Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Letter To My 20 Year Old Self

Hi 20 Year Old Amelia, 

I was sitting in my house yesterday when it hit me how much has changed over the past 5 years. When I was 20, I had so many thoughts about how things would be when I was 25, but I didn't expect it to be half of what it is.

When you are 20, you are still so young and new to the world of adulthood. Five years ago I was working at the camp in the summer and making ends meet throughout the winter months. I lived in Riverfront as I went to school. My roommate at the time was Tanisha and Mindu. I was single and I tried to not let it bother me even though it did.

Its funny how the problems of one time tend to solve themselves as you push through. College was an interesting time in my life. I was out on my own and learning the world slowly on my own terms. I think I was more stressed than I needed to be at the time because I wanted everything to be perfect.

But one thing that I wish I could say to myself is that life just isn't perfect sometimes. Some jobs were not meant to be at certain times but later would become something that you enjoyed and have fond memories of. You WILL be an RA in time, you just have to keep applying. You just weren't quite ready yet (and trust me, being able to celebrate your 21st birthday not as an RA was a blessing in disguise). 

Don't give up on love. I know that at this time, you don't think that there is anyone out there who will love you and want to be with you. You are self conscious of your body and just don't see all the beautiful things there are about you. Don't worry though, the person you find is right in front of you, you just have to ask him. Spoiler alert: once you do, you will go on to marry him in September 2016!

And don't give up on your dreams. You want to have a house and a job and be successful. You will achieve all these things if you do what you always do and put your mind to it. You will get your degree, don't be too hard on yourself right now. You will find that job, just keep applying. Remember to tell yourself that the worst they can say is no, but don't give up. Things have come to you when you needed them and that will continue. You will find that job upon graduation and it will be with a company that you will still be working for 3 years later and one that you see a long term career with. You will find something you love that at the end of the day you feel fulfilled because you made a difference. You will find a company that shares your beliefs and morals.

And don't give up on that little house with the fence and the dog and cat. That was a dream that you held on to for such a long time and you were able to make it a reality before your 26th birthday. You now have a house, with a fence. A dog that you love and a cat that loves you, even if she doesn't always show it. You have a kitchen with the window over the sink, just like your mother always wanted. And a backyard where your dog can run and play (and someday your children will play there too). 

All the things you went through before now and will go through in the next 5 years all led up to this happiness. It may seem so far off, but 5 years is so short. You will lose friends and make friends. You will have some strained relationships that will come back in time. You will have some really painful things come up and you will get through. You will grieve losses but you will have so many more triumphs that will bring smiles and joy. You will make your life be beautiful in its own way and learn from so many lessons along the way. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just be you.

And this is where I leave you. Go out there and do all the amazing things that you have done in the past 5 years. There will be even more excitement to in my next 5, 10, 20, 50 years. Don't be too hard on yourself when everything isn't perfect. You are perfect. You are smart. You are beautiful- it just took you some time to realize it. :)

-25 year old Amelia 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dear Aunt Anne,

It's 1:22 in the morning and the only person I can think about is you. I had a moment, about 20 minutes ago, as I was going back to bed after letting the dog out where a memory popped in my head. It was a rather good memory, one of you. But it made the tears start flowing and they just wouldn't stop until I got my thoughts down.

When I was younger, I remember you made me some stationary. It stated something along the lines of "from the desk of Amelia Moore" or "With love from Amelia" or something like that. And on the top you had taken that picture of my mother, brother and I from Paula's wedding and just cropped it of me. You made me like 10 sheets but I thought they were made out of gold and I remember I used to write little notes on them to people and when I got down to the last sheet, I saved it forever until I found someone special.

I can't remember who I wrote to back then. Probably family members and friends who have long thrown those letters in the garbage. But I can remember that paper and how today I love my stationary and how I write people all over the world.

The day I found out you had passed was a normal Wednesday. I was sitting at work doing my normal things when Aunt Jane popped up on my phone. She didn't even have to say your name before I knew what she was calling about. And I cried, much like I am now, for the times I missed because of my stupid pride. Missed opportunities that I would never get back.

We both are/were stubborn women and I know that throughout the years, you loved me just the same, even when we had our disagreements. Heck, there are things on this very blog that you both loved to hear and also hated to hear. And I know that. It has always been easier for me to communicate by written word; a fatal flaw of sorts.

I hope you know that I loved you too. I have said many hateful words in the past. I have disagreed with things that happened and were said, but I still love and appreciate everything you did or tried to do for me. Even those things I had no idea about until long after the fact.

And I am sorry that Kevin and I couldn't have gotten married last fall. I will always remember the one comment to me when you said "Why can't you do it this year?" and I said something along the lines that we didn't have the money. You and I both know that I could have thrown everything I had and was given in my 25th year towards a beautiful wedding, but you and I also both know that isn't what my mother would have wanted. We are putting it where it rightfully should go, into a house that is ours for our future.

I guess I will leave this here. It is funny how grief gets you. I cried when I found out you had died and hell, I cried pretty hard when we said goodbye as a family. But then I went back to my life. I tried to show some support to your kids whose shoes I had been in 12 years before, but I went back to everything I had built after the funeral home.

Until February 16th at 1am when your memory reminded me that I won't be able to see you at my wedding this September and that you are no longer with us. Even if I don't show it, I remember. And it still hurts.

I love you Aunt Anne. Just as much as I loved you when you gave me that stationary and as much as I didn't want to admit I did when we had our differences.

Love your niece,