Letter from my 80 year old self (TAW)

Dear Michelle,

First of all, stop worrying about Charlotte. Mark will get better. Charlotte is yours to find in your future but I can’t tell you when, as that would ruin it. She’s beautiful, though, a real looker. But she’s not the only one… oh, you’ll see. The journey is far more important than the destination! Oh, to be 28 again…

Look, this whole art thing. I know you’re only just starting to understand this, so let me help you out. Don’t put yourself in a box. You don’t need to be an expert. You’re a dabbler, and there’s no shame in that. Follow your heart. Follow your gut too, but follow your heart. Make what makes you happy. If you want to sell your art, sell it. If you want to give it away, give it. But don’t keep it all. You don’t need it. Keep photos if you want, but you don’t need to hold on to it. It’s time to start exploring your options. (If you do sell your art, you can use the money to buy new art supplies! Ever think of that?)

And travel, my dear girl. Travel as much as possible. See the world, even if you’re not sure how you’ll pay for it. Life is too short to have regrets, or to live in fear. I know it’s cliché, but it’s true.

Oh, what a wonderful life you have ahead of you! I don’t want to give too much away, but I can’t resist a little hint. You will have more joy than you can contain! Laughter, too, so many laughs you’ll cry. And you’ll cry, sometimes so many tears you’ll laugh.

Never forget that you are a work in progress. So am I, by the way, and just wait til you see this side of it all, it’s pretty remarkable if I do say so myself. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff, but always look on the bright side. It can always get better, and you have the power to make it so.

Everything you struggle with now, you will figure it out. Everything you hope for, you will get it and then some! Just wait til you turn… but no, I can’t be too specific. Just remember that you have one birthday coming up that will be a wonderful day you will never ever forget.

I know I’m going on and on, I’m just so excited to get this chance to talk to you. Never give up. Never give in. Stand your ground. You are stronger than even you know. But know too that there is a time and a place for vulnerability. Oh, I just love you so much.

Take care of yourself, baby girl. (What? Oh yes, of course.) I have a message from someone else who’s here with me. He says he loves you, Honey Bunny, and also thanks for everything you’ve come through and every challenge you still have ahead of you. I wish I could walk with you forever and tell you everything is going to be okay, but Charlotte is on her way over with the family.

Lots of Love,
Michelle (at 80)


This letter is an exercise from Week 4 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.