Monday, April 28, 2014

Dear 16-Year-Old Me... #HAWMC

Reach for the moon: Even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars. It's is ALWAYS okay for you to want better for yourself. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't deserve it. You and I both know that deserving comes from earning and earning comes from hard work. Repetitive work. Work that is going to hurt your feelings and break your heart. But you know it will make you stronger. If you can learn how to hear the criticism and use their words to build upon, you can eventually make them eat those words.

Realize that though it feels like that page is all that stand between your naked body and your audience, know that image you have in your head isn't true. They don't see you... they see the page. The page has its own life. And if you want that life to be long and beautiful, then who are we to let our feelings get in the way? This is for the good of the page, like for the good of a child. You must nurture your talents so you will be able to nurture those projects, and pick them up when they've fallen down.... You have all the power in yourself to do this.

Never be afraid to reach for better. Oh sure, they'll all tell you that happiness is learning to love what you have, and that's true!! But if you can earn better, if there's a chance for your own success, go for it! But be wise. You are wise right now, but you are also innocent: a Sophomore as it translates from the Greek. You have the knowledge but lack the experience. However, here comes the tricky part: unlike your studies where you want to learn how to go as fast as you can, with experience, you need to learn how to make it LAST. Which means slowing down. And believe me, you'd rather go down slowly than crash to the ground.

Zoom-zoom is not all it's cracked up to be. There's a reason why the Thieve's class in Dungeon's & Dragons has "fast talk" as a skill. You saw those hustlers when you lived in NYC. But you don't have the wisdom yet to see those traits in the people closest to you.... be careful... be wise... And don't worry about how it all turns out. You really like yourself, so you're always in good company.

There will come many times in your life, however, where circumstances will make you feel like you've been ground into powder, turned into paste, smeared on the sidewalk, ground in by a shoe, and pounded into a forgotten stain on the sidewalk, only to be eventually stamped into nothingness by the millions of pedestrians who don't even realize you're there. I'm you, all grown up... I know how low your brain goes and honey-child, all I can say is I am so sorry. You are not that worthless. In fact, what is so incredible about you is that you have such a range to be able to go from darkness to blinding light.

Just because your little lamp is low doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Fireworks are like notes... if they happened all at once, it wouldn't be as fun. There are pauses between the blasts for a reason. Use that to your advantage. No one has to see what a mess it is back stage as long as the performance goes off without a hitch, right?

Remember, Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans... Your will is great, and your spirit is strong. You will go through trials, but keep fighting, you can prevail! You love that game anyway... You know the type of determination combined with relaxation that it takes to master those skills. So don't like the setbacks stop you. Keep working at it, girl! You've seen that you know what you're doing to achieve the kind of mastery you want to achieve.

That difference is important to you: you aren't about winning. You aren't about self-aggrandizement. You like to include, rather than subjugate... you have a sweetness about you like that, and keep that precious to you. Know that you will let the other guy win and be happier that they won, rather than showing off what you can do. You already know what you can do, so why not give someone else a chance? Preserve that as much as you can, no matter how hard life gets on you. You'll be glad you did.

Life will get hard on you, you've known that for a while. What no one has told you yet is that losing yourself doesn't happen quickly. It happens one bad decision at a time. No one is going to save you from bad decisions. That's why you should always reach higher... not because of goodness or right, though the world could use more of that... But because you should love and nurture you to grow, just like you would nurture a project or page.

Picking yourself up is done in the same way: One good decision at a time. You'll eventually get over how scary that is and realize even if we're the one's who've screwed up, the best thing to do is own it rather than be ashamed of it. Owning it means you keep your power. Being ashamed means other people have power over us.

Remember the story your mother told about losing her orders in the Navy: "This isn't the first time in the history of the world that this mistake has been made. So how to we fix it?" Focus on where you want to go, not the problem you want to avoid, and you'll get the results you seek. Like busting the breakers on Jones Beach: Plant your feet; Turn your shoulder into the oncoming wave; Slice through the wave like a blade; And leap safely to the other side. Just a breather, though, because it's on to the next one on the Ocean's schedule!

If you try to just walk in, like you would walk through air, you'll get bowled over, splashed in the face, choked of air, and look like a fool. Try to dive under and avoid it all, and end up swept by the currents far from your destination. you may even catch an undertow and be swept out to sea! Face it like a warrior, with the dedication and heart of a warrior, and you can prevail! And we never forget the Sea is in charge here: It's easy to get in trouble, so don't head out beyond your depths until you're ready to handle it.

You're doing fine right now. I know you're dealing with a world of $#!+, but hang in there, you'll make it out okay. I gotta say, I'm kinda impressed. And don't worry so much!! It's all gonna get better after High School, I promise.

You, all grown up...

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