Dear 41-year-old Courtney—
I need you to really believe you are worth the effort. You have inside of you all of the beauty, joy, creativity and faith required to live a life that is so rich and powerful, but you believe that it’s never the right time for you. I need you to know that there is no other time. There is no future self that is living a fabulous life without you. The future self of your imagination will only exist if you start living fabulously right now. Live with the rich colors, textures and flavors you long for.
I need you to put your phone down. Stop using your attention as currency to pay other people to advertise their dream worlds to you. Build your own.
I need you to believe in your wisdom. You have the right to be wise and open to more learning at forty-one. Learning is your superpower. Not everyone knows how to learn and apply, and that’s one thing you’ve always excelled at. Embrace the mastery of your ability to constantly grow.
I need you to show yourself more compassion. You love to learn, but you also somehow think you’re supposed to already know everything. That doesn’t make sense. Let yourself off the hook for lessons that came to you later in adulthood. Trust the timing of revelation and accept that maybe those lessons came precisely when they were supposed to.
Speaking of being open, I need you to be open to the difference between boundaries and walls. Both have kept you safe, but the walls also keep you removed from the love you deserve. It’s up to you to determine when the walls come down – and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about that. But also, don’t let yourself hold onto the idea that you need the wall. You are emotionally capable of living without it…when you’re ready.
In six months, you’ll be 42. I need you to not freak out about this and start making lists of the things you want to accomplish before your next birthday. Don’t try to achieve your way into self-acceptance. Acknowledge the work you’ve done to be okay with who you are in this moment. Exist there – here – and stay on the path of eternal discovery.