Dear little Shani,
You sweet bouncy child with raspberry bubble gum cheeks, eyes that illuminate the world, and a smile that runs to the core of the earth. You ve mastered even the most complex motor skills like you were born to create, invent and explore. You were. You will do great things. Just look at what you ve already created for yourself. You have a family ( who as complex as they may be) have rallied around you in support of your everyday existence and who stand in amazement at everything you do. You are kind of a big deal, after all. Sure, you're small, but you'll grow big, tall, and strong. You surpass all expectations and wow everyone around you. You just have this special way of being in the world that captures the spirit of all who know you. You can't help but smile you'll always be that way. See? Made you smile.
As you grow you'll be challenged by physical, emotional, and mental experiences that will shape your spirit and deepen your soul. Remember, shape and deepen, not destroy. You will go through seasons where you'll want to give up, you'll wonder why it's all happening and you'll even question everything you know. It's okay to feel that way. And someday years from now you will thank God that you dared ask the big life questions so early on. You had to, Shani, and you will be better for it. I don't mean for this to scare you, but you will face the paradox of life and death more than once before you re 20 years old this will teach you acceptance, understanding, and help you to live out your purpose in this world. I know that doesn't sound like lollipops and gumdrops, (and believe, me I know you love your lollies) but I promise, you will be okay. It will get better and you will survive and live to create an even better life for yourself than you could have imagined. Let yourself be who you are, feel what you feel, and go where you must go. No questions asked.
Shani, you'll go through phases in your life where you feel you cannot relate to anyone. You're more similar to others than you think, but it's okay to be and feel different. We all do. You'll grow to look different physically oh, you'll be beautiful, yes and you will also have marks to share your life experience. Share it, allow others to appreciate it and use it to teach. This is your gift. Most of all Shani, let others into your life. There's nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
Your parents... Mum and dad will struggle to find themselves in their relationship . Don t blame yourself. Though you may hear that it was your fault, dont take it on board. Dont be affraid to cry, or talk about it Shani and dont walk through it alone being the strong girl you are. Though you will tell everyone that you are ok, you will hurt and you will spend your time wondering how you can turn it all around,you need to remember that mum and dad will be okay too they just need to find themselves, maybe even reinvent themselves again. For a time, they did love each other and for reasons you will never understand, the love they once had has faded.
You will learn, Shani, that you love shinning the light. You always have and now, you ll own it as you move into adulthood. You will walk down some paths that will lead to destruction, but with the wisdom you have, You will work it out. In your endeavour to constantly put on a front that all is wonderful in the world of Shani, you will learn along the journey that it is ok to feel something else and be able to show that emotion. Sometimes, its ok to be vulnerable. Soon you will see this. But not before extreme bouts of insecurity and the multiple identity crises. Again, you'll survive and guess what you ll learn? All those people who you thought had it all figured out really had no idea what they were doing. They just tried something over and over and over again. You can do that too, in fact, you should. That's what these years are for. Remember, you know just as much as anyone else. Don t sell yourself short. Keep going and do what you love. Every single day, do what you love. It'll work out. I promise. Life's too short to live any other way.
So Little Shani, as you grow stronger in your body and in yourself, remember that life takes care of you. There s always something to receive from every experience and you will make it. You will. Trust yourself, make smart decisions, learn from mistakes and keep going don t let fear, scarcity or anyone stop you and remember to love. Love a lot. Love openly and deeply.
Go forth little one, set this world on fire you little tree climbing,football playin, bike riding tomboy, you! Watch out world, here she comes!