I love photographs, physical ones you used to have to print out to look at. I love holding these pieces of memory, the capture of an instant, in my hands. I don’t know if you are like me, but I have photos on my walls, especially around my desk area. I love to have pictures of my family and friends, of happy moments near me at all times. I’m not sure why, maybe it grounds me, maybe it soothes me, maybe it makes me feel less alone. There is one right behind where my computer usually is, and it’s a picture of me in kindergarten. I had just turned 5. I had a camo shirt and round burgundy glasses, a shy smile and my hands flat on the desk in front of me. Next to it is a photo of me when I graduated high school at 16. My hair changed, my glasses too, and my smile got bigger but I wondered how much I had changed. Obviously, in the years between 2016 and now, I have changed too, in a much deeper way than between 5 and 16.
I wondered what if I could talk to these girls, what would I say to them. I wondered if I am proud of them, if we share similar dreams, if we feel the same about certain things, even after all this time. I wondered if we got colder, if we got stronger, if we got better, if we got meaner, if we got braver, if we got kinder. I looked into their little smiling eyes and wondered what piece of them was still left inside of me. I thought you could do the exercise with me, or that I could share a few things I’d say to these younger Aimées but that I would also say to every younger version of you.
You will go through things that seem so big at the time but that you will barely remember in 15 years, even in four. Emotions, feelings, little traumas will seem so big and yet, they aren’t. You are right to feel them as plenty and as loud as you want, but just remember, and I hope it soothes you, everything does pass, and if it doesn’t, you are resilient, you will learn to live with just about anything. Promise.
Your own insecurities make you pick on other people’s insecurities, you will be hurt and you will hurt. Know that you will learn, and learn when to apologize, and learn to apologize. Learn to forgive, learn to talk it out. I know you can’t stand conflict, but learn that sometimes it is needed to resolve and evolve.
Be proud. Little bean, you will spend so many years loving things in secret, in shame, and you shouldn’t. The things you like aren’t even big, they aren’t hurting anyone, and they are making you feel better and part of something, so why are you scared to show it to the world? You don’t even have to show it, just stop hiding it away like it’s some sort of shameful secret. If you like it, it’s not stupid. Stand tall and stop hiding.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep learning, keep introspecting. This is how you will grow the most, but this is also how you will be a better human, and how you will understand yourself and the people around you.
Don’t be scared. I know you are, I still am, but I am living proof that you will get through it, even if you will think you won’t. You will, and it makes me hopeful because it means that I will also get through whatever is coming my way.
If you look at yourself from back then, do you have the same young heart? Are you proud of who you became, would that little version of you look up to who you are now?
Have a little conversation with yourself, check in with who you were and it’ll reset you.
I hope you find time to listen lately, and sometimes the dialogue comes from within as well, because you need to have a little talk with yourself once in a while. I hope you’re just doing that, my sweethearts. In the meantime, spend time with us on the Facebook page or the Instagram page and we will try our best to help you during your journey.