You Will Dazzle Them

Yesterday I arrived in Victoria at 8 am, which was about 8 hours after I expected to arrive here. After a tragically brief interlude at the Vancouver Airport Sheraton in the most comfortable bed in the universe, the fog cleared enough for my plane to land.

I had a meeting with a new client yesterday, or at least I was supposed to have a meeting with a new client. When they suggested a 5:30 start time, I said that the next day might be better. I was barely standing upright on 4 hours of sleep.

On Sunday night, on the flight from Edmonton, I was banging out some functional documentation for something I developed and watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

When I was almost done both the movie and the documentation, I closed my laptop and just watched the movie, the tears streaming down my face. High School, Boarding School, with its structure and rules, close community and common purpose were not that bad for me.

Junior High (what many of you will call middle school) was a morass of lost to me. I struggled, floundered. Flailed. I could not find my way, my peers, my identity. I struggled to find someone who loved me for me, when I didn’t know who me was.

I thought I would be lost forever. I very nearly ended my life and stayed lost back then.

And there I sat, in seat 14C on a plane, flying to work, banging out documentation in my jeans and my converse, thinking about the things I had to do this week. I will probably talk more about some of the challenges of this week, later in the week. I feel like I am already late writing this.

I thought about all of this and how we never know how things will end. This was my greatest struggle all those years ago. I looked at how hard everything was, how hard it was to connect, to find meaning, to find love, and I thought it would always be like this, and perhaps with all of that, it is no real wonder that I tried to kill myself.

It is still hard, I suppose. It is still hard to find meaning, to connect, to make people more important than my list of things to do. It is still hard to find time and space for what really matters. It is still hard to let all the rest go.

I lay in bed last night, thinking of the words of a co-worker about a meeting today. You will dazzle them, she said. I thought about that, and I thought about 14 year old me, and I thought about all of the me’s I have been in-between those times and now.

I will do my level best to dazzle them today.

A thing I would not have thought possible at 14. And mostly I wish there was me now to reach back to me then, to hold her by the shoulders, resting my arms around her neck. To whisper into her ear, softly:

One day you will have a life which you could not even imagine now. You will do things, meet people and go places that you don’t even know exist now. You will do this. Get through this. It isn’t easy, it is hard. This is a crucible for you. The teasing, the mocking and the confusion; the drugs, the sorrow and the pain. All of this it is making you stronger, tougher and more resilient. It isn’t fair and isn’t right that it is happening, but it is, and you will do things with this.

Because one day, wearing a suit and high heels, in a town far away from here, you will dazzle them.

This entry was posted in And the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to You Will Dazzle Them

  1. Jen says:

    Beautiful and well said.

  2. a says:

    I’m glad the 14 year old you made it through…

  3. Lisa says:

    Beautifully written.

    I am the opposite though, always so sure of myself back in school, even up until my adulthood. Until my son died. And now I am lost, like I can’t connect, and wonder what the point of it all is.

    You are right when you say that in years to come life will end up in ways that you could never anticipate. I know that much to be true, and yet don’t you sometimes wish you had a crystal ball to see what lays in store for you? I feel like if there is any more heartache for me, I just don’t see the point of all of this.

  4. Needles says:

    You do you know. All the time.

  5. clare says:

    There is something about the detail of banging out work in jeans and converse that just pops out to me… way to go. Dazzle away. Enjoy it after all those bumps big and small and extra-large that you survived to get to this point. Life sure isn’t linear is it… thanks for the beautiful post

  6. tara says:

    this was absolutely gorgeous. thank you. you dazzled me.

  7. loribeth says:

    Yep, you have dazzled all of us with this post! ; ) Well said!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Found you on Mel’s roundup. I have a 12 year old who is dealing with the middle school crap. I am failing miserably at comforting her, because I went through it, too, and know it sucks…but I also know it won’t last forever. I am printing this post for her…it is truly dazzeling, and perfect. Thank you for writing this : )

  9. luna says:

    just gorgeous!
    that is just the worst age, I think.

  10. Pingback: A letter to my 14 year old self | Life Uninterrupted

  11. Pingback: A letter to my 14 year old self | Life Uninterrupted

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>