Hey girl, hey. Guess what? We made it!
That’s right, this letter comes to you from the future. You know, that place everyone keeps telling you will be oh-so-much better? Here’s a secret: they have no idea what they’re talking about. They’re just hoping they’re right about this place. But I do. Because I’m here now. And I have to tell you—this place is awesome. You’ve gotta see it for yourself.
Want to know something else? We did this, Rach. You and I, we made this place together. And this letter I am writing you toyesterday isn’t a warning or a lesson about what is to come, it’s a thank you note. I simply can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you put in laying the foundation for a life beyond our wildest dreams.
You probably think you know what’s coming next—that I’m going to tell you to hike up your panties, quit your bitchin’, and blow your nose. C’mon. You know we better than that. I’m not here to wag my finger in your face or mock your—our—suffering. Quite the opposite, I watched you build this place with teardrops and tissues. You sealed each brick with heartbreak and kept on going until our fortress was complete. You’re a master builder, Rach, and a brave one, at that. Believe we.
I need you to know it’s okay to cry. Let it go, girl. Sob all over the world’s blueprints for you—they’re worthless, anyway. You don’t need other peoples’ plans. Let pain be your architect. The design for where I stand today is written in our deepest despair, forged on what you see as failure and I know now as fortitude. Don’t punish ourself for feeling, for fearing, for fretting: it is in these days of darkness that we will learn how to light our own fire. This skill will serve us for the rest of our days together and soon, you will see, we will teach others to do the same.
I know you’re tired. You wonder how much more we can take. You are sore. You are scared. You are shaken.
You are strong.
No one knows that better than we.
I wish there was something I could say or do to ease this bitter ache. But, here’s the good news you so badly don’t want to hear, it is you who heals me, not the other way around. You know that patronizing platitude that seems too good to be true—everything happens for a reason—it’s not. I am the reason, Rach. We are the reason. You made we who we are today and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m sorry I can’t give you the answers you seek. Truth is, there’s nothing I can show you or tell you that you didn’t teach me first.
Trust yourself, Rachael Kay. I do. You’re the best thing that ever happened to we.
This letter was inspired by the new book Letters To Me: Conversations With a Younger Self, edited by Dan Schmidt. Read my review of Letters To Me and then get it on your eReader! Special thanks to awesomepreneur Therese Schwenkler of The Unlost for giving me the push to reach out to RKA-in-Progress.
For more on the fabulawesome founder of The Unlost, read Therese’s Awesomepreneurs We Love interview.