If it’s not good for you, use moderation; if it is, run with it.
The dilemma in writing you this letter is that I’d really like to tell you something that I now know which would pretty much change who you are, or more accurately who you think you are, but that would rob you of the serpentine albeit ultimately satisfying and self-affirming odyssey of discovering it on your own. So instead, I’ll just offer what may seem like some pithy words of wisdom but in actuality will lead you to the same outcome, minus the big surprise.
Give some thought to who or what you want to be when you’re an old lady, and work backwards from there. If you want to be:
…happy, then give more than you take. Even when you feel like you don’t have a lot to give.
…comfortable in your own skin, then don’t conform. Even though you really, really crave approval.
…secure, then know yourself, and accept yourself. And if someone tells you that no one else will love you if you don’t love yourself, believe them. Love yourself.
…cherished and loved, then cherish and love.
…healthy, then love your body.
…creative, then make something every chance you get, whether or not anyone else likes it or you get paid for it.
…confident, then pay attention to what turns you on. If it’s not good for you, use moderation; if it is, run with it.
…a master of something, then commit to something. Something you’re passionate about.
…a financial success, then go to college, and finish college. Now you’re qualified to do at least one thing well, which you may very well never use.
…a visionary, then imagine. Imagine!
…an old lady with hair down to there for your grandchildren to braid, then stop cutting your hair at some point.
As you’ve probably heard, hindsight is 20/20, so take it from me. Or not. Either way, I love you.
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.
I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.
As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.