I was looking on Facebook this morning and I saw my cousin’s status read what if you could talk to your younger self? what advise would you give? What an insightful question. What would I tell the me I used to be?
I often look at Emma and I see so much of myself. Not the me I was but an unmarred version of the me I didn’t get to be. The kid that didn’t get to exist. Scars changing the fabric of my being, environment altering my thinking. I wonder sometimes who I could have been if things had been different growing up. What could I have accomplished if I hadn’t had to spend so much time fixing myself? Would I have been better off or did those challenges actually refine me? They made me the person I am today, would I be lesser for not having them?
I wonder what scars Emma will wear someday. How will her refinement come and will I have prepared her to face the challenges she’ll need to overcome? My mini-me, I recognize her motives, her delights, her sadness so easily. But with that understanding, I also become impatient. My tolerance lowered for her natural faults. I worry that I judge her too harshly. Demanding too much of her. Expecting her to vanquish the traits I see in both of us that I despise.
I started thinking about the girl I once was. The tough exterior I tried to convey to the world. Terrified that if I let anyone in, they’d discover I really had a soft, squishy heart. Vulnerable and weak, I used anger as my shield. I’d want to let the younger me know that the pain I’d feel by those around me was a small price to pay for the joy of true intimacy. That the real pain comes from not sharing that closeness with others. I’d try to tell her that the isolation she felt was self-imposed and unnecessary. Love was there, she just needed to accept it. I’d declare to her that she was stronger than she gave herself credit for and more fragile than she cared to admit.
I’m glad I don’t have to say these things to Emma. As similar as we are, really she’s not me. She’s her own person and I think if I let her be, maybe a clean pair of eyes for me.