Life Lessons

Dear Donnalynn Civello,

So I have just started reading your book “Life Lessons; Everything you ever wished you had learned in Kindergarten”. Well, truth be told I have just finished reading the Introduction section so technically I haven’t really started the book yet. At the end of the introduction you wrote that we should stay in touch with you and provided an email. That is why I am writing this. I decided that before I continue reading that I should write to you in a way that is a reflection of how I feel about each piece and chapter. It is not so that you know what I feel but a way for me to feel as if I am part of a book club, your book club to be more exact. As the letters go, some may not be addressed to you but to myself. These generally start with “Dear Brown Girl” … I am she. I am Brown Girl. 

First things first, thank you for being honest about your ex. It’s not just the honesty. It was the refreshing way that you wrote about your relationship with him. Even though things ended in a less than charming way, It took you roughly five sentences to describe his cheating… and yet multiple paragraphs singing his praise. That in itself is a lesson for myself. How can one still see the great in another when what hits you the most is the pain that they caused when you look at them? How can you still find the beauty in someone that hurt you so badly? Never have I ever come across anyone who has written of their breakup in such a way where it shows me the person who you loved rather than just the person at the end of the relationship. Will I ever get to this state where I can reply in such a way? Knowing what I know about myself.. It is extremely unlikely. Can I work towards this as a goal? Probably. I may never get there but at least I can say that I tried. 

I am the worst when it comes to learning my lessons. I think that the issue with me is that though I listen, I understand and I get what the message is… I just don’t learn. You said “get the lesson and get out so you can move forward with your life and not stay stuck in repetitive patterns” but I am asking, if I do get the lesson but refuse to learn… is there hope for me? 

Let me explain, I am one of those people that struggle to stay motivated. Anything and anyone who opposes me or stands in the way of me achieving a goal instantly becomes a mountain and more often than not, I am my own biggest mountain. I stand in the way of success… in other words, my thoughts stand in the way of my success. Nothing is worse than when my own thoughts consume me and make me stop in my tracks. It is my lack of self confidence and when I look in the mirror, I see my biggest obstacle. Overthinking has made me sit back when I should have stepped out, put my hand up when I should have, spoken out and should have shaken off the weight of my insecurities but I couldn’t. This has made life a lot duller and has built up a small list of regrets on what I could have done. I am taking the time currently to go through that list and coming to terms with all the “what ifs” and instead think of the opportunities that I got instead of the one that I originally wanted. For example instead of heading to University straight away because of fear of failure, I traveled and got to experience new cultures that taught me more than what I could find in a lecture room. I got to work with some amazing people and along the way, I was able to create some great memories. 

This might end up sounding more life self reflections than anything else but I am going to enjoy it as I go along just as much as I am currently enjoying your book even though I have just finished the Introduction. Though life is a game, I am a low level player who is unable to understand the rules and is somehow just winging it as I go along. I hope that with this book, I learn more about myself, my behaviour and what I can do as I move forward in life. I am also looking forward to reading this book once again a year or two from now and seeing what changes and progress I have made as new challenges come along. 

At this point, though you may not know me, I am just going to consider you a friend. Someone who I can listen to and who will aid me going forward. I look forward to the coming chapters and what advice you may give me. 

Your friend,

Brown Girl 

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