• Sahar Abdulaziz

Dear Little Girl

Dear Little Girl,

Just wanted to touch base with you…I mean, its been like what? Over fifty years. I figured I’d fill you in on you.

I often hear people ask, ‘If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?’ I actually thought of a few things.

  1. For the love of God and Country: don’t color, cut or perm your hair. You have no sense of style so don’t bother. You are also lazy as hell when it comes to hairstyles and you go into deep depression when a stylist cuts your hair too short. So do everyone–especially yourself a favor–and keep it long, one length. You will anyway. BTW, it will turn a salt and pepper gray on you soon enough and growing out that stupid color you had to have will make you nuts.

  2. Hate to tell you, but you never grew another inch after twelve so keep your clothes from the 70s. Especially your Frye Boots-which if I may brag for a moment, you rocked in your teens like it was nobody’s business. However, ditch everything from the 80s- again, see #1- hairstyles—DON’T DO IT. Trust me.

  3. Don’t cry over boys. [especially 'you-will-know-who-soon-enough'] They are boys, not men. Not worth the salt you used to taint your teen tears. When you least expect it or think you want or don't deserve it, you will fall in love with a man who is madly in love with you. He will treat you like his queen. The two of you will have decades of laughs, half-a dozen gorgeous children together, and a life and home filled with love. Even at fifty-five he thinks you’re hot–so don’t sweat the small stuff. Eat cake, laugh loud, protect your young heart, and just concentrate on being the best rendition of yourself–nobody else. Oh- and that version is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Remember that.

  4. You become a mom. Six times. I know, the same girl who took apart her doll heads, but you do and you love each one of your children with a ferocity you never could have imagined. They will drive you nuts and make you laugh, sometimes at the same time. They are hilarious, loving and a royal pain in the ass. You have a witty bunch. Smart as heck, but they will have you swearing that you’re the one that’s out of her mind. They may be right. The jury is still out on that one. To compensate for the craziness of your life, you will overdose on tea and talk to yourself. But don’t worry, some of your children will get paid back and have a boatload of kids JUST like themselves, Muhahahaha, so hold on- it will be okay. PS: the grandchildren are delicious.

  5. Believe in yourself. You spent in inordinate amount of your young life not doing that. And it was a total, self-defeating waste of time, and subsequently, you made some really over-the-top, off the wall, stupid-and I mean STUPID choices. Trust yourself more. You are not obligated to entertain or save anyone. You have the right to be safe, even if those around you didn’t value that enough for you-you have to fight to protect yourself or learn to run faster. When people show you who they are, don’t try to fix them. Pray for them, wish them well, but your job is only to fix yourself. Let them go, close the door–slam that sucker shut so you can protect you.

  6. You will lose your health at a young age. Nothing you did caused it. Just shitty DNA, so don’t blame yourself. Don’t bother trying a hundred different diets, vitamins or other stuff to ‘fix’ it. It won’t work. You will live a life of physical pain and you will get stronger because of it. You may not believe me right now, but your tough. Strong. A fighter. You will refuse to let your disease dictate your life or your dreams and you plow through them. Yes, you will, at times, close up into a ball of nothingness and wish the world would leave you alone for once, but you eventually get over it and pull yourself up and out. You regain your footing and keep moving, past the pain. I’m sorry our body is at war with us, but it will also be your silent friend, reminding you at each turn that you are not better than anyone else, and that is a gift. It keeps you self-effacing and caring. Not a bad trade-off.

  7. Celebrate your unhipness, your empathetic nature, your ability to cry at commercials. Don’t let others harden your soft heart. Don’t be embarrassed by your love for puns, and books and words. You will be vulnerable and at times, scared shit, but guess what? That never changes. You are marked as the soul you are from birth so deal with it. Grow with it. And here’s the big secret I’ve been dying to tell you. Ready? Pay attention: All your so-called weaknesses, your love of words, your ability to feel everything … it will be the exact catalyst for the career that you FINALLY chose. You, my dear, become an author. You will write stories that touch hearts. Your words will mysteriously combine in the universe to speak to other souls who need to hear or learn, just like they had done for you. It’s the nature of who we are as humans. The need to share, to empathize and to experience.

  8. Hey, you are a pretty good cook. You can’t sew worth a damn and your singing voice should be illegal. Sing anyway–preferably away from wildlife. Long story.

  9. You are a social introvert. Don’t try to change. It’s who you are. Continue to value experiences over consumerism. You got that one right.

  10. Lastly, don’t do anything I said because unless you go through everything–the ups and downs like I did, you won’t be the person you are today. Wear your scars, you earned them. Your grays too; they are your crown. Live your life little girl. I mean, really live it– in whatever form you’ve been gifted. Ameen.

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