Dear 30 year old me


The above photo is of me with incredible pianist, and one of the most beautiful men that I have had the pleasure of meeting, John Foreman. John held a private piano lesson with me on the State theatre stage for my Starlight Wish, learning the song ‘Kiss the Rain’ in memory of my best friend Tayla.

I am heavily involved with the Starlight Foundation of Australia, particularly their program Livewire. I have been an ambassador for them for some time. Livewire is an online community for adolescents and young adults aged 12-21 living with Serious Illness, Chronic Illness or Disability. If you are eligible to be a member, or wish to donate to this incredible foundation, follow this link https://www.livewire.org.au/

Livewire regularly runs competitions for members. Yesterday they ran a competition entitled ‘Letter to 30 year old self’. They asked for members to be creative, and write a letter to their 30 year old self, in 300 words or less.

Never have I found something so carthatic in all my life.

I have decided to share my very personal letter in the hopes of encouraging everyone to do the same, healthy or not. This provides a sense of perspective that I never thought possible.

What would your letter to yourself say?

Love Jess xx

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Dear Jess,

Congratulations; You are alive. For so long, people did not believe that this would happen. When you were fifteen, they said that you would die. Then they said that you would never walk again. Later, they said that you would never finish school. But you did; You were the first to be accepted into your University. They said that you would never finish nursing, that it was too physical, too much for your body. That it would continue to fail and crumble, along with your dreams.

I know that you are a Paediatric Oncology nurse now. And I also know how hard you fought to get there. I know that you bled in-between classes, and used to try and clean yourself up before the next lecture. I know that every single day was a struggle. Every day your body ached, and bled and failed. But you still did it. It was worth it, I know. I know that each and every day you wake with a smile on your face, knowing that you are saving lives, and loving those who will soon be gone. I know that you love all of them, and that your love for these children and their families has always been greater than your disease.

I don’t know if you are better, but it doesn’t matter Jess. You learnt that when you were twenty. Make sure that you remember it. Make sure you always know just how brave you are, and just how hard you can fight. Be in love Jess, with whomever shares your life. Have your babies, and do not weep. However they come to you, they will be beautiful, and they were always intended to come to you in that state. They will be worth the bleeding, and worth the sobs.

Tayla is still with you, all these years on. Do not forget her message. Still live by Tayla’s Kiss, every moment of every day.

You are beautiful Jess, and you are alive.

And at the end of the day, all these years on, that’s all that really matters.

Love Jess, aged 20.

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5 thoughts on “Dear 30 year old me

  1. this comp has been totally invaluable- i thank livewire from the bottom of my heart for giving us this comp. It is like a comp that doesn’t need a prize- because just by writing it- we gain more than any prize.

  2. Ohh, love this!
    And yes, 30yo Jess, you will be all these things, and more – and know that 20yo Jess is amazing! (I met her just today!!)

  3. I truly wish I had known about Livewire/it had existed a few years ago when I was within the age limit, it seems like a fantastic support resource for young people with chronic illness.
    A part of me is upset that I didn’t have the same support you do, but the rest of me is thrilled that you have so many people surrounding you who love you and care for you.
    Best wishes

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