Once upon a time, I kept every letter and card I ever received. Ever. But then I realized that continuing that would be ridiculous. I couldn’t keep ALL of them. So, eventually, I went through them and got rid of anything not from a family member or that didn’t have some kind of significant meaning to me. Part of me considered just getting rid of everything, but the pack rat in me wouldn’t let that happen. These letters have been living in a box in storage for the past four years.
On Monday, I went through these letters…just to make sure I didn’t need to get rid of more of them. As I went through them, I came to the stack of letters I received while an exchange student in Belgium. I laughed at the letters I received from my sister telling me about this or that boy. The letters from my dad were typical of my dad. Short and to the point. With my dad, it’s what he does and not how he does it that shows how much he cares.
And then I came across the letters from my mom. With my now adult perspective, I read the letters with a new understanding. At the time she wrote them, I didn’t realize just how worried she was about me…over in Europe…at the age of 14…and TOTALLY homesick. Her letters were full of love and understanding and support. She didn’t chastise me for being homesick or being ungrateful for the amazing opportunity I was being given. Her letters were the equivalent of written hugs.
She’s been gone for over 14 years now and I’m used to not having her around, but that doesn’t mean I need her any less. For those of you who have lost a parent, or spouse, or sibling, or child…I’m sure you can relate to what I’m saying. I was just thinking the other day of how proud she would be of me and how much she would have loved to come visit me in New York and try all of the fabulous restaurants and see as many shows as she could. And while, just like with heading off to Europe, I know what an amazing opportunity I have to be moving to New York, I am also a little scared and a little sad.
I’m very excited about my job, but I’m also terrified. I went back to graduate school because I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself hard enough. Well…I will now be pushing myself hard enough. New York is such an exciting place, but I am leaving all of my family…my family who I absolutely adore…and I know, at times, even in such a huge city surrounded by so many people, I will feel very lonely. I am fortunate to be earning a good living, but I am also in A LOT of debt and New York is VERY expensive. Just a lot of things that are kind of scary and overwhelming. Add to that the stress of moving and going through boxes I haven’t seen in four years (I left a lot of stuff in storage when I moved here) and, well, this week has been a little rough.
Which is where the letters come in. At the end of one of the letters, my mom had written two of her favorite sayings. One of which we, as siblings, repeat to one another often. “It always works out.” This is so ingrained in me that I don’t ever question that things will work out. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about the road from here to there. And that’s where one of her other favorite sayings comes in. “Don’t borrow trouble.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear as I am in the process of completely uprooting my life and going down this new road…and I got to hear it from the exactly who I should get to hear such advice from; my mom.