As published on My Swiss Story on February 15,2021
You turned 50 last year, can you believe it? Don’t worry you don’t look or feel 50 at all! People are often shocked to learn you are that age – revel in it. You deserve it.
I know you can’t wait to grow up and be your own person. You have a myriad of dreams of what your life will be like. As a teenager you and your bestie dream of turning 30 and becoming advertising executives, living the big life in New York City.
Not to dampen your buzz but the closest you get to NYC is a romantic ,proposal weekend, and a lovely spring trip with your mom and kids to hangout with some real-life movie actors (that’s a much longer story). But really being a full-fledged grown up is not all bad. There is a ton of freedom that comes with it, more than even you could have imagined.
You have not one, but two amazing careers that you love and that make a positive impact in the world. You go on fantastic vacations that are the envy of others. You even move to a foreign country, where you don’t know a soul and embark on a whole new life there. Oh the adventures you will have and the delicious food you get to eat. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
There are some things I wish you would have done differently, though. If only you had known then what you know now. That’s why I’m writing to you!
Author age 8
The teenage years are going to be challenging to say the least. You struggle with acceptance , your appearance and finding your place in the world. People are going to tell you to lighten up, smile more and have fun. You should probably listen, instead of retreating to that dark place inside.
You will be cursed with horrible acne and your hair is going to go from that cute Dorothy Hamill bob to something untamable and wild. This is going to take a huge toll on your self esteem. All I can say is don’t let it destroy you and don’t compare yourself with others. (and maybe relax a bit on the junk food).
Life is going to throw you some curveballs. You will lose people you love way too soon and it will feel like you fell in a dark hole with no way out. But you rise up with a whole new level of empathy and caring for yourself and others.
Here is the thing you should know. You get to decide how long you stay in the darkness or let your gorgeous light shine. I encourage you to shine. Because you are so strong. You harness these huge dreams of saving the world. And once you put your mind to something, there is no stopping you. Don’t let what society thinks you should look like squelch what you have to offer.
And while we are on that subject – stay focused on your school work. Don’t dumb yourself down to make others feel better, especially boys. Make yourself the most important thing in your life. Because you are beautiful inside and out, even if you don’t see it all the time.
Your worth is not measured by how clear your skin is, how shiny your hair is or what number shows up on the scale. Trust me none of that matters. Who you are on the inside and what you do with your amazing gifts are going to be what is most important.
You will struggle with food issues thanks to reading too many glossy magazines and comparing yourself to actors you worship on TV. Stop counting calories and being afraid of eating what you really want to (Except sugar – ditch that like the 80’s leg warmers). Because the crap you put in your body as part of a so called ‘diet’, is not food. And this lack of real food will impact your health and happiness for years to come.
I know you might find this shocking, but you will become a pretty good cook, able to create healthy and delicious meals without the worry of counting calories. So go ahead and ditch the shitty lean cuisine frozen dinners that have zero nutritional value and leave you starving. You will learn to love food again and enjoy elaborate pizza and pasta dinners in Italy and seafood buffets in Croatia without the guilt. Enjoy it! Let go of the diet industry brainwashing. Just eat real food!
Don’t settle – girl it may look grim out there in the dating world for a while, but DO NOT SETTLE. You are going to go through your fair share of heartache and find yourself in a number of weddings asking yourself when you will find yours. Hang in there because yours true love story is so worth waiting for.
But the key to finding true love is learning to love yourself first. Love everything about you, frizzy hair and all.
You will find that amazing partner that lights you up, and makes life so much sweeter. Together you have two cheeky children. Although the journey to get there won’t be easy. (that drug you take for your skin problems when you were younger, is going to come back to bite you in the ovaries as you try to get pregnant). But the good news is you are a warrior, you come out of it on the other side stronger than ever. You are resilient.
You take all that you’ve learned about health and nutrition and start a new career in your 40’s. One focused on helping other women kick the diet industry standards to the curb and heal their relationship with food. Your practice is rooted in self care, self acceptance and environmental stewardship.
Sure you make some mistakes along the way. You speak your mind a bit too often which gets you in some hot water sometimes. People tend to either love you or hate you and that is OK. Stand strong in your convictions, but also know that not everyone has to be your friend and that is OK.
Bottomline: Don’t give up! You go through so much in your life and every single bit of it makes you who you are. It is all worth it!
So my one piece of advice that I hope you take to heart – Love yourself fiercely! ALL OF YOU – not just some parts – your hair, your body, your mind, everything that makes you uniquely YOU.
Even if you have to put a sticky note up and remind yourself every single day.
You are Beautiful. You are amazing. Enjoy this life you are given.
With so much love and respect,
PS Spend more time with those you love because they can be gone in the blink of an eye. Ask them those questions you always wanted to ask.
And one more thing – When you are in NYC with your then amazing boyfriend on that cold January weekend DO NOT ORDER THE PAELLA! Just don’t do it – trust me!!!