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Dear Mum. Wednesday August 12, 2015

Late Saturday night 19-2-1977

Well, it's finally time to let me out of the nest to test my wings. I am excited but I know thru all the arguments I will miss you both. I hope that my absence will bring us much closer together. I am impatient, not tolerant, and short tempered but I do try hard to be nice to you. I do LOVE you no matter what terrible things I may say to you.

Please think nicely of me as your daughter. I feel I am leaving at the right time and I will make a goal of my life. But if I don't I'm sure I'll be welcome back even thru the bitter disappointment.

Luv Kisses

I found this letter written on a small piece of paper, scrunched up among a box of stuff from my family home that I hadn't looked at for 7 years since we sold the house. My parents never threw anything out. Just over 100 words written when I was 19 on the night before I was leaving home to study a 4 year degree, 5 hrs away.

I know that we are encouraged to live in the now and not to be burdened by the past but sometimes memories sneak in to the now. When I first read my words my tears stained the already fading paper because I heard a different Leah than I remembered.

People often say, "What would you say to your younger self knowing what you know now?" I want that 19 year old to talk to me and teach me how to be confident while knowing her limitations.

The 19 year old Leah, knows she is very difficult, knows she may not cope without her parents, but she is willing to have a go, take a risk.

I am pleased that even at 19 I told my mother how much I loved her despite how I behaved. This was very poignant to me as by the time I really realised how much trouble I had been to my mum when I had children of my own, my mother had dementia so I was unable to truly thank her.

Eighteen months after writing that letter I was back home living with my parents after being so depressed, my dad had to come down to my university and pack me and my belongings into his small car. It wouldn't be the last time I came back home after testing my wings and falling back into the family nest.

I am gradually starting to see some light in my past. I had hoped I grown out of being impatient, not tolerant, and short tempered, but my partner assures me I haven't. Maybe time for another letter!

What could your younger self teach you?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Karen Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 6:58am

Ah Leah, how we often wish for a time machine to undo some of the things we did and also to be able to let ourselves see what we could become? I think I would tell my younger self to not be so afraid of things. To not always worry that others will think badly of me if I don't 'do' what I 'should'. Not to give up things that I enjoy just to please someone else.....not to always try to fit in....square pegs/round holes etc.

Always tell the people you love - that you love them;
in times of sadness and trouble as well as joy, this too, will pass, so live this life as best you can.

And never, ever, think you are fat and go on a'll be on it forever - and looking back at photos, you were beautiful just as you were.
Karen ( x

Zareen Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 7:22am

Thanks for this Leah. I wonder whether you are a member of Mind, the Mental Health Charity. If so you could enter their Creative writing competition on the theme of Hope. I really enjoyed your blog a great deal.

Leah Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 8:03am

Karen thanks so much for your response. Zareen, thanks you for your kind words. Leah

Adrian Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 8:26am

Good question Leah,
My younger self would probably say "keep questing" as I have always been a restless soul.
Thanks for making me think about it.
A x

Di Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 1:35pm

Dearest Leah ~
You are and were a good daughter. Loving parents are able to allow their children to spread their wings, sometimes with a bit of edgy roughness. This is necessary, well and good toward establishing one's character.

I would be deeply proud to receive a letter such as this as your mother for it shows great strength. And I would be proud of you. And I would laugh with the joy & privilege of watching you grow.

And coming home for a softer landing is part of life. I would want you to feel that you could come home ~ and while it is heartbreaking to watch a loved one, especially a child, cope with the struggles from depression, I would & will stand by you and support you to the best of my ability during your journey.

I would thank you, from my heart for involving me in your life. We will walk together for as long as you allow.

Julia Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 1:48pm

Hi Leah
My younger myself might teach me that it's OK, normal even, to feel depressed or tired or sad; that expectations needn't be so high. That it's fine to moan and be honest about how I feel. The grown up me with responsibilities and a constant drive to feel better and show a happy face to the world could learn alot from my younger self. Thank you Leah for this inciteful blog. One you remember how your mother reacted when she read your delightful note?

Leah Wed, Aug 12th 2015 @ 2:00pm

Di, Thank you so much for your kind words. You respond with such compassion and insight so I am honoured to read your comments.
Julia, thanks for your thoughtful comments. That is an interesting question about how my mother reacted. I tucked in a book so she wouldn't see it until after my dad had driven me to uni. I can't remember her reaction but the fact the letter was saved would mean it meant something, that and the fact my parents kept everything. Also my mum would put little notes in my bag when I would return to uni after a holiday to cheer me up and tell me she loved me.
Thanks to everyone that has read this, it is hard sharing something so personal from one's past but I hoped it would help people and myself gain insight into the past.

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