IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW

Dear Younger Me,

When I was younger, I thought that having separated parents would become a lot easier as I got older. I would be able to make more choices for myself, I would be able to choose what I wanted to do, like stay with my mom or my dad. But I feel like things got more difficult I guess. I grew up becoming a really shy person and there were always ups and downs with visitation with my dad. I could go almost a year without seeing him. I didn’t understand at the moment, I always thought he just didn’t want to see me or something had happened with him and my mom, them arguing, my mom not allowing him to see me. Because of the reason that I didn’t get to see him, I wasn’t able to grow a relationship or a bond with him, not like the one that I have with my mom. Like I said I’m really shy, and sometimes it’s really hard for me to speak to people that I am not extremely close with. I see my dad every other weekend and there’s time where I barely speak over there, and I’ll come home thinking that I wasted my time or that it’s not worth going over there . 

My mom is always telling me to talk to my dad, text him when I’m not there but I’ll ignore her when she says this, because I feel too shy to talk to him or I just find it difficult to talk to him. Deep down inside I do wish that I had a much closer relationship with him, that way I could be more open with him. I guess something I would say to my younger self is that being shy isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it’s not going to help you build a bond with your dad. There really isn’t a mistake going into this letter , it’s really just me wishing I had a better relationship with my dad and the struggle it has been having separated parents. 

Life really isn’t perfect. It’s not the way you’re imagining it. You’re going to overcome a lot of obstacles that you’re not expecting at all. There’s going to be fights with your parents. There’s going to be different conversations with each parent. There’s going to be stuff you’re not prepared for but it’s okay, you’re only a kid. Control your emotions, don’t let everything get to you. Be confident. Talk to someone, an aunt, grandparent , someone other than your mom, it really helps with the feelings.

Love, 

Your Future Self

Briana Valencia – Waukegan To College