Notes to My 7 year old Self

Notes to My 7 year old Self
 

It's gonna be hot and dry...keep your hair short.

Don't do anything to your boobs. They're gonna be little. Rejoice in that.

Don't take everything so seriously. Have fun. Make mistakes. Fall down. Get back up.

You will meet the man of your dreams. In high school. But you won't know it. You'll go searching for him for the next twenty years, only to discover he was just down the street the whole time.

You will meet the man of your dreams and share a great love.

 Photography by Lindsay Morris

Photography by Lindsay Morris

You will not have children. For a while you will think you want them. This will pass. Now and then you'll wonder what they would have looked like. Especially when you look at pictures of your lover as a boy.

Life goes by faster than you can imagine. Soak it up. Do everything.

If you want to do something, do it. Don't wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into days turns into weeks, months, and years. Do it now.

Don't try to make people love you, or even like you.

Love people. Let them love you.

Feed birds. Put out seed in a pan in your yard. Watch them with your cat.

Always have a cat. Or two. Or three.

Don't underestimate the power of a little lip gloss and mascara. Not over other people. Over yourself and how you feel. It works on other people too.

Shower everyday. Wash your hair everyday. You have fine hair. It needs washing.

Never go gray. Men can go gray. Women shouldn't with rare exception.

 Photography by Paul D'Amato

Photography by Paul D'Amato

Keep up those piano lessons. Someday you'll wish you could play.

Practice speaking Spanish. It'll come in handy.

You'll live in LA your whole life.

You can't imagine this now, but someday you'll live in the Valley. And like it.

Traffic will get worse. Much worse.

Exercise. Move your body everyday. You can never sit still so this will come easily to you.

Breathe. You can never sit still so this will challenge you.

You want to be a writer. Remember this. You'll detour into acting, real estate, jobs you think are grown up. This will pass. You are a writer.

You think you'll never want to be a teacher because you'd never be finished with homework.

You will be a teacher. Of writing and yoga. You will love this more than you can fathom.

You will live your life motivated by love. Not money. You won't be good with money.

 Photography by Hellen van Meene

Photography by Hellen van Meene

You will be told you are selfish for exercising, for bathing, for seeing friends, for going to school. The man of your dreams will tell you this. You will wonder if he's right. You won't think he is, but it will hurt you just the same.

You will know he loves you. You will wonder if he likes you.

The man of your dreams will fall asleep at 11am with a drink in his hand. At 7pm with a drink in his hand. During a movie. At the theater. He will forget the words he speaks. He will forget the words you speak. He will resent you for loving him.

The man of your dreams will be an alcoholic. A broken man. A sad man. You will love him anyway.

The man of your dreams will be hounded by childhood demons. Haunted by a dead baby. Not your child together. You will not have children together. His child from before you. You won’t know it for years but this baby will hover over your love like a small angry angel.

He will have a nervous breakdown. He will wrap his body around yours and sob. He will wait by the front door for you to come home from work. He will wake in the night and ask you to hold him. The man of your dreams will want to die. He will beg you never to leave him. He will say he'll die if you leave him.

And then he will break up with you.

The man of your dreams will choose his brokenness, his sadness, and his alcohol over your love and your life together. You will not see this coming. You will believe love conquers all.

You will try to help him. Save him. Save yourself. You will fail.

 Photography by Lindsay Morris

Photography by Lindsay Morris

You will break in ways you can't imagine now. You will experience pain that will make you scream and cry and beat your fists. You will experience fear and desperation, shock and disbelief at the end of your life with this man you loved so completely.

You will throw your arms wide and ask for help. You will discover how much people love you. Want to help you. Have been there for you all along. You will discover complete strangers will reach out to you in love.

You will discover asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength.

You will cry for nine months. Your heart will pound. Your mind will race. You will not sleep. You will burst into tears when anyone asks you how you are. You will burst into tears when you are by yourself. You will feel like a body part has been wrenched off.

You will miss the love of your life like you'd miss the sun.

You will get a therapist.

You will go to meetings.

You don't believe in God, but you will have a higher power.

 Photography by Eliot Dudik

Photography by Eliot Dudik

You won't believe your higher power loves you, like the 12 step literature says. You will believe your higher power is indifferent to your suffering. And your happiness. And everyone else's.

You will talk to your higher power anyway. You will ask for guidance. You will promise to listen.

You will try to let the man of your dreams go. He will hang around you like cobwebs, sticky in your hair, in your eyelashes, on your fingertips. He will invade your dreams. He will disrupt your sleep. He will contact you just as you're feeling okay without him. You will have conversations with him in your bathroom mirror. In your car. On your walks. In the shower. While you're doing dishes. You will see him everywhere. You will remember everything you did together. You will want him back. You will think he'll never leave. You will think you're going crazy.

You will go to a psychic. You don't believe in psychics. She will tell you there is nothing there for you. She will tell you he is not sad, not broken. He's a drunk. She will tell you he likes it. She will tell you he can't love you or anyone. He can't love himself. She will tell you he's a child. He's a victim. He doesn't know himself. This is what he wants. She will tell you he's not through with you.

You will know all of this already.

She will tell you to let him go.

So you will. You do. You finally do. You release hope like a rock dropped in the ocean. It sinks to the bottom and is gone.

 Photography by Lindsay Morris

Photography by Lindsay Morris

You will be alone. You will watch reality tv. You hate reality tv. And then you love it. You will want to be Carole Radziwill. Or at least have her tiger print couch. She is a widow. You will feel like a widow. Like alcohol killed the love of your life. Like he is dead instead of up the street in the house you used to share. You and Carole are like this.

You will make more plans with friends than you ever have in your life until now. You will let them see you. You will let them help you. You will let them love you.

For the first time in your life, you will be happy to have so much work to do. For the first time in your life, you will find silence unbearable.

You will want someone to love. Your will want someone to love you.

You will swipe left 2,863,487 times.

You will not be able to read but you will listen to audio book after audio book.

You will not be able to write. Not yet. Don't worry. Your voice isn't gone, only sleeping. It will take a year, but you and your voice will wake up.

You will be brave. You will cry. You will hurt. You will heal. You will begin again. You will feel hope beating her wings inside your rib cage. This will scare you. This will thrill you.

You will go on a date. You will go on another date. You will go on another date.

You will meet a man.
 
You will take a chance.

Maybe you will love him.

Maybe you'll let him love you.

Maybe this man will be the love of life, back in your life. Sober. Trying. This will be your most ardent dream.

Maybe he will be someone else.

You will love yourself. This is not selfish.

You will love yourself. Love conquers all.

Love conquers all.
 

 Photography by Nathalia Edenmont

Photography by Nathalia Edenmont


Notes to My 7 year old Self

By

Megan McCord


Cover Photography by Nathalia Edenmont