A letter to 16 year old me


If I could talk to 16 year old Dixie, I would tell her this: 

Yes, it sucks right now. No doubt about it. This pain you’re experiencing is some top level shiiiiiit. If the heartache were a tequila, it would be on the top shelf. I would say hold off on the tequila, but I know you won’t. The death of your grandmother is changing you more than ever. More than a drivers license. More than college. Even more than losing your virginity. This feeling. This loss. This pain. THIS is transforming you into a wise soul beyond your teenage years. You might not realize it, but you’re also crying for your mother. I know you don’t remember her, but you do remember this longing of home. Belonging to something bigger. And this is something you’ll be chasing for years to come. 

But you are home. 

You may not be in your grandmother’s arms anymore. And man, did she love you. The type of love she engulfed you was pure love from the gods. This was an exceptional relationship. Even kids with real mothers didn’t experience this. Trust me. You really lucked out. 

You are home. 

It’s not going to be easy. You won’t fit in. Not with the high school crowds. Not even with the drunk old men you’ll meet later on while still in high school and then later on in your 20s. You’ll be seeking this longing of belonging in more ways than one. You’ll be so desperate for any love and attention that you’ll take anything at any moment. That doesn’t make you are a slut or a bad person. Remember this. It merely highlights how deprived you’ve been. How unbearable the pain is. So be gentle on yourself. You’ve suffered tremendously. 

You are home. 

You’re going to feel lost. You’re going to feel sad often. You will compare yourself to others and desire to be more like them. The ones that have always been mothered. The ones that have a home to return to. 

But you are home.

You’ve been through a lot and you’re going to continue to experience a lot…so much so that your heart and soul are going to be more spacious than most. You’ll cope your pain with humor, imagination and ambition. You will water these characteristics generously. Within that hole, that wound, lies a great wisdom, a depth for creativity, and an immense capacity to love. But amidst the men, the career, and all the stories, lies you. There may not be a mother, but there will be you. Holding yourself up. Brushing yourself off. Even taking you out and buying tennis shoes. 

You are the key to all these doors. The doors of the beautiful and the mysterious. 

You are have the key to your own home.

Home has always been here. Home will always be here. 

You are home, Dixie. 

You don’t have to search. 

But don’t worry. You will figure this all out one day.