Prompt: Future self (bonus). Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self? (Author: Jenny Blake)
Dear 17 year old self,
I’m writing you from the year 2010. You’re in grad school now. You’re 27. You live in a great apartment with your cat. It took a few years to get you back into school. You took a break after college, but you got in. Yep, you’re a psychologist, just like you predicted – but in 2010, you’re just not going to be the same kind of psychologist you wanted to be in 2000.
First though, you’re going to go to a small university. You will slowly become an adult in college. It isn’t going to be all fun for you like it is for many of your peers. But the benefit of going to a small school will be that you’ll be a big fish in a little pond – you will be noticed by your professors and they will be mentors and friends for life.
I promise you will not always hurt as much as you do now. Your sadness will get completely out of control in college and you will give up. You will choose life because someone will come to your rescue. You won’t talk about this moment with many people, but it will be one of the most important moments in your life. Always choose life – no matter how hard you hit rock bottom.
Next year something will happen to the country that will forever change the world as you know it now. It will be big. It will be devastating. For a moment the world will come together. Then in a flash – poof – everything will change. You will lose friends over it. You will be so angry. Family will feud over it. But something in you that was calling out to be lit will be set on fire. And that fire will carry you into a lifetime of quiet human rights activism and loud, proud social progressive activism. But remember to be still, be quiet, listen and debate with an open heart and mind. Seeing the gray in almost all things will be a trait in you that others will value deeply.
You won’t stay with the person you’re with now. He will come in and out of your life – with extreme highs and lows. He is a very important person in your life, but you are not meant to be together. You’ll meet some amazing men in your life – but also some who are not deserving of your body or your heart. You should be with them all just the same – because in the end, you will become who you are because of those interactions. Never change for them – don’t become consumed by them. After college, you will fall in love with someone – you cannot be together. It’s OK. Enjoy it when the rush comes and do not judge or hurt yourself when things fall apart. When your closest friends judge you for your mistakes – ignore them. Most importantly, do not judge all men through violated eyes. Remember that if a man wants you, he will find a way to be with you. Don’t spend too much time on unavailable men. Also, if a man doesn’t value your love of learning, he doesn’t value your dreams. Put yourself first.
In a few years you will graduate from college and you will be tired. You will channel your creative and loving energy into an industry you never thought you’d be part of. And then you will discover that you can do so much more with your life. And you will go to grad school.
Keep reading about religion and spirituality- read every book you can get your hands on.
Follow your heart and always listen to your intuition. Your intuition is correct 99% of the time.
Continue to strengthen the relationship you have with your grandmother. Each moment. Hug her all the time. I know saying I love you out loud is difficult for you now, but one day you will say it freely, without fear. Tell your friends and family you love them as often as possible.
Remember that you cannot change the past – and that there are two sides to every story. You will discover that things in your childhood are not all they seemed to be. Let go of the anger.
Let people in. Some people will hurt you. Let them in anyway. You will hurt yourself. Love yourself anyway. You will hurt others. Forgive yourself.
Keep saving that money and keep investing, girl. You will pay off all your debt before grad school. The economy is going to nuts eventually and it would be a good idea to invest in gold as soon as you read this.
Smile more. You’re most beautiful when you smile. Oh and you’re totally going to get braces in a year – so all the more reason to smile!
When you start to think you are not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough or capable enough, tell yourself to shut the hell up. Seriously, self. Shut the hell up. You’re incredible. You’re capable of more than you can even imagine right now.
Everything is going to be OK.
Namasté, my dear little ghost of a past.
Lots of love,
Your future self
P.S. I know you aren’t going to believe any of this. But hey, I tried!
This post is part of #Reverb10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s to come in 2011. I’m participating with over 4000 amazing people. I will be blogging, tweeting, tumblring and posting photos each day as a response to each prompt.