Hi! I'm Vashon Borich-Leach (aka The T.U.F.F. Momma). I'm a polymath who enjoys sharing my experience as a digital entrepreneur, karate instructor, pallet-wood crafter, business coach, public speaker, author and animal lover. I live in Southern Missouri with my two sons, Ty and Jack, along with several animals that adopted me including my dangerously handsome husband, Ron. I hope to inspire you to be Tough, Unstoppable, Fearless and Free! (T.U.F.F.) Thank you for reading my blog posts!

This is an archived blog post that I wrote in April 2014. It was so well-received, I wanted to republish it again to my new blog. Enjoy!

Today as I looked into the eyes of my youngest son, who is age 6, I recalled where I was when I was his age. A lot was going on in my life back then. It was a mixed up place. Back then I was shy, cautious and didn’t make friends easily.

I wish I could step back in time and speak to my childhood self. As I don’t have access to a time machine, I decided to write a letter to the 6-year-old me of the past. Here’s a picture of me when I was six and below it is my letter…

Vashon, age 6, circa 1980

Dear 6-year-old me,

Right now you may seem confused and sad about the way things are. I know a lot of change has happened in your life… A move to another state, leaving your Dad behind, your Mom’s divorce, a new school and being away from your best friend, Jennifer.

It’s hard to understand why things turned out the way they did… Why Daddy was so angry all the time… Why Mommy cries so often.

You have taken on the role of protector. You help with so many things from caring for your baby sister, Vanya, to holding Mommy with a box of tissues in hand. I know you sometimes feel frightened. I know you keep that flashlight by your bed and a croquette mallet… Just in case.

Right now nothing seems right. But, things will change before you know it!

You will make new friends. You’ll love the brand new building your elementary school will move into. You’ll be able to ride your bike to school instead of taking the bus. Your Mom will stop crying and meet someone who will become a wonderful step-Dad to you. Oh, she will finally let you quit ballet and take that karate class you’ve always wanted to do!

Your Father will appear back in your life again when you are 25. He will have changed from how you remember things. You will build a great relationship with him, visit and talk to him often.

You will indeed grow up and be thankful for all these experiences. You will go on to college, graduate, get married, travel to many amazing places and finally earn that black belt in karate.

You’ll have two beautiful boys who will amaze you every day with all they do. Your youngest son, Jack, will remind you most of yourself. He is strong-willed yet thoughtful. He draws out of you all the good things that you wanted an adult to be when you were 6. Your oldest son, Ty, will teach you how to dream again and remind you how innocent childhood can be. His laughter is infectious. All who know him, love him. You will make so many beautiful memories with your boys.

Remember that dream of becoming an instructor at your own karate dojo? This will happen much quicker than you think. This one dream will allow you to positively affect children and adults for generations to come.

Your experiences from age six will shape you into the inspiring, outgoing leader that you become. They made you stronger. They made you appreciate people and have compassion for all those that are hurting. Instead of pain and struggle, you will show others a way out… you’ll empower them to follow their dreams and show them a way to live a positive life no matter the obstacles.  You’ll build businesses and a life around your passions. You’ll inspire others to do the same.

I’m not saying your life will be all roses. You’ll lose an important job, but gain a life. You’ll struggle with your first marriage, but gain two handsome young boys out of it. You’ll have failures, heartaches and a few injuries. You’ll survive. Actually, you’ll do more than survive, you will thrive.

Remember that secret dream list you wrote and hid behind the Norman Rockwell picture? The one that contained a list of 50 things you wanted to do before you die? You’ll accomplish almost all of them before age 40. So, you may want to expand that list!

See you in a few years.


41-Year-Old Me

Vashon and sons, Ty and Jack in 2014

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