At a family gathering over Thanksgiving break, Michael posed this question to us: "What would you tell your ten-year-old self?" I thought it was an interesting question to ask the group, as we had a wide range of ages, spanning from a 12-year-old to some in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s—and it made me wonder if our relative distance from 10 would make a difference in how we answer. As it turned out, despite our ages, each person shared such personal and powerful thoughts, that I quickly realized that thinking about what we would tell ourselves of yesterday, is always an interesting exercise no matter our age. As we made our way around the room, it was my turn to chime in, and without hesitation I knew what I would tell 10-year-old Nora:
Trust yourself—you know the answers. They live deep inside you. They are the answers that feel right. They don't fuel doubt or fear or shame, but rather, they inspire hope and confidence. They tell you that to love is the greatest responsibility you will ever have. They tell you that it is ok to feel uncomfortable and to make decisions that people won't understand. It is ok to wonder and search for answers and meaning. It is ok to read what others have written, and to listen to what others have to say. But don't search too hard, and don't feel sad or lost or ashamed because it seems like things don't add up. You know what is right. Listen to your heart, and if you are quiet and still, you will hear the answers. You will learn that life is the meaning of life, and you are enough, just as you are. Trust yourself.