To my ten years ago self:
So, you’re about to turn 29. I know things seem kind of shitty right now. Your youngest baby is just three years old and you just went through a LOT of medical issues. I know, it seems like you’re never out of the hospital, whether it is for you or for little Shawn. But guess what? Things are about to get SO MUCH BETTER.
It’s 2004 and this year you are going to start writing for The Cambridge Times. It will be a guest column and in it you will talk about all the fun/crazy things that come with being a parent to five small children. You’ll get so good at it that people will start to recognize you on the street and in the grocery store. You’ll re-discover your love for writing and in just two years you’ll be writing for The Toronto Sun. In just five years, you will have a published book out. I know, it’s amazing.
Your health will get better and better and Shawn Micheal will get stronger and healthier and bigger.
Sure there will be some hard times too, but hard times always happen. I wish I could tell you not to answer that email from that old friend, but I know you will, so I guess there are things I cannot change. But, some poor choices aside, life in your thirties is going to be pretty damn cool. You will publish not only that one, but FOUR books. You’ll get back into theatre. You’ll move…twice. The kids just keep getting bigger, and more amazing. You’ll find yourself and some more confidence as you start back into work in the mainstream. You’ll make some amazing new friends.
Don’t freak out about turning 30. They will be some of the best years of your life.
To my 49 Year old self:
Here you are about to turn 49. I hope your forties were full of more love and less drama then some of the worst years of your thirties. So, you’ve made the mistakes but you’ve also hopefully learned from them and moved on. Here’s the good news:
I am much better at saying no now. I hope that stays with me. I am also much better at appreciating those people in my life who need to be appreciated.
I hope we’re still living in New Brunswick. I really like it here. The kids will now be 30, 29, 26, 24 and 22. Maybe I’m a grandmother?? If so, I’m probably a really great one. I love babies. Try to remember not to be so hard on yourself. Remember that it’s okay to let go and let other people help once in a while. Remember that I don’t have to have every answer all the time and that it’s okay to fail, and cry. But remember too that it’s okay to be truly happy. I don’t need to fixate on the negative especially when it comes to my body. I mean, I’m getting better at that now, but I really hope future me has it down pat, so get your shit together Nuala and wear a dress once in a while. It’s really okay.
Tell the people in your life whom you love that you love them all the time. Life is so precious. Don’t waste moments on trying to be something you think someone wants you to be, be yourself and be okay with that. You’re worth a lot. Remember it.
Call Sarah and say hello more than once every couple of months. Call Alex and Greig too, don’t lose that friendship. You’re older now and the kids are likely moved out, splurge on a plane ticket and go visit them once in a while. Call your kids too and make sure you see them a lot. Call Mum and Dad or better yet jump in the car and go see them. Make time for things you love and keep writing.
49 seems like such a long way off and yet, I’m guessing it will be here in no time. Have fun with your life. It’s the only one you have.