Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Letter to my Future Self


Dear [Future] Michelle,

As I write this, I'm already starting to regret the 2+ years I spent utterly, completely, totally miserable. I think about all the fun I should have been having, all the little vacations I could have taken, all the moments I wasted crying or fuming or worrying.

(I'm sure you remember those years still, probably as vividly and painfully as I remember them.)

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be 23 or 24. When I wrote stories, the cool, older characters were always 23 or 24. Isn't it weird, then, that my ideal ages, the age I looked forward to being for as long as I can remember, are my worst years? 

23 and 24 were not our best years. In fact, they were our worst. I hope to never be that unhappy ever again. I hope whatever you're up to, future self, that you are ridiculously, intensely happy. Because there is nothing more important than that. 


I've never been very good at predicting the future. My typical outlook is to take whatever comes. I hate being asked "where I see myself in 5 years" in interviews. Lord, who knows! Five years ago, I started a blog on a whim and look where I am now. Five years ago, I was in a dorm in college, finishing up my last month of my sophomore year of college. Five years ago, I never would have imagined myself married; I thought I would be in New York City or Chicago, working at a newspaper. 

Five years is very short, but it's also a long time. A lot can happen in five years. 

In five years, my blog went from a writing journal to a fashion blog to a directionless exploration of my body image issues to a lifestyle blog. Full-circle, but a meandering circle. 

In five years time, you might have a child; you might have a different job or the same job; you might have given up on blogging, but writing (or maybe the other way around); you might have gotten another dog or finally given in and gotten a cat. In five years time, anything could happen. 


 This is what I want for you: 

♥ To be happy. To be as happy as I feel right now, at least somewhat continuously.

♥ To have a new goal. And a goal after that. I've lived too long with only one focus in my life (graduating college, getting a job) and not focusing on what happens afterwards. It's time to have goals and plans that are adaptable, long term, and not definitive.

♥ To have something to look forward to every single day.

♥ To be able to make all the changes you want to make. Whether that's in regards to your body, your house, your job, whatever. I want you to feel strong enough to do what you want to do, come hell or high water.

♥ To stop feeling like you need to make everyone happy at once. Sometimes it's just not possible.


I hope that whatever has changed, you have remained the same: as independent, intelligent, and nerdy as always. Without being too sappy, future self, I hope you've learned that there are more important things than things and that real experience will never trump make believe (but I think we already knew that, somewhere).

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