Saturday, December 19, 2015

DEAR JOANNE

I have read several posts from other bloggers in which they write letters to their younger selves offering insight and advice. I decided to give it a try.The following is my letter to my fifteen year old self.

Dear Joanne,

I am your older self. I am fifty-eight years old. At the age of fifteen, I am sure that seems ancient to you, but trust me, the time goes by faster than you expect. When you get closer to fifty-eight, it won;t seem old at all.

Right now life is pretty easy for you because Mom does everything. I know you never liked the social groups for teens with disabilities, but get involved in one. You might make some connections that will help you later in your life. Look toward your future because Mom will not be around forever. Take on as much responsibility as you can. When others give you advice, be respectful and listen. You do not know everything. Learn to make decisions and be confident in them.  

Get involved with an independent living center soon after you finish school. Move out on your own. It may not seem like it now, but moving out, will be the best thing for you and Mom. 

Be proud of your accomplishments. There will be many. The kids at school laugh at you and think you are weird. You are unique. You will be successful. You may not make a lot of money or be able to work full time, but you will contribute to your community and help others. That is the best kind of success.

Mom's death will be extremely difficult for you. I am not sure you'll ever really get over it. you just have to go on the way she would want you to.

You'll make mistakes. Burn bridges. You'll say things you cannot take back. But, you'll also have some unforgettable experiences, travel, meet some great people and do things you never thought you could do.

I live in a facility now. I don't believe it will be forever. It's just a stopping point. A. place for me to gain the skills I need to have a better life.

The best advice I can give is to face your fears. I have a lot of trouble doing this. Everything scares me. If you can face your fears, you'll be okay.

Love,

Your Older Self