Dear 20 year old Lauree,
You have no idea how young you are. There is so much ahead of you and I am so excited to watch you achieve all of your dreams. Your dad was right when he said, “Lauree Joan, you can do and be anything you want to be in this life. It’s all up to you.” In that simple statement he gave you the truth of life and gave you the power and yet you will spend most of your life looking for validation from others- looking for everyone else to pat you on the back and let you know you did well. And that is ok. That is what you are here to heal.
The best advice I could give you now is to enjoy the journey along the way- enjoy achieving and learning and growing- enjoy not knowing everything- enjoy the mysteries that are not yet revealed- enjoy and savor your process. You do not know this but you are so deeply focused on achieving goals and you are so deeply impatient to reach these goals and to “be somebody” that you do not realize you are already more than enough. This is a lesson you will learn over and over again throughout your life. You are indeed more than enough but this will elude you repeatedly. And that is ok too.
You will seek spiritual ways and then drop them in pursuit of a career and awards that society deems accomplished. You will need these things to feel good about who you are and that is perfectly fine. And then you will come to a point where accomplishments will get redefined for you. I do not want to spoil any of the magical surprises along the way so I will not reveal too much except to say, worry less, it all works out for your greatest happiness. You will have all of the things your soul craves and you will find a path that helps you elevate others on their journeys. You will become all that your little heart wants you to be.
Have no regrets but always learn from your mistakes. Learning transforms mistakes into valuable teaching tools both for you and everyone’s life that you touch. I firmly believe life is like a Jenga game. You cannot remove one piece without disturbing the balance and synchronicity of the whole. If not for this, then that. It’s like what Steve Jobs said at his Stanford commencement address; “Our lives are like beads of a necklace and you will not be able to see how each bead inextricably leads to the next bead until you have some perspective – until you can see a larger part of the necklace.”
There is one thing I do want to whisper so softly into your ear – when your soulmate [ yes you will find a soulmate that teaches you all about love and you will feel a love more deeply than you ever dreamed imaginable]…when your soulmate has his epic crash and you become his medical advocate, you make sure the Drs regulate his blood thinning not only when he moves from the ICU to the regular part of the hospital, but also when he comes home. You make sure he is on Lovenox and not Warfarin. This will help him avoid being on blood thinners for the rest of his life. That’s just a little tip from future me. This will give both of you a greater quality of life. Some fears will never go away completely but you will learn to live with them as best you can.
Lastly, know this, your perfectionism will be your greatest gift and your greatest curse. Let it serve you as you push yourself to be the best you can be, but learn to cultivate the ability to let go and let go of judging others and yourself too harshly. You will always hold yourself to a higher standard, that is ingrained in who you are, but if you learn to judge less, you will not only free yourself creatively, but you will also be able to appreciate others more deeply. See the good first…. Always. And when people criticize you for looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, know that having a lens like that is a beautiful gift. It will make you resilient and bring you so much joy and magic.
Savor all of the good times. Life is long and sometimes it is magical in the most beautiful ways and sometimes life will kick you in the butt but know that when it gets challenging your soul speaks loudly and you will know exactly what needs to be done. Know that you are divinely guided and protected. Always.
With love and appreciation,
Your forever-39 year-old self