The Letter I Needed the Year Everything Broke Apart

Mar 1, 2024 | 2024 Spring - Letters to Myself, Poetry

By Alison Shea

Hi there. It has been a tough couple of days, huh?
You have had expectations of your older kids, and they have had expectations of you that have not quite aligned and have caused you all stress and hurt feelings.
The ex has been really awful again and is making it really hard to feel relaxed.
You have been having trouble sleeping, and the fatigue makes it all harder, not easier.
You are used to over-functioning, and when you can’t, it can sometimes feel like you are not good enough. But you don’t have to always do 120%.
…65% is passing, you know. Sometimes teenage daughters say mean things, and it doesn’t mean they are true. You used to call your mom the name of that dictator from Time magazine. That wasn’t true, even if it made you feel better when you were a teenager.
They sometimes reserve their worst for the ones they trust the most, a truly crappy irony, for sure!
You are trying so hard to “get it right.”
Peace, baby cakes, just stop,
smell the roses,
watch the shit show,
eat the donuts and repeat after me: THERE IS NO “RIGHT” to get to. “RIGHT” is merely an illusion.
There is only right now, and “everything” does not fit on the tip of right now.
you will falter,
you will fail,
you will survive failure,
you will rise again,
you will live through all of it,
and one day…
you may even get over the illusion that you could ever control any of it.
Love yourself harder, hug your babies, hug yourself, cut yourself some slack, Jack.
You will be okay, because you already are.
You don’t have to be happy all the time.
That doesn’t mean that you are depressed; it doesn’t mean that you aren’t. But when things are particularly crappy, and you observe that and feel down about that observable fact,
it is a sign that you are living in reality, not struggling with it.
Remember the words of Banksy: Learn to rest, not to quit.
Remember the words of me, your alter ego,
Learn to rest, not to judge yourself to shreds.
Remember the words of your favorite uncle:
“That 30 pounds of crap you got there, honey, is never gonna fit in this 10-pound bag,
and if you keep ignoring that fact, you’re going to wind up covered in 20 pounds of crap, and how’s that going to smell?”
Either find some other bags or stop trying to make physics become magic.
I love you, and you will be okay.

Alison Shea is an experienced Learning and Talent Development executive and mother of four humans and one dog west of Boston, Massachusetts. She is insatiably curious, dependably optimistic, and believes it will all be okay in the end. And if it is not okay, it’s not the end.

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