The Way of the Wave

The Way of the Wave: A Letter to 15 Year Old Me

By Jessica McClendon


Dear 15 year old Me,

It is important that to know that you won’t fall in love like they do in the movies. I mean, you will, but it won’t be the One you stay with. You will fall in love a few times-like they do in the movies-but it won’t be the Love that heals you. I predict this for two reasons: 1. Perhaps by the time you find Him, your heart would have been broken far too often. 2. Maybe it was actually meant to be this way from the very beginning.

Allow me to tell you a few important things, little Me. Falling in love is the sensational peak of the human experience and that feeling was never meant to stay for very long. It will rise out of nowhere, like a wave and take you over and you will feel as if there is no other way to live. You will want to stay on top of that warm, all consuming, frothing fury and dance and ride and fly. But you can’t and that is okay my little heart.

When the wave passes, I wish I could tell you not to grieve so hard. But you are going to: because it may be one of the best things you have ever felt. But it will return and crash – and return and crash – and each time you will go high and then be left, shivering and cold on the shore. Please remember this is the way of the wave. It is not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. It is just how most great forces live and die.

You will love again, my little heart. But it won’t be overwhelming and savage. It won’t roar or make your heart race with anxiety and fear. It will be still, steady. A small ripple in the ocean that travels on without ending. That is the Love that lasts. It is not easily exhausted and it does not build to the point of breaking. It rides forward, ever forward, skimming across the surface of the water in an effortless roll to nowhere and everywhere.

You won’t even feel it coming. You will have mastered being a big wave rider. You will be looking for the angry froth that will carry you high for a few seconds, making your heart soar and plunge simultaneously. But the ripple surrounds you. It loves you. It tickles your sides and tugs at your curls. Playfully letting you know that you are surrounded by a giggling ocean of tiny waves that will not tire of carrying you.

Be ready-and when it comes, fall back into its surface, face towards the sun. All will be well.


A much older Me

P.S. Never regret the big wave. It will be the ride of a life time.