Monday, April 28, 2014

A letter to a girl I once knew

I had this strange moment when I was doing my Triathlon on Saturday morning.  The route we ran and cycled took me past many memory lane places.  My first grown up apartment, another awesome flat where a boyfriend stayed. The Hotel School where I studied for 3 years.  Many places that form part of my history.  As I ran past my flat I could clearly imagine my 19 year old know it all self standing looking at these people go past, these fitness freaks, watching them and then turning around to go back inside as I lost interest.  It just took me back to that place and I remember reading in an Oprah mag a series of letters that grown ups had written to their 16 year old selves.  I decided to write my 19 year old self a letter and it was quite an emotional experience.  It left me with a lump in my throat and a protective maternal feeling wishing I could spare her so much that awaited her yet knowing it had to unfold exactly like it did.

So here it is, its somewhat odd and very personal but you know me by now.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, my odd heart.

Dearest 19 year old me
So you live in this amazing flat and you have just met S and you are crazy about him.  Giving up varsity for him and working at The Hard Rock isn’t the smartest move but you know what, it’s OK because life is full of choices and they make up a pattern that forms and molds who we are.
I am going to tell you some things that will probably freak you out a little and you might not even believe me.   First of all, go downstairs and look at all those athletes running past doing this Olympic Distance Triathlon.  Yes I know you don’t love exercise and you think you don’t need it.  In fact you
will spend your entire twenties doing bugger all because you are slim.  Here is the thing you don’t get.  People don’t just exercise to stay in shape, they exercise because it is healthy and good for you and fun.  See that skinny old chick cycle past you?  She will be running past you in an hour or so as well.  That’s you!   Really, it is you in 24 years’ time.  If you had a crystal ball right now and looked in it some things will break your heart but you know what, you have an inner strength that is so solid.  You might be sensitive and intense and easily hurt but you do not break, you eventually get back up and you give life another chance.   You are brave and idealistic and believe the best so after your disappointment fades your hope junkie self kicks in and you throw yourself into the new situation throwing caution to the wind.  
So what do you want to know?  I don’t want to spoil it all for you, I know you love surprises.  S?  I am sorry to say he is the one person who lands up shattering you, not breaking, just shattering you into a thousand pieces that will take you years to re build.  Don’t cry, the new you is stronger, you will like her.  She is more compassionate and less cocky.  She has tons of girlfriends as she realizes the depth and courage of other women around her.   Here is another mind f*ck, yes, 43 year old women still swear…you have a son when you are 25.  His name is Daniel and he will hit you with a tsunami of love and fierceness that will leave you breathless and beautiful.   You will be magnificent in the role of mother because you will do it with everything and then some.   In fact he is now just a year younger than you are now. Whack hey!   Oh, and you will have 2 daughters 6 years after that. Beautiful blonde amazing girls called Rebeka and Sofie.  No you Poop, not with S, he lands up buggering off leaving you entirely alone to raise your boy and you manage just fine.  Guess who you marry?  You know Tertia’s slightly psycho friend who has just come out special forces in the army?   Gary N!  Seriously, you marry him.  Fine, don’t believe me then but you will see.  Your older self chose well, she chose strength and integrity.  He isn’t actually that psycho and he is sexy and strong!
About that dope plant on the window sill?   Gross Mel, smoking dope is so loserish.  You will become seriously healthy and drink water all the time and eat well and never smoke and hardly drink.  In fact that woman you saw running hasn’t been drunk in over 10 years.  No it’s not boring; you just don’t want to put crap in your body.  I wish you would eat better. Oh, and seriously, when your mom said put sunblock on your hands you really should because they will look old and ugly later.   You will date a few more arseholes before you marry Gary but that’s all right too because fortunately none of them become your husband.
I wish I could tell you more, warn you of some bumps in the road but then you wouldn’t become that lady who ran past you and she is quite something.  I will tell you one more thing before I let you go because I know you want to get all dressed up and go out.  God has His hand on you and your life.  I know you feel it, I know you don’t feel worthy or you are too afraid to grasp His hand back in case He makes you
give up stuff.  In exactly a decade you will turn around and grab that out-stretched hand of His, He who has walked with you these past 19 years and will continue in life, death and beyond.   You will take another decade before you stop blindly believing all the religious crap and laws and stuff before you work out the unique relationship you have with Him and trust your own spirit but once again, all part of it.   
I have to go, I will catch up with you again.  I have to make supper for my family, be safe and stay strong and enjoy your crazy life.  Know that you will never settle, never allow yourself to stop growing or
challenging yourself.   It’s been weird writing to you but good too because one day I will be old and I have to wander what I would say to my 43 year old self, this lady writing to you right now.  I know I would also be kind to her and I know I would tell her I love and admire her just as I am telling you now.
Catch up with you soon,


  1. that was awesome to read....I started crying about half way through. You and I have so much more in common than you could imagine. I like you Mel Novitzkas!!

  2. Go Mel. Cheering you on, not just through your athletic endeavours, but through your struggles with depression and anxiety. Your courage is amazing.