Dear current self,
I have been avoiding writing this letter (even though I’ve been meaning to get around to it) simply because it’s going to be a tough one. It’s not easy to talk to yourself in this way. It takes a certain amount of intense introspection that, frankly, knowing how I am, not only terrifies and intimidates me, but exhausts me as well. And so I’ve been avoiding it. But I’m done with that because there are things that you need to force yourself to acknowledge, that you need to understand, and that you can’t hide from forever. You can’t live in a safe bubble forever. Problems don’t go away just because you refuse to see them. So let’s talk and sort some things out, shall we?
This past year or so has probably been the most life changing one for you so far. I commend you for not completely losing your sh*t. Key word: completely. Let’s be real, you almost did on many occasions and for good reason. It’s been rough. You underwent intense dreaming and then intense rejection. Twice. And it hurt like hell. You lost yourself along the way and were forced to rediscover and reinvent. I think you’re still in the process of that, and that’s okay. You need to realize it’s okay. No one is expecting you (except yourself, in which case, hey stop) to have everything figured out, and if they are, f*ck ’em. Because that’s a lot of pressure on an eighteen year old girl. Or anyone. Because life isn’t a race to get things figured out, so you can live in your figured outtedness (wow that’s so not a word). Rather, life is all about the journey of figuring out. And everyone’s journey is different. And I know you feel alone in your journey, but that’s only because it’s yours and yours only to experience. And I know how you are with things like that, seeking assurance from the universe. Am I on the right track? Am I doing this “life” thing right? You’re shouting these things into an infinite void; there is no magic, satisfactory answer awaiting you in its depth. Seek assurance from yourself. Relish in the uniqueness of your path and try not to feel too lost or hopeless. You might be lost for now, but there’s a beauty in that. You won’t be lost forever. And you are most definitely not hopeless. Especially with God on your side.
You’ve strayed a bit from where you thought you’d be and from what you wanted. I know you’re still trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing. In some ways perhaps it is. In others, I think you need to be reminded who the f*ck you are. So allow me. You’re a dreamer. And as much life has you convinced lately that that is a bad or impossible or even laughable thing, it is most definitely not. That’s the kind of spirit breaking everyone gets afraid of happening to them when they get older that you swore you would never succumb to, that you’d always be immune to. And in crucial times like these, I think it matters now more than ever to cling to those things. And to never let the fire that is your hope go out. Your dreams are not dead and not a thing of the past. They are very much alive. Don’t neglect or forget to fuel them. You’re a follower of Jesus. And before anything else, it is your faith that must keep you grounded and together and on the right track and bring you peace. I cannot stress that enough. You’re ambitious. I know you’re convinced that you’re burned out or whatever and because life has changed in the past year you’ve adapted a less stress lifestyle, which is good; however, this is not an excuse to “give up” when life gets hard and be a sloth. You still have energy. You still have a life to live. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t let yourself down. You worked too hard up to this point to just throw it all away and settle for less now. I really just need you to promise me that we’ll never lose sight of who we are, especially in the midst of these life changes.
Bring yourself comfort that no one else can. It’s a scary world out there and it’s only going to get scarier. Find safety in yourself. You’ve felt really alone throughout different parts of this year. There are different kinds of loneliness. People won’t always get you. I’ve found that they rarely do. Make being alone more bearable by making yourself the most comforting person to be alone with.
You. Are. Not. A. Failure. It’s ridiculous I need to even say this given all that you have done and accomplished recently, but I know you’re extremely critical of yourself and that this is a mindset you occasionally fall back into. Anytime you feel like this, you need to remind yourself just how much you’ve accomplished and how much you have left to accomplish.
You have a purpose. Your existence is valid. Just because you don’t always see it, doesn’t make it any less true. You matter just as much as anyone else on this earth. Also, being stuck doesn’t equate to living unfulfilled. Just keep striving for fulfillment. Eventually, you’ll find it when you’re meant to.
You didn’t make a mistake. Stop second guessing yourself. You know what I’m talking about. I am proud of how far you’ve come and how much you’ve come to terms with things. Don’t let it make you feel defeated or like you hit a dead end, rather like you were steered in the direction you were meant to go in.
Adding self hatred to an already crappy situation almost always makes things worse. Also, don’t let people who aren’t worth it get to you. Breathe them in and out, and be unaffected. You can’t afford to live for anyone else.
This whole letter is starting to sound depressing, but I think that’s just your strive-to-self-improve nature speaking that’s picking out the bad things to advise yourself on. Always trying to be better and fix yourself. A blessing and a curse. But honestly, you have so much to be proud of and happy with. You continue to be an amazing friend to people. You finished your first semester of college. You’re in love. You got your first job. Things aren’t all bad. Be thankful for everything.
Be more productive. Easier said than done, but aim for it. Be more open to getting out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Don’t fear embarrassment. It’s holding you back so, so much. Free yourself. The world awaits you.
You’ve got a long ways to go, kiddo. That’s why I hate to see you feeling so defeated right now and already. Remember who you are. Feeling defeated is so not you. This is just a bump in the road. We both know the kind of person you are. You are a determined, inspired soul. You’re just a little lost right now and that’s okay. Don’t forget that life is just starting, and it’s beautiful. I promise, you have so much to live for, so much that you will figure out in time, and so much to offer the world. Things will look up. You’re doing great.
The girl who thinks you might be better off if you weren’t so harsh with yourself, and the girl who still, and always will, believe in you.