Dear Younger Kim by Kimberly Derting

Kim and Scot Christmas Morning

The feedback we’ve received from LOVE LETTERS has been overwhelming. These words need to be seen and I can’t wait to share them with you. We will post a new love letter every Monday until we run out and based on the conversations, emails and gorgeous responses, I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen. This is going to be beautiful.

Please remember we’d like to share your words too. Click on the Love Letters tab for details and email your brilliance to loreandlittlethings@gmail.com

With that said, let’s get started.

I met Kimberly Derting through the blogosphere when she was on her path to publishing and finally met her in person in Phoenix to eat tacos and celebrate one of the stops on her first book tour. Kim is probably one of the coolest women I know. She once picked me up for a few hours when I was stuck in Seattle so I could take a shower at her house and get ready for a flight out. I met her husband who very quickly called me a moocher and offered me pho. Cool by me. If you’ve read any of her books you’ll know I was just happy that I escaped. We joked that, “With Kim. Still alive,” should’ve been my status update. Her Pinterest is the spookiest place I’ve visited.

What I love about Kim’s letter is that it comes from a soulful place. She didn’t start with this subject matter or the intention of writing what you see today, but it is where her heart landed.

And, it’s gorgeous.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kimberly Derting:

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Love Letter to Younger Kim by Kimberly Derting

Dear Young(er) Kim,

Believe in yourself.

Cliché, I know.

But your mom is right: You’re tougher than you think. Smarter too. You’re just as good as those who happen to have been born with more—more money, the chance for a better education, those whose families have their you-know-what together.

You just have to hang in there. Keep your nose to the grindstone and all those other hokey sayings. Good things are coming; you just have to work your ass off.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the woman I’ve become in contrast to where I came from. I know that much of what I’ve accomplished is because of my determination. But I also have to give credit to the woman who always said I could do it, and here’s the thing, Young Kim, you should too.

I know you don’t believe it now, but you should love your mom more. Hug her. Don’t roll your eyes (too often) and try not to be so embarrassed of her. I get how hard that is when literally everything embarrasses you—frizzy hair, the tiniest zit known to mankind, food stuck between your teeth—but get over yourself.

Seriously, your mom’s your biggest cheerleader.

Trust me, that woman’s got your back, girl. And that will never change.

She’ll be there when you get your period, go through your first heartbreak, and on the day you tell her you’re pregnant at only eighteen. And get this, she’ll be excited about it. She’ll walk you through stretch marks and hold your hand while you push that screaming 7-pound, 13-ounce little girl into this world.

She’ll be your best friend when you get divorced, and again when you meet your soul mate and have two more babies. She’ll laugh and cry with you, and then she’ll grow old on you. All the while, you’ll learn that you never, ever would have become the woman you are today—living a life you never could have imagined as you were stuck in project housing and standing in the free-lunch line at school.

You were a big dreamer, my friend, but she was always there, chanting, “You can do it. I believe in you.”

I’m crying as I write this because I wish I could go back and hug that mom—the one I never appreciated enough. The one I criticized and yelled at. The one I told to drop me off around the corner because I didn’t want to be seen with her. I wish I’d told her then what an amazing mother she was and that her faith in me was molding me into a strong, self-sufficient, confident woman.

I tell her now, as often as I can.

I wish you would too.

Love,

Older, no, More Mature Kim

Kimberly Derting is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING and THE REPLACED (the first two books in THE TAKING trilogy).

Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the gloomy weather is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. You can find her online at www.kimberlyderting.com.

To My Younger Self by Jessica Moore

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We are so excited to introduce LOVE LETTERS and we hope over the next few months you will read these letters from amazing women and be inspired to laugh at yourself, forgive yourself, offer someone a hand and maybe, just maybe, share your letters as well.

Please see the submission instructions under our Love Letters tab and write your heart out, we’re waiting.

There is nothing more beautiful than women coming together to share the lessons, the grief, the laughs and the things we wish we could say to our younger selves, girls we hope to inspire or a woman that needs a hug, hang on mama, you got this. We hope to read letters from moms to daughters, daughters to moms, women to women and God, wouldn’t it be beautiful to have a man write a letter?

This project had an accidental start and a few times it was over dinners and weekend getaways with my dear friend, Jess, that I’d catch myself thinking aloud, “I think I want to write love letters to women.” I had no idea that as I shared this idea with the women in my life they would not only jump at the idea, but each had extremely personal reasons for wanting to share their stories and insights and, of course, I’d ask Jess to post the first letter. After all, she wore shades on her trike. She knows things.

Jessica is one of those people who believes in you with an earnestness that makes you feel like you were silly to question yourself. From the moment we met it was Us Against The World and I know when a good thing happens she’s going to send me a text with at least three emojis and a slew of exclamation marks. When I received her letter I immediately got goosebumps. So many times we are too hard on our younger selves, wishing we’d done things differently, what were you thinking, silly girl? Jess shows her younger self compassion and provides endearing insight into the kindness and self love we should all offer ourselves more than any other.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jessica Moore.

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Love Letter to My Younger Self by Jessica Moore

Dear Jessica,

I know you love lists, so I’ll try to make this unsolicited advice less painful than you think it will be. At least read the list; you don’t have to follow everything. Just read the list.

And before you read the list, listen to, “Ooo Child.” These lyrics will serve as the thread that ties all of this advice together.

1. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Don’t make decisions until you’ve had a good night’s sleep and a long walk outside.

2. Don’t touch your eyebrows. Today’s Frida Kahlo is tomorrow’s Brooke Shields. And while we’re on the topic, DO NOT have the mole on your face removed. Pretty soon you’ll realize that being unique is one of the only things any of us really has.

3. Many overwhelming problems will become quite simple after an hour on your yoga mat.

4. Treat the mailman/janitor/barista the same way you treat your best friend.

5. You will endure the kind of pain that you’re certain will be the end of you, but it won’t. Hang in there one more day than you think is humanly possible. The ache is always the most exquisite just before it subsides.

6.. The 5 lbs you’ve gained that are threatening to throw off your whole diet…. no one can see them. Everyone does however, see the frown on your face as you labor over this non-issue. Get over it.

7. Choose the man who wipes away your tears instead of the one who makes you cry. Choose brains over beauty and a sense of humor over almost anything else.
(And don’t choose any man at all until you’re happy with the woman you see when you look in the mirror.)

8. Get a dog as soon as possible. A dog will help you understand your capacity to love and nurture like nothing else. A dog also reminds you that you’re not alone in this world, even when you feel like you are. Trust me on this. Get a dog.

9. Trust your gut and guard it voraciously. Your instincts will always point you in the right direction. When you’re afraid, do it anyway.

10. Be kind and supportive of other women. Not many of your peers will understand the value of this, but the ones who do are unstoppable.

11. People will tell you it can’t be done. They’ll say your dreams are grandiose. Don’t listen. Replace your discouragement with compassion, understanding those words only come from someone who never had the courage to fail.

12. Finally, let life unfold organically. “When you let things come and you let things go, you let things BE.”

It’s all going to be so much better than you imagine it will be, Boo. You got this.

Love,

Me

Jessica is an Emmy award-winning journalist who brings you the news each evening at 5, 6 and 11 on KSNV News 3 Las Vegas.

Originally from North Carolina, Jessica spent time at WDTN in Dayton, Ohio, and WLEX in Lexington, Ky., before joining the News 3 team in August 2010.

While in Lexington, Jessica reported and anchored Kentucky Derby coverage for three years. She also traveled with the University of Kentucky football team to two consecutive bowl games and followed Morehead State to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2009, Jessica made her network debut on CNN during the Northpoint Prison riots and reported for the Weather Channel when a massive snow storm pounded Kentucky. In 2009, a deadly tornado ripped through parts of central Kentucky. Jessica was awarded an Emmy for her spot news coverage of the storm’s aftermath.

When she’s not delivering the news, Jessica enjoys listening to live music, hiking Red Rock, and continuing her search for the world’s best antique store.

You can follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaNews3LV