Day 23: A Letter To Someone Who Has Changed My Life

Dear Dr Paul,

I guess it’s about time I told you all of these things, it’s certainly been a long time coming. You see when I began this blog, my first post was dedicated to one of the two people who had a huge influence upon me taking steps toward becoming a ‘writer’. In that post I hinted that I would eventually tell the story of the first person that nudged me onto this path of words. The person who quite literally changed my life.

That person was you.

It’s better than fiction really. A depressed, overweight housewife goes to visit the local GP at a sleepy country medical practice. She wants to lose weight, expecting to be glanced over and handed a prescription for diet pills (again) she has no idea that her life is about to change.

I don’t know what you saw that day, or if you even remember me, but I will always remember you. I remember leaving your office with an assignment instead of a prescription, you asked me to write the story of my life and bring it back to you in a week.
So I wrote, and wrote, and wrote! I remember my husband asking me one night as I scratched away in my notebook, if I was going to have to pay you extra for how long it would take you to read it! Eventually, satisfied that I had captured how I saw my life I gave you the missive and waited for your evaluation. I also suspected that as well as diet pills you may also add a couple of extra prescriptions!

I will never forget your face as you sat before me the following week. You held my chronicle in your hands and looked me in the eye.

“I want you to make me a promise. I want you to faithfully promise me something”.

My heart was in my throat by this stage, I think I murmured a strained “okay”.

“I want you to promise me that you will go to university”.

I’m fairly certain I stopped processing most everything else after that, university was the last thing I expected you to say! Yet, with that one word a light switched on inside my soul. To this day that light hasn’t dimmed, it continues to burn brighter with every step I take on this path of words and tales.

I know I left your office that day filled to overflowing with encouragement. Filled with vision as I hadn’t been before, you looked beyond the frumpy and lost person who wandered into your office, and deposited hope and possibility. I could write for decades and never come close to explaining the profound and pivotal role you have played in my life, I will be glad if this letter provides you with even the slightest glimpse of the changes your influence has wrought.

It may seem strange to others reading this, that from that point my contact with you was very little. I think the last time I saw you was to show you my acceptance letter into university. So let me take this opportunity to give you a quick ‘highlights reel’ of the last 4 years…

  • 2008-2009 Achieved a HD average across all subjects.
  • 2009 Gave birth to Samuel Shaun.
  • 2010 Began this blog and continued with study maintaining my HD average.
  • 2011 Was accepted into Oxford University’s Creative Writing Summer Program and spent 5 weeks studying and exploring England and Scotland.

Obviously I could expand each of those points a million times over, but I really just wanted to give you a glimpse of how my life has changed. Because of you.

Because as a doctor, you chose to see me as a story instead of a case study. You unlocked something that allowed me to make choices I didn’t even know were available to me. You opened my eyes to a new future, if I was brave enough to jump into it. I am so glad I was!

I don’t know how many other people you’ve influenced or empowered as you have me, and though I’m only one I hope that you understand how thankful I am for you. My life has forever been made infinitely more wonderful, adventurous, imaginative and colourful because you dared to be more than every other doctor I have known.

I now understand that we can never know just how much our words, our encouragement, our belief can transform a persons life.

Thank you from the depths of my heart.

Amelia xo

P.S. I’m still chunky 😉

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Day 21: A Letter To Someone Who Is Broken

Image

Another Beautiful Zaldy Infante Image

Hello Friend,

Is today a good day or a bad day?

I’m sure you’ve had, and will continue to have both. I’m not going to pretend to have all of the answers for you, I won’t even pretend to have any, I’ll just come and sit by you for a while, if that’s okay with you.
I don’t mind if you don’t want to talk, I’m fine with silence, I know that sometimes in the silence we hear the clearest. I just don’t want you to be alone, not even for a moment. No one should walk this path alone, even though thats exactly how it feels. That you’re detached, that the same ground you were conquering yesterday has crumbled around you, leaving you stranded and abandoned on an escarpment built for one. You are facing sharp rocks of grief that tear away at your heart, you are bewildered and disorientated in a blinding fog of powerlessness, and you are battered by storms filled with unanswered questions. Yes, I know what it feels like.

People may try to make you feel better by explaining that you are simply one of many, One of a countless number who have experienced this. They will tell you that endings are simply a part of life. Ignore them. They have no idea what you are feeling.
No one has ever felt this kind of pain, this kind of grief, this kind of loss, because this is your unique torture. This belongs to you.

I don’t mind if you want to cry. Crying isn’t a bad thing. I think that sometimes crying is like bathing a wound that no one else can see, the salt in our tears soothes, and begins the process of healing. It keeps the area clean and free of any bitterness or anger that can get stuck in there if we try to hold everything inside. Crying is the way we acknowledge that something hurts, and I know this is hurting.

I want you to rest. fold yourself into loving arms. I know that you have those around you. Let them carry you for a little while. Anything that is broken must have a time of rest, a time of stillness to let the trauma settle. Don’t worry, the world will keep turning even if you aren’t busy doing all of the things you normally do, and those things will still be there waiting for you when you are ready for them.

You will heal, but yes there will be a scar, however that scar can become something beautiful. You can find the promise within the pain, and you can break through into the sunshine once more. I know it.

So for now my broken friend, I will just sit here beside you and hold your hand. I will keep my breathing steady, so that you have a rhythm to follow. I will be here through it all, in any way you need me.

That is what friendship is all about.

Now close your eyes and rest, the sun will come out again in the morning.

Love Always

Amelia xo

Day 20: A Letter To Someone Who Is Working Too Hard

Dear Overextended,

I have been watching you lately – not in a creepy voyeuristic way or anything, just in the way a person watches out for someone they care about. I have to say, I’m a little concerned. Some people bite off more than they can chew, you seem to jump right to the chewing and don’t even look at the size of your portion! Believe me I’m the last person to lecture anybody about portion control, so it’s just as well I’m not pursuing the food analogy any further, but seriously I am worried that you’ll make yourself sick one way or another if you keep going the way you are.

The thing about gifted people is, they often have infinite possibilities available to them at any given moment. There are so many things that are within the realm of their ‘Possible’,  that they often mistake their opportunities for obligation.

For example: I have a car – therefore it is within the scope of my ‘Possible’ to offer a lift to every single person I see walking along the side of the road.  Being the kind hearted and good willed person I am, I know that my offer of transport could have a positive and uplifting effect upon the recipient. I could mean the difference between them arriving at their destination late or on time, wet or dry, even dead or alive (although if they were dead they probably wouldn’t actually arrive, but you get what I mean).

So, knowing all of the above, acknowledging that my assistance could have such a huge impact upon someone else’s life, knowing the fact that I have a car when they do not; am I therefore obligated to offer them assistance? Don’t look at me like I’m being stupid, I’m making a point!

Just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean that you should.

That’s why God invented busses, trains, taxis, horses and bikes, heck he even invented feet! That’s what I’m saying, while yes, you are a possible answer to a need, there are also many other answers available as well – even if you aren’t aware of them.

You know when they give the safety announcement on a plane? One of the things that always makes me uncomfortable is the part when they talk about the oxygen masks. They calmly tell parents to fit their own mask before they attend to their children. The mother inside of me is screaming “Are you insane!?” because in everything, my kids lives will always come before mine. But the fact is, the pretty lady with the yellow life jacket over her perfectly made up head is right – unless I have enough oxygen to keep my brain functioning, the chance of me being any kind of help to my kids is greatly reduced. You have to take the time to make sure that you’re okay, before you can be confident that you can help someone else.

I’m not saying that you need to stop everything that you’re doing, I’m not even saying that what you have been doing is too much. I’m just saying take a breath, check your oxygen levels, check those around you. If you need a break, take one. There are other hands, feet, taxis and busses all around you who will do whatever you need them to, all you need to do is ask.

Waiting for you to exhale.

Amelia x

Day 18: A Letter To Someone Who Wants To Give Up

Dear Weary One,

I don’t know who this letter is for, I just know that it’s has been rattling around inside of me for the last 2 days. I know you must be out there somewhere, so if you’re reading this and it’s hitting home, then please take it to heart. I would tell you these things in person if I could, but for now letter form will have to suffice.

I get the feeling that you are just so tired. You’re tired of fighting through the same rubbish every day. You’re tired of the act, the monotony and the endlessness of it all. You’re just plain tired, in fact no one in the history of the universe has ever been as tired as you are right now. That’s right, no one. Ever. Ever.

You don’t want to keep reading because you think I’m going to get all pep-talkey on you, well I’m not making any promises but I will try to keep the sunshiny rainbow stuff to a minimum, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that things can always get worse. You could be forced to spend the next 3 minutes with a rainbow pooping space traveling pixel-cat with the worlds most irritating soundtrack! Observe.

Now that I’ve shown you that life can in fact always get worse, let’s get back to discussing you. I have no idea what’s bought you to the place where you no longer posess the vision, the desire or even the energy to face your future, all I know is that for some reason todays letter is for you. The least you can do is read it, it can’t be as bad as another 3 minutes of Nyan Cat up there!

So here’s what I want to say to you.

If you’re still breathing, then there’s still hope! – In the words of the uberwise Kung Fu Panda “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”. Now, you can’t get cross at me for how corny that is, it was uttered by a panda. No one can be mad at pandas, they’re way too cute!

Seriously though, you need to understand that if there’s still life left in your body, then no matter how bad you feel right now your purpose in this world is not complete. There is an incredible plan for you, you’ve just wandered away from the path a little bit! I get it I have been there so many times I’ve lost count, but I have also taken my own and other very smart and loving people’s advice and just kept on breathing. Eventually you will find your way through! Dory had it right all along!

 

Yes, I am quoting cartoons an awful lot in this post, but you know what? When my 2 year old falls down, even when he has really hurt himself you want to know what he does? He picks himself up, runs over to either myself or his daddy and presents us with his injury. He expects us to press a gentle kiss upon the ‘owie’ so that it can be made all better and he can continue on his way.

Yes, life is really that simple! It really does come down to a few very simple points.

  1. Stuff Happens – It can really suck sometimes, it can make you cry, it can even make you bleed, but if it doesn’t kill you, then I guess that means you’re not out of the game yet. Awesome!
  2. Take your ‘owie’ to the right people – Can you imagine what would happen if my child took his injury to another injured and crying child instead of coming to his parents? It would turn into the loudest, saddest, most unhappy place in the playground! A hurting child will not have sympathy and tenderness required to care for another hurting and crying child. Instead they will feel the need to cry even louder to ensure that the real caregivers can hear them and help. Don’t try to get the help you need from someone who is in the same place as you are! Take yourself to the people who have what you need to get yourself through this time!
  3. Once you have what you need, don’t just sit there afraid of getting hurt again – get back out there and laugh and play! Simply enjoy the feeling of the wind in your hair as you go down the slide, or the giddiness of the merry-go-round. Life happens in the simple pleasures. If you have forgotten that, then you will forever   feel that you lack what you need to live a happy and joy filled life.
  4. A smile changes everything and everything can change with a smile. Start there and the rest will follow.

Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!

Love you

xo 

Day 15: A Letter to My Possible

Dear Possible,

I owe you an apology, if we were married, you could call the way I treat you emotional abuse! I ignore you, demean you, underestimate you and constantly see you as inferior to every one else’s Possible. Indeed I would be an awful spouse – the worst, if we were married, but we aren’t. So I ask myself, does this make my behavior better or worse?  If I feel guilty and a little bit disgusted with myself whilst viewing you as something separate from myself , then what do I feel when I acknowledge that you are actually as much a part of me as my hands, my eyes and my smile?

Honestly, pretty ashamed.

You are my possible, you are what is is my hands right now. No, not the laptop keyboard, but the spare change for a hungry man, the kind word for the frazzled check-out chick, the grace of forgiveness for a guilty child, the delicious dinner for a family going through an awful time. You are what I have the ability to do, the latent potential to make a positive impact in someone else’s moment, day, life or history. You are the glance that recognizes a need that I have the ability to meet! You are the part of me that shakes your head at my selfishness, that frowns upon my continual worry when there is always someone somewhere who is worse off. You are the part of me that knows my life is improved when I embrace you. You are my Possible.

So I have decided to change the way I look at you, because let’s face it, it’s only a coward who tries to justify their neglect and remain in ignorance of their own Possible, so  in the words of Marty McFly “Nobody calls me chicken!”. I am going to open my eyes, and my heart to your existence, because I just can’t pretend that I have nothing to offer anymore. Even if I were stripped bare of everything I owned, I still have my smile, my words and my actions to give. So I will do just that.

I will sieze the opportunities to unleash you my Possible upon this unsuspecting world. I won’t hold back a kindness, fail to encourage, or walk past a need. Well, at least I’ll try. I may be limited in what I can do in some places, but there are always opportunities to throw you in with a whole bunch of other peoples Possibles and do something truly amazing.

So I ask you, are you ready? Are you up for the job of pinching me in that soft spot under the arm if it looks like I might miss a chance to embrace you. I give you permission to kick me in the bum if I am becoming apathetic again, don’t let me anesthetize myself with distractions and the general ‘busyness’  of life. I never want to be too busy to make someone else’s, better or easier or just happier.

I can do that. That is always possible.

I wonder what would happen if everyone embraced their own Possible.

Looking forward to working with you.

Regards – Your Person.

**Thanks Enzo for letting me use one of your amazing photos – you help us all see what miracles lay on the other side of our Possible!

Day 14: A Letter to the Last Person I Kissed

My Dear Little One,

Kissing you is a language in itself.

There are kisses of tenderness. Given in the quiet moments just before sleep, or those precious seconds when you are safe and secure in my arms. Those kisses are filled with endearments whispered straight into your heart, they capture every devoted thought and pour them out upon you so that you will never be in doubt of you value.

There are kisses of comfort. Given when something hurts, because sometimes life just hurts. I wish it didn’t, I wish I could send you off into the world, indestructible and fierce, but I can’t. Instead I can only promise, that whether your pain is through injury, discouragement, frustration or sadness – no matter what, that I will always be there to kiss it better.

There are kisses of joy. Given in those spontaneous moments of laughter that bubble up from inside. They shower down when you discover something new and gift us with your brightest smile – dimple and all. These kisses are sweet like sun-ripened strawberries, they are the perfect celebration of the moment.

There are kisses of reassurance. Given to impart faith and trust, understanding and encouragement. These kisses tell you that I see what is making you uneasy, whilst still giving you the courage to venture forth into the unknown. They are given to appease your fears and to strengthen your character. You can rely upon these kisses in those times when you doubt all else.

There are kisses of apology. Given when I make mistakes, because I know I make mistakes. Sometimes I don’t understand what you need, or I miss what it is you are trying to tell me. For the times when I fail to give you the right kiss in the right moment. These kisses will try so hard to make up for the ones I miss.

There are kisses of forgiveness. Given when you make mistakes, because you will make mistakes. Because you are only learning that lipsticks aren’t for eating, and washing powder isn’t for making sand castles. I will give these kisses freely, even when I’m cross because they remind me that every moment is precious and not to wast a chance for even a single kiss.

The last kiss I gave you was a good-night kiss. I gave it to you as I lay you down in your cot. It was a kiss of peace and prayer. It was a kiss to fill your spirit up until I can begin to give you all kinds of kisses again tomorrow. You are everything that is cherished and priceless, you are sunshine and rainbows and Vegemite smiles.

There are a million more kisses that could be named, but let’s just call it LOVE.

I love you little boy, sweet dreams.

Mummy xxx

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Day 13: A Letter to a New Mum

Dear Mumma,

I’m going to attempt to write you the letter I wish I’d been given when I first found out I was pregnant. It will probably fall well short of being what you need, but even if one thing I say makes your journey a little easier, then at least I made a difference.

Motherhood will never be what you expect it to be. It will be so much more. The love you feel will be deeper, more profound than anything you’ve experienced before. However, so will a whole host of other emotions, there is no such thing as a normal mother so don’t even try to be one! The fact is that no one knows how they are going to travel upon the road of motherhood, but I have learned one thing – you don’t have to do it alone.

These days we are surrounded with false and misleading representations of what it means to be a mother. Television advertisements tell us that our children should be happy smiling angels, our washing should smell like a summer breeze, our kitchen benches should be so clean you can see your reflection in them and that we should look like the next character on Desperate Housewives. However, most of the time – especially for the first year or so you may in fact look like this:

 

And this is at 2pm in the afternoon. In fact if you did have curlers in your hair I would call it a win for you!

What this letter is not going to be, is one of those heavy-on-the-irony jobs filled with anecdotes of dirty nappies (daipers for all non-nappy speaking countries), vomit adorned clothing and a doom of sleepless nights. The fact is: poo, vomit, crying, fear, sleep deprivation, dismay, goofy joy, frustration, pride and a million other things are simply a part of the package. When it comes to babies, unless you have a host of servants assigned to all the messy bits, then you’re going to experience both the good and the bad. It’s a fact – moving on.

What this letter is going to beis a friendly note to say that you’re doing great. I don’t care if you are tucking a calm and peaceful little bundle into bed where they will sleep through the night, or if you are a sobbing puddle crouched outside your screaming infants door feeling like your world is collapsing. You. Are. Doing. Great.

Babies are like Ikea furniture with Japanese instructions. They look so basic in the showroom: eat, feed, sleep.  However when you get them home… Trying to figure them out on your own is just plain bewildering. So here are some things you really need to know:

Mother really does know best: If your gut is telling you there is something wrong with the health of your child, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. You know your baby better than anyone else. With babies it is always better to be over cautious and every doctor worth their salt will tell you the same thing.

Crying won’t hurt your baby:
So if you are in the shower and they start to cry, don’t panic. As long as they are safe, a little bit of crying wont do any lasting damage.

Don’t compare your child with anyone else’s: Every single one is different, they have different needs, bodies, temperaments, and abilities. Your child is exactly who they are meant to be.

Ignore all stares when your child cries in public – most of the time other mums will either glance at you in sympathy, or they will be thanking God that it isn’t their child crying today. We have ALL been there, take a deep breath and simply do whatever it is you need to do.

Baby wipes are little slices of miracle never ever be without them.

Choose your advisors wisely. When it comes to children and how to raise them everyone is an expert. Unfortunately many of these experts are actually secret nazi’s who would judge your every move. You just don’t need people like that in your life. Surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift you. If your baby is healthy and happy then you are doing a great job.

Hint: Look at other parents you know who, in your opinion are doing a good job raising their kids. These are the people who will probably be your best source of advice and help because they more than likely share common family ideals to you.

Take a deep breath, it’s a roller-coaster. Anyone who tells you different is lying or heavily medicated. The journey is different for everyone, you look at that little plastic strip and think you know what you are in for, but then every day from that point on is a learning curve. You aren’t alone. Just ask.

Love you xxoo

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