Notes to my younger self

1. You were NOT the crazy one. You were the only rational being in your family.

2. Hide your journal better. Your sister will read it, tell your mother about it, and subsequently throw it into the fireplace, thus severely crippling your passion for writing for about 20 years, to be re-claimed when you are going through a mid-life “adjustment” (no, it’s not a crisis). During which time, you will lament that you have made about 20 attempts to journal over the years only to stop after a few entries.

3. You have an amazingly insightful and beautiful mind and the reason your family had it out for you is because they feared it.

4. The intensity and extreme highs you get from ideas and learning and writing was not indications of bi-polar disorder as your older sister tried to tell you (can we say gaslighting anyone?), but instead has the appropriate name of intellectual overexcitablities (see SENG article on Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities).

5. Your life isn’t as worthless as your family made you feel. It’s going to turn out just fine if you wait just a little longer. That you will go on to find a mentor who understood not only your intellectual passions, but your deep need for self-reflection. You will go on to have a really amazing career path and ultimately walk way from it (without regrets) for your three beautiful children.

6. Put that packet of sleeping pills back on the shelf. Your life is not over by a long shot.

7. You are a Writer. The way you process your experiences and create meaning is through your writing. You need to write to thrive.

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