Dear Younger Me

age 21, May 1993

Dear Younger Me,

You are stronger than you know.
Everything is going to be OK even though it is different than we could have ever known or planned.

You have good intuition, listen to it.
Strive for head-heart-gut alignment when making decisions. If one or more is jangling, there is a reason. Pay attention, take time to pause, and figure it out. 

Everything that comes before brings you to where you are now. 
The journey is not easy and the lessons are many. 
Peace is the goal: a peace-full home, a peaceful vibe, and peace in your body more often than fight or flight. 

Speak up. Say exactly what you think. Be bold. It is OK to not be liked by everyone. Not everyone is for you and part of your tribe. Love one another, the greatest commandment, yes. Also, learn about boundaries and practice self care.

It is OK to feel all of your feelings and express them. 
Don’t bite your tongue.
Don’t tamp down.
Trust yourself. 
Stay close to your family of birth, they love you biggest, most, best, forever, and always. 

Spend time with your grandparents.
Take notes.
Ask questions.
Learn about your ancestors.

Grit, steel, grace, and love, that’s what Janean Thompson is made of. 

You can keep your maiden name for always. Ms. keeps people guessing as to whether or not you are single, married, or some variable. 

Love yourself. Love is an inside job. Start there and grow. 
You have a knack for growing peace lilies. 
They talk to you.

You are brave and courageous and strong and fierce and a warrior.

Stay close to God.
God loves you and will never leave you.
Faith grows and yours is tangible, believing in what cannot be seen.
Hope is part of your DNA.
Joy is abundant in you, even on the hardest, darkest days.
Sit in the sunshine.
Walk in the rain. 
Delight in snowball fights at every/any age.

Wear boots for courage.
Keep going fishing.
Keep making art for you, even without a classroom assignment. Do it for you. 
Learn the rules of poetry or just write it.

Say hello to strangers because they may become friends.
Life is a beautiful, complex journey.
Have fun as often as possible, and fun is always possible. 

There is more, I’m trying to avoid spoiler alerts. 

Your friendships with other women will sustain you and give you strength on the days you feel depleted. There is strength in women gathering and sharing their real without masks or facades. 

“Real like The Velveteen Rabbit” is the benchmark for beauty and love.

Here is the checklist that sees you through lots of hard stuff:
1. Take it day by day
2. Show up
3. Do what’s next
4. Find the joy
5. Thank God

You’ve got this.
God’s got you.
Everything is going to be OK. 
It is OK to ask for help.
Rest when you need to. 
Love and trust God and yourself (instincts).

All My Love,
Janean, age 49

December 12, 2020

age 48, August 2020

Western Wisdom

I’m in the midst of typesettin’ two more of my grandfather’s Western Tales. Yesterday I caught myself readin’ instead of movin’ fast, flowin’ type, applyin’ style sheets, and fixin’ up his wonderful words for bein’ self published and bound into yet another family and friends book. Perhaps his last, as at 97, we know his body is wearin’ out.
Certain phrases and plot twist moments, keep jumping off my computer screen as I work, that make me grin and guffaw. Then there are others that make my heart squeeze in empathy.
The line of dialogue speaking to me right now is after the sheriff received a letter from concerned parents, asking after their hastily married off daughter who was sent away, “in trouble.” Instead of replying that she’d had her baby, and a few days later her worthless, no good varmint, rat of a husband was dead – murdered – Sheriff Wells simply said where they could reach their daughter. His mentor, John Wade, replied after readin’ the communique in progress, “Good shot. Let her tell her own story.”
Indeed. Yes. The other bit of advice I keep readin’ is to keep your head up high, no matter what the circumstances in your life. Lots of horse talk too. How I love that!
I’m completely charmed by my grandfather’s writing. Stories. Songs. Poetry. I have been since childhood. It’s more poignant now. Readin’ with a woman’s heart.
He’s a marvel. Still alive and kickin’, atop a bluff overlookin’ the mighty Mississippi River where he’s lived since he was nine months old, other than those years he was needed to serve his country in WWII. He began writing stories while recovering from night patrol injuries in a hospital in England. The Red Cross gave him paper. He mailed the stories home. All because he’d read everything he could get his hands on, and figured he could do as well or better. Once he started writing, he never stopped. That is a lesson for me, and all the aspiring authors I know. Writers write. A lot.
~ Janean Marie Thompson Baird

April 10, 2013
Quote from, “The Invincible Three” by Erwin A. Thompson.