Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dear Train Tracks Girl

I was emailed a writing prompt this week to write a letter to my 20 year old self. At first I treated the assignment like an actual do-over.

This is my chance to fix everything. This is my chance. 

In hindsight I put way too much pressure on myself. I finally sat down, let go, and just began writing from my heart. I highly recommend trying this. It felt incredibly  freeing once I got past the fear.

Dear Train Tracks Girl, 
Did you know that's what your daughters will laugh and call you when you're 44? You will have weaved your childhood stories in such a way as to even make the reality of screaming train whistles in the middle of the night being a poor kid living 100 feet from the railroad tracks, seem exciting and appealing. 
Oh how much energy you have spent on making sense of the nonsensical. 
You have spent so much time looking out and not in. You should stop that. 
If I told you at 44 years old you would wake up instantaneously like in the flash of a camera, would you believe me? 
What if I told you it was never all your fault? 
What if I told you, you aren't broken? 
What if I told you that it was never your fault that since the moment of your birth every single person was fighting over you? 
And moreover, what if I told you it doesn't matter if they are? It's not your burden to bear and it's not your job to fix everything for everyone. Not then. Not now. 
What if I told you, you aren't an object or a pawn or a possession to be used to hurt someone? Used for your spirit or your youth or your body? 
What if I told you?
As much as I want to tell you these things and so many more, I know you, train tracks girl. You won't listen. And that pisses me off sometimes. 
We like perfect, don't we? 
You'll spend way too long looking for a man to love you. To save you. 
You'll drink too much sometimes to numb your pain and stuff your fear.
You'll swallow hard and choke down the word "no", clinging to the safety of the illusion that "yes" gives you some kind of fu*ked up pretend power. It keeps you safe and protects you in the moment while it sneaks up from behind and slowly robs you of your real power and your spirit.
You'll go from unhealthy relationship to unhealthy relationship. It will take you 44 long years to lose the fear and finally start believing in yourself. 
But that same train tracks girl that won't listen? 
She'll become the same girl who stands up for what she believes in. 
She loves with every ounce of her being. 
She is sensitive. 
She is kind. 
She's been broken so she knows how to help others put themselves back together. 
She is adventurous. 
She is fun. 
She is a story teller. 
She is brave. 
She loves big. 
She dreams big. 
And in the end, she wins. She gets her spirit back. 
As much as I want to save you, train tracks girl, you will have to save yourself. I guess I'm just here to tell you, you will. When you're 44 years old you'll hear the screaming whistle and you'll get on the train with me, and we won't ever go back. 
See you soon, 

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