Imagine Yourself sitting on a bench in a park. Across from you is someone sitting on another bench. That person is you 15 to 20 years ago. What would you do or say?

…I would gently stand up and go sit next to my old self. My old self would look at me thinking of the confidence, smartness and beauty and how one day she wishes she can be just like that.

I sit next to her and I want to tell her there is a long painful but also beautiful road ahead of her. I could beg her not to trap herself in situations she will encounter, not to give herself to those who don’t deserve her.

But somehow I can not do it!

I can tell her that long ago she decided to be strong for herself when no one was there for her and that I am sitting there on that bench as a sum of all her choices and I am still scared just like she is.

That her loneliness reverberates through time within every cell of my body. I want to ask her “How does not she realize she is a woman who loves too much.”

How does not she know she gives from herself what was never given to her, Love, Affection, Acceptance. How can I tell her that her symptoms are of a disease that has behavioral manifestations? That she tends to believe that suffering is a mark of true love.

I would like to ask her if she feels guilty for being unhappy herself. That I know so well how she feels lonely and isolated, that she feels rejected and at times overburdened.

That she will become overly nurturing and self-sacrificing as a result of all that she does not understand.

I want to tell her she is the only one who must CHANGE.

As she looks at me I want to hug her and whisper in her ear that she can become selfish and that is a necessary exercise she must undertake. That her desires, her work, her plans, and activities must come first instead of last or after everyone else’s. I would tell her she does not need to adapt herself to fit. I want to shake her by the shoulders, scream at her so she can hear loud and clear that her wants and needs are important.

That she should embrace life without being afraid of abandonment. That becoming selfish is becoming HONEST.


That her marriage will be a journey towards an unknown destination of discovering once more how lonely she is! To discover that people must share not only what they don’t know about each other, but what they don’t know about themselves.

I would like to kneel down and beg her not to do this or that as I know she knows she can never lie to herself. That she will always be that child with red curly hair, afraid and uncomfortable, always feeling ugly, taking herself to serious assuming responsibilities and feeling bad for people or situations.

I would like to tell her to stop trying to control things that are out of her control, that she should stop being the parent she never was to a mother too burdened and lost within herself. That responsibilities lie within herself and she can not become responsible for everyone.

That she will only live at the surface of Life never able to sink in its richness if she does not allow to just SIMPLY BE.

As soon as I sit down ready to pour all this out of my mouth, I realize that despite it all would never be who I am today sitting there on that bench if it was not for her with all her flaws.

So I just simply whisper “Thank you” and tell her that I Love Her, then I stand up and Leave.

20 April by Cristina Holtz