo it backwards on your face so that you could read it in the mirror every morning. Anything to make you realize, always, that you, even on your darkest days, are a light that holds steady in my heart. I wish I could jokingly but seriously but jokingly (but really, seriously) take your hand in mine and just say GIRL YOU ARE THE GIRLEST.
You are strong. You are capable. You are beautiful. You are enough.
I love you.