My Valentine

self love valentine

In the thirty-odd years since I blinked into existence, like most women, I’ve struggled with self-love and self-esteem.

“You’re not good enough.”

“Such a plain Jane. You should be skinnier,”

“Hotheaded and unpredictable.”

“Your boobs are average, on their best day.”

“Don’t answer that phone call, remember you have social anxiety!”

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Dear Decade-gone-by.

decade sunset beach gratitude

(I’m a storyteller and I cannot resist the pull of weaving a good tale. I love to regale my audience, make them gasp at all the right moments; the words ebbing and flowing with a life of their own. Soon I disappear,  but no one notices, because they’re immersed, lost in that make-believe world. And when the story ends -stunned silence! Disoriented, the audience looks at each other with a smile, the echoes of the final words still ringing in their ears. And I wait back, behind the curtains, pleased to have been in their heads for a few, long moments. This might be a long read, but I promise you. It’s worth your time.)

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Open Sea

boy autism looks out at ocean sea

Imagine you’re in the middle of the open sea. A good-sized boat, extra paddles should you need them and a hardy crew to help steer you through the bad storms. Plentiful food, a toasty spot under the sun and a warm blanket once the stars come out. Sure, there are big waves and fishes of all sizes under the water. If you look up, you might even catch some pesky grey clouds that hug the horizon. But it’s a decent, honest life. And it’s all you’ve known.

Now stick with me here and take this story further.

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Dear Child

My darling child,

You are one person, yet you’re so much more than that. You change and grow every single day, so what works now will not work tomorrow. The best I can do now is to write a letter. A letter not just to your present self, but to all the different personalities that exist within you.

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All you really need to love.

“Big black eyes and tiny nose,

I love you down to your toes.”

I hummed my daughter’s favourite rhyme while waiting at the Clinic. Nirav had finished his appointment and Anne, his therapist came out the swinging doors.

“He’s doing so well, Pavi! Did y-”

“Anne, I’m worried!”

 

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