Not too long ago, I got a letter in the mail from my 17-year-old self.
I wish I could tell you that my best friend has a time machine. Or maybe I just have special time-bending powers. But here’s the perfectly rational explanation: it was a letter that my high school teacher asked us to write, with the promise that she would mail it to us 10 years later. And although it hasn’t quite been 10 years, it was possibly the best thing I’ve ever found in my mail box.
The letter was sweet and full of hope, written in a time of such uncertainty. Where would I go to university? Who would I start dating? Where would I travel to?
Amidst all of the cliches and teenage angst, there was one line that resonated so wholly with me in my life right now:
“Remember everything you wanted to be, all the dreams you had, and make them come true.”
Maybe it’s dumb, but it was just the right thing to hear in the middle of an existential crisis.
The last time I published something here, I was broken, weighed down by such a deep sadness I couldn’t shake off. I thought there was nothing left to break.
The struggle continued. I felt like my work and my identity were being tested. I felt the heat rush through my veins faster than adrenaline, anger like I haven’t felt in years.
But there was one last thing that needed to break. The weight that had been crushing me, holding everything back. It broke. And everything gushed through me like a strong current, brushing away all of the dirt and grime that was stuck to me, deep inside.
In my weakness, I remembered how to stand up. I ran. I raced. I found a little piece of myself I didn’t know I had.
And then I went home and helped my dad rip up the floors in my bedroom, lift furniture I didn’t think I had the strength to move, and began to see opportunity in places I never expected it to exist.
So maybe I will write more letters to my future self, as long as they keep showing up at just the right time.