I also wrote a letter to my 18-year-old self on here a few months ago, so this will be an interesting spin on that.
Dear 38-year-old Shannon,
I hope this letter finds you weeks away from winning the presidential election. Don’t tell me I made all of these #Trenton2024 buttons for nothing. (Are buttons even a thing? Are hashtags still relevant?)
Who knows how you will remember these months, but let me tell you: it’s been hard. There has been a lot to celebrate and as always, blessings around every corner, but there are also a lot of obstacles in the way right now. I’m doing what I can and I only hope that this is all a distant memory to you.
Take a look at Arthur and then remember him as I have him today. All smiles and babbles, just getting really steady on his feet. He loves snuggles and can’t stand it when you leave the room for more than a nanosecond. I can only imagine the other expressions he has mastered now – annoyance, boredom, vague prepubescent irritation – so just for a moment remember when his biggest complaint was running out of cereal puffs and his outbursts were a cause for celebration at his development.
I’ll remember that too, when I’m tempted to hit fast forward and race to know him as you do.
I also hope that we’ve made the world a better place for more people. Right now I’m struggling with understanding and answering God’s call for my life – what I was so sure of just weeks ago has been thrown into questions that I naively didn’t expect to really be an issue. I pray that along the way we’ve figured out how to be biblically obedient and true to God’s vision.
As of October 8, 2014, you have not had a full night’s sleep in nearly 16 months. Please tell me you’ve had at least one since then.
I’m interested to see if some of the same patterns that have made their way back around in the last ten years will repeat themselves again. It’s poignant, and you’ll understand why, that you’re now 38 as we contemplate that question. Will we find a resolution? Is that chapter finished and can we close it now?
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to think that each morning I wake up I am a little closer to being who I am meant to be. I am a little less afraid of defying convention, a little less fearful of authenticity. I want to give you the strongest foundation of self that I can, something I think we’ve been lacking.
Do me a favor – take a break from reading and go hug Mom. And if she isn’t there with you, just call her and tell her that you love her. That you – we – are grateful for her. That she is a rock and a soft landing and that she defines strength and grace and wisdom.
Please tell me you can do that.
What I don’t want is for you to look back on the last ten years with regret. Fortunately, I have more than a little say in whether that happens. I won’t let us down.