To the little girl with big dreams:
I’ve twisted and turned myself inside out, upside down. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are blaring in my ears, Breaking the Girl. Can’t break what was already broken, but I can mend together the seams. Stitch back what was ripped apart, stuff white cotton innards back into the doll. The doll’s body will rise again, coming to life with fullness. An animated face will begin to crack a smile as eyes widen and form hope and belief. One must always have a belief in something because believing in something is always better than believing in nothing.
We are writing this month. I am writing like I’ve never written before. I am pounding away at a new computer, scorching keys with expert precision. Burning down barriers, the ones they said were impossible to reach. They are the kind of walls you don’t just bust through. Instead, you tear the wall down brick by ever-loving brick. You pick up the sledge hammer and beat down the doubt.
I’ve never done that before. Beat it down. Smash the rubble into a blackhole’s abyss.
Blisters will puff up from grasping the hammer too tight. They will coat fingertips and give new meaning to ‘working hands.’
What am I working towards? I don’t know.
I’ve spent the last 12 days writing a book. I’ve written them before. They’re locked away in my footlocker in our attic. They are hidden under the marriage collectibles and baby belongings we no longer need. We won’t ever need them again. I can’t have anymore babies.
Today I have a boy. He’s a toddler with a face that is constantly changing. I catch glimpses of what he will look like when the babyface fades away and he turns into Peter Pan. Those Peter Pan years will last us only so long, he is destined to grow up. Eventually, my wild-eyed boy will become a teenager and finally he will grow into a man. He may find those books locked away in the blue locker. He may find the love notes from years too far in the past.
The notes where boys promised me undying love, that love lasted at most 2 to 3 years. There are journals with scribblings where I became Mrs. insert the love of the week’s surname here.
He will find a life written down, records begin at the age of 5 chronicling my little girl life. They stop at 23 or 24 years of age. They cease to have an ending. There is one last book, the one with 4 entries. It begins with the words “I am pregnant.” It tells of my hopes for the little boy I knew I had growing inside of me. A few more entries about the soul I shared my body with. Then, the blank pages are all that is left. Thumbing through the dust covered tops of empty spaces, and there is no more writing. No more handwritten cursive lines telling a story.
To the little boy with big dreams:
Write your own story. Fill in your own pages. Discover how you like to cross your ‘t’ and dot your ‘i’. When something breaks you, and you fall down on what feels like scabby blood stained knees, always get back up and mend your hurt heart with determination. That is the one thing in life which is unbreakable. Grit and a hell-fire belly will get you far in life. Persistence is necessary and invaluable. Keep coming at them with the best you have.
Step up to the plate and point to the bleachers before you swing. Tell them exactly what you want to happen. Predict no other outcome than the one to best benefit your team, humanity’s well-being. Be your own hero. Slay negativity with the stroke of your pen or your guitar or a paintbrush. Make your art memorable and unforgettable. Leave soul stains imprinted on every person you encounter. That’s living.
Weakness will grab your ankles from time to time. Don’t let it trip you up and keep you down on your back. There is a time to rest and there is a time to work. There is a time to play and a time to do what you were made to do. Know the difference. Sick days are to be used and so are vacation days. Work days should produce enough fruit to sustain you until they slip a few a more dollars in your pocket.
These are my hopes for you. Be you. Just be yourself. Always and forever. Never stop dreaming the big dreams.