Dear self of 2016,
First and foremost, you are doing a great job.
You spend countless nights tossing and turning, worrying that you aren’t doing enough, that you aren’t making enough, that you simply aren’t…enough. You worry that the day flew by and that you never stopped to be in it…to relish in it. You worry that your babies are growing up and that the one job you have ever truly loved with all your heart-being a mother-, will be over soon. You worry that you yelled too much and loved too little. You worry that you failed. Again. And again. And again.
You worry that you aren’t where you “thought you would be” in life. That at 33, you would have been bigger and better and more impressive. That you would be this perfect package of patient mother, skinny wife and impressive professional. You long for the days of the past. “If only” you think. “If only I could go back to being first married…to being pregnant…to having babies…to having toddlers…to having…”. You are haunted by “if only’s”. Your stomach lurches and your heart races at the idea that you are getting older. That your kids are getting older. That your parents are getting older. You wonder where the time went. And then you hate yourself for falling into that trap. Somehow acknowledging it makes it real. You know where the time went. It went to long walks and snuggles and diapers and stomach viruses and kisses and absolutely perfect moments and absolutely horrible moments and zoo trips and beach trips, and pediatrician visits, and car rides and silly songs and silly faces and nighttime routines and bath time. It went to changing seasons and to holidays. Those moments that you miss so dearly and that you long for, those moments are LIFE. And right now Anna? THIS is life. And while you roll around in your bed at night, worrying about what was and what will be, you are literally, literally fucking missing what IS. What IS RIGHT NOW.
So hear me. You are doing a good job. You are enjoying the day. You are fun and spontaneous and silly with your children in a way that your mother was. And her mother was. You are working out, you are eating well, you are enjoying your children and loving them and loving your husband. More than anything, you are trying. You are putting in the work. And while you may suffer at the surface with depression and anxiety and fear, in the deepest corners of your body, you are genuinely, profoundly happy. You are doing well at work. And if you aren’t where you thought you would be, that is fucking OK. Because there are no rules about where you “should be”. And if there are, they are stupid and bullshit. You are where you are-where you are supposed to be-doing what you are doing and on some level, what you are supposed to be doing. Believe that. Be ok with that. More than anything Anna, be here now. Be here now. Be here in the good, be here in the bad, be here in the “I won’t survive this” as much as you are here in the “I’ve never been happier”. Because this right here is life. And it’s yours to live.
You are enough.