39 years ago today, a kid you secretly had a crush on for weeks, told everyone at your table, in homeroom, that he liked you, and wanted to be your boyfriend. You still remember this, partially because your mind is a wonder of useless information...but also because, suddenly, out of nowhere, your fledgling little life, and insecure heart, lit up like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. You thought for sure that you finally must be something special, not because you are but because that boy thinks you are. If I could reach back to October 23rd, 1981, I would take that 11 year-old girl into my arms and whisper "you are, and have always been, so very special, because you are you, and there's nobody else in the whole wide world who is, or ever will be, your unique self, with your set of unique gifts. And just as you are, you are good. And lovable. What I need you to know right now, baby cakes, and every other day hereafter, for as long as you are a living breathing human being on this earth, is that the person you most need to like you is YOU. There's going to be a whole lotta people comin' into your life, like this kid in your class, professing all manner of "loving you forevers", and " never gonna leave you for nothing I promises.." and maybe they will mean it. And maybe they will do just as they say...and as long as they hold up their end of the bargain, you will feel like you are on top of the world- like you can accomplish anything your little heart desires. But if they choose a different path, which I'm telling you straight-up, SOME OF THEM WILL, and you don't already like you, for you?!!! Oh, child- you are gonna end up lost, and feeling like a total loser, because you never figured out how to love your own self, all by yourself. Relying on others to love you seems like a great plan, in the moment- but honey pie, trust me on this one- until you can stand solidly on your own two feet, knowing you are good no matter what anybody else thinks, you will always end up disappointed- or worse: lonely, desperate, and unfulfilled. Don't believe those fairy tales that tell little girls, like you, that you need a knight, in shining armor, to show up with flowers, to rescue you from your troubles, so you can live happily ever after. Judy- that is a steaming pile of dog turds... Feeling special and loved and capable of greatness is an inside job- and it's totally up to you to get 'er done.
But since I can't reach back and talk to little you, I am going to tell the 50 year-old Judy this very same thing...And today, you are receiving this bouquet, because you bought it your own damn self, to break this cycle of depending on others to be the mirror, reflecting back to you, whether or not you are worthy of loving. These flowers are a reminder, from deep down in the core of your mighty being, that it's never too late to start showing up for YOU...YOU are so worth it (but you ain't no spring chicken, so maybe let's put the hustle in your bustle, girrrly).
Also, you are a badass.
(Which Is Really The Beginning)
*fistfuls of gratitude and endless adoration to my friend, Melinda Burdyk, the very talented floral artist and owner of Made For The Occasion Flowers, who created this stunning beauty for me, and who took the time to read that letter I sent myself- and not only did she not judge me as totally coo-coo, she bothered to write a card to me (and my inner 11 year old self) with her own touching words, in response. My world is so much better because you are in it, Melinda