Thursday, January 12, 2012
Letter to My Niece
Recently, I discovered an incredible blog called Letters of Note. This morning, I read a letter from John Steinbeck to his son about love. Read it here. I'll wait.
Reading this letter inspired me to write my own letter of note. It's not historically important or literary genius or anything, but I feel compelled to share some thoughts with my sweet niece.
Someday, you will be old enough to read and fully understand this blog, and I might quickly go from being your cool, fun auntie to that strange, crazy-cat-lady aunt. It's understandable. There are things on this blog that are quite personal, dark, and serious. You are 7 years old right now, so I don't share my intimate thoughts with you. It's much more fun to make crafts, sing silly songs, and snuggle on couches. I can only imagine that one day you'll be 15 and sitting on your bed listening to rock music and stumble upon my blog and read all the archives. Oh my. That will be interesting.
Your mother and I come from a long line of creative women. Grandma used to write poetry and make all kinds of art. Grandpa's mother wrote poetry, too. So your mom and I have come by our oddness through genetics, and we really can't help it. But I truly feel that being "creative" is better than the alternative. We may see phantoms that aren't really there, but we also see a kaleidoscope of colors where others may only see shades of gray.
Humans are interesting in that they share more information about the bad times than the good. The saying "misery loves company" exists for a reason. We form bonds with people when we share our soft underbellies. Sharing too many good times can come across as bragging and, most of the time, it just p*sses other people off. I know I want to smack people over the head if they only tell me how fabulous their lives are. You might feel, when you read some of my posts, that I am a sad, depressed, lonely, old fart. And it's true that I often write about personal feelings that are kind of "ugly." I do this to get the thoughts OUT of my mind, but I also find comfort in the emails and comments I get from readers -- friends.
The truth of life -- the things that make us unique and powerful and interesting to others -- is not often revealed in conversations about happiness. It is usually learned over the course of many years and is the result of how people respond to hardship. Grandpa taught me long ago that you really only know a person when either you or that person goes through a S.E.E. moment -- a Significant Emotional Event. The person's actions and words during the S.E.E. moment show you what that person is truly made of. It takes time, maturity, and many S.E.E. moments to figure out who you really are. At this age of 34, I am still learning.
One of the things that I appreciate about you is that you see my single/childfree life as an exciting adventure. You've often said that you want to be like me when you grow up so you can do "whatever you want whenever you want." It's true, dear heart, I am able to come and go as I please. My decisions in life do not hinge directly on others. And while I do often write on this blog about being lonely and wanting a life partner, I do believe deep inside that my own path has been the right one for me. I wanted to explore my dreams before I settled down.
It's taking me longer than I thought it would to find a partner, but you know what? That just means that when I find the right man, he will really be the right man. Chicago Cousin recently got engaged and, over Christmas, I watched her and her hubbie-to-be interacting with each other. It was magical. The way they looked at each other made me so happy. When you get married at our (older) age, you are truly choosing to add a person into your life for different reasons than you would have right out of high school. I've been thinking about relationships in a whole new way since I saw Chicago Cousin last. See? Still learning and growing every day.
I have so many things I want to share with you as you get older -- lessons I've learned, adventures I've had, and moments that only you and I will share. And I want you to share so many things with me! I look forward to the future when you might call me to tell about something happening in your life. Will you ask me for advice? Will you independently engineer a creative solution? Will you go through a time when Auntie Bon Bon is the LAST person you want to spend an afternoon with? All things are possible. And I will love you through every trial, phase, or S.E.E. moment in your life.
You have my heart,
Auntie Bon Bon
(Have any thoughts for the future, older Little? Leave them in the comments. I think she would enjoy that.)