You're The Best!
Here is my belated contribution for last week's Write A Letter Wednesday. It's a letter to an awesome young friend and coworker...
I decided to write you a letter to tell you how much I like sharing my workdays with you. When you think about it, we spend more time together each week than you do with your family or friends! Who would think that fifty-something old lady would spend her days with someone of just twenty and they both would enjoy it? It can be a pretty stressful place to work at times, with all the phones ringing, people lined up at the counter, and someone needing copies or a project done. Being able to laugh and roll our eyes at each other in sympathy helps diffuse the tension, and all the joking and friendly banter makes the time pass so much faster!
From the very first I saw that you have a real gift for conversing with people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it's an old geezer or a young hottie at the window, you smile and visit with them all, making them feel welcome and special. So often sharing a friendly word can make all the difference in someone's day. I love it when our customers leave with smiles on their faces!
I was happy when you told me you've changed your college major from accounting to nursing. You are definitely a people person, and genuinely caring, so I know you'll make an awesome nurse! Speaking of school, I'm glad that you're dedicated to finishing it and earning your degree. I know it isn't easy to work a 40 hour job while carrying a full course load and still find time for homework, a little sleep, and even a little fun now and then, but you will never regret it. You'll appreciate the income you are able to earn with your nursing degree, and the freedom to choose from almost anywhere you'd like to live and work. In this day and age it's essential for a woman to have her own financial security, and not ever have to depend on someone else for your survival.
Speaking of making good choices, I also applaud your decision to wait to have a family for at least a few years, and to take care to make sure that doesn't happen before you're ready. Too many young people where we live somehow think it's cool to have babies, just like it's cool to have a pet or a new car. Parenting is a tough job, and it's a unwise to tie your life down before you're ready for that commitment. I've listened to all you do for your sisters and little brother and can tell how much you love them. I realize that you've done a lot of the parenting in their lives. When your turn comes, I know you'll make an awesome mom!
Additionally, I am proud that you've decided to participate in healthy relationships rather than putting up with guys who are by no means respectful, responsible, or caring. You want to end up with someone who values you and loves you, and treats you the way you deserve to be treated, not with someone who treats you as property. I wish I had been that smart about things at your age!
If there was a gift I could wrap up and give to you, it would be the ability to recognize your own beauty and self-worth. You've been given too many messages of not being good enough or pretty enough, of doing everything wrong, of being a burden or a disappointment. This is untrue and unfair. You are beautiful inside and out... attractive, friendly, caring, sensitive, intelligent, and willing to help others. I'd be proud to have you as my daughter!
While I'm sure there are times when you have tested your parents' patience to the limit (because that pretty much comes with being a young adult), it seems like your mom is pretty hard on you at times, eroding your self-esteem. We've talked a little bit about the lives your parents have had, and what your home life was like as a child, and I think you can understand that maybe they are doing the best they can with what parenting skills they have. I'm sure what your mom wants most of all is for you to grow up smarter, not making some of the mistakes she made, so that your life will be less difficult. Sometimes she just goes about relaying that message in a way that is hurtful to you. Please try to be as forgiving as you can, and keep the door of communication open between you. You will find yourselves closer again in the years ahead. It's obvious that your dad loves you a whole bunch too. Don't take advantage of that love by letting him be over-indulgent and permissive. Ask yourself what's truly best for you, and sometimes that means having to do it yourself, or earn it yourself, or even waiting for later!
Most of all, believe in yourself, and your ability to accomplish anything you want! Continue to make smart choices. Everyone you encounter in life will teach you something - either what to do or what not to do. Strive to be a good person and to avoid the pitfalls of folks we both know who forget to treat others with respect and sensitivity.
How you feel about yourself is critical... learn to love yourself even while striving to improve in areas you feel are your weakest. We are all a work in progress and no one has achieved total perfection yet... except maybe in their own eyes. :-)) When you're taking inventory of the things you list as your faults (too often and too many really), be brave enough to also list the things that are right and good about you. Finish up that long ago homework assignment to list your positive qualities... there are many!
The most important lessons one can learn in life is to do it one day at a time and live in the moment. We can't undo the past, or change a single thing about it, so there isn't a point to living with a lot of regret or self-condemnation. We learn from our mistakes, that's their purpose! We can't do a whole lot about the future either, except to prepare for it, so there is little point to spending a lot of time worrying about "what ifs". Live for the day, make it count, and as I always tell my own daughter... "Keep the door open"... always hope for good things to come. You deserve them and they will!
Again, thank you J, for being a ray of sunshine in our lives... for giving me a reason to look forward to coming to work each day, and for helping us get thru the rough times with humor and smiles. May God bless you always!
Note: Write A Letter Wednesday will be coming up again in a few days. Start thinking now about someone you'd like to send a love note or a not-so-loving note to. Write your blog post and share a link to it at the Write A Letter Wednesday site!