This morning as I was reading blogs, I found something on Anna's (http://mylifeandkids.com/) which gave me an idea. So the FIRST thing I want to do is credit Anna for the original post and beg her NOT to feed me to Big Hairy Dog for running with it! Note: I already told her I was going to post my version of this idea. Anyway, Anna wrote a letter to herself; her YOUNGER Anna self. It was funny, thought-provoking, inspiring, and - did I say FUNNY? I loved it! I hope you'll all go over and read her post. But it started me thinking (And you ALL know that, with ME, thinking is a dangerous thing - LOL!) Why not throw out a challenge to all of YOU to write a letter to YOUR younger selves on YOUR blogs? What would you tell yourself at various ages if you had the opportunity? Would you give yourself warnings? Chastise yourself for a bad decision? Be your own cheerleader? All of the above and perhaps more? Portions or all of some letters may be funny or sad or heart-wrenching. So here it is - a challenge to you to talk to yourself at ONE earlier age or at MANY ages. I am going to do that very thing in just a moment. If YOU are going to join in the Letter to Yourself challenge, leave a message on my blog so we can all go and read what you wrote, okay? And now I give you MY letter to Younger Kai:
1. Age 5 - It's okay that you don't have any toys. You will learn to MAKE your toys from what you find. Leaves and acorn shells will be your dishes. Sticks wrapped in a rag will be your baby doll. And someday, Kai, all that making something from nothing will lead you to love creating and you will find yourself surrounded by 'things' to turn into something.
2. Age 7 - Your teacher just called you a 'smart cookie' because you were the only one in the class to figure out that there was more than 1 combination of numbers to total 10. Okay, you will never be strong in math but your ability to think clearly and your huge desire to learn EVERYTHING will serve you well in life. You will become a voracious reader and you will pass that love of reading to a LOT of children. Someday you will recall this moment and how proud your teacher's praise made you feel. And it will help YOU to be a teacher who wants to make HER students feel that same self pride!
3. Age 8 - Tonight, the first night of Spring, 1957, brought terrors you never even imagined. Your father has ALWAYS beaten you and screamed at you. But tonight he raped you. You are so numb you can't think, and the smell of gardenias from the window outside the bedroom is one you will hate your entire life. This WON'T be the last time. He will - in the next three years, do unspeakable things to you, including letting each of his 4 'business associates' borrow you for an hour every Saturday morning. In exchange, HE will be the car dealer they go to for their new vehicles. I know you are sad, scared, angry, and physically beaten down. But you will be whole one day. You WILL. The traumas you will encounter will make you a STRONG person and you will learn to find joy in the smallest things. And you will NEVER harm a child. You will also NEVER drive because cars are synonymous with evil, evil men. But you will learn to get around every inch of Houston on a bus!
4. Age 9 - Your special and wonderful grandparents are teaching you who you ARE, that you are part of a beautiful culture and you BELONG to the People. You will soak up the stories, the oral history, the language, the dances, and you will cherish it for your entire life. Don't cry because you don't look like your mother's side of the family. Kaku - Grandmother - and your Aunt Adeca told you that you ARE completely Comanche because your heart and beliefs are. They give you a Washing Away Ceremony to rid you of the 'bad man's' blood. Listen to your grandparents because they are going to die only 2 days apart in 8 more months. Don't waste a second of the precious time with them.
5. Age 14 - You are in Junior High school and you are a really good student. You love everything about school. But the other kids find you strange because you aren't allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities after school, you wear odd clothes (hand-me-downs from your father's twin nieces who are half your height and straight as sticks) you smell funny because you are given only 2 10-minutes bathroom times per day (one at 6 A.M. and the other at 6 P.M.) so you never DO have time to properly scrub yourself though you try. But don't feel sad because by mid-year you will have become friends with the other members of the school chorus and you will learn how funny you can be when you relax. Your humor will be the cover you use for all your days to mask what a mess you are inside. And it will be the BIGGEST part of what finally helps you to let go of your childhood.
6. Age 44 - you will learn, after 2 failed marriages, that while not all men are evil, you do not NEED a man to make you whole. This will be the biggest and best revelation, and one which will be the final step in your healing. So stop looking. You have joy, good friends, and a great deal of happiness ahead. You truly DO, Kai.
I warned you that it may not be pretty. But in writing those things to myself and exposing them to all of you, I actually REALIZED something: I am STRONG. And I've made a good life for myself. I also realized that at three different points I almost deleted this entire post because it's so very personal. But I DIDN'T. And that tells me I am NOT ashamed of who I used to think I was. I'm silly old Kai, a darned good editor, a creator of somewhat bizarre things, a collector of books, a person who is Bipolar, a VERY GRATEFUL survivor, a VERY PROUD Comanche, and a VERY EVOLVED woman!
Suvate! This is what I had to say!