Dear Future Me,
You’re 25. That seems rather old, doesn’t it? (It probably doesn’t make you feel too great to be called old by someone who is fifteen). You’ve made it; it may not seem like it — but you’ve made it. You have walked across your high school stage and received your diploma. You have walked across a stage in college and received another. You are educated; you are ready. We have never done too well at feeling prepared. We always pack too much, but never when and what we need. We overcompensate; who really needs a notebook for every subject? Apparently, I do.
I hope you don’t worry so much. If you do, you’ll get wrinkles. I hope you listened to mom when she told you to wear sun-screen, or you most likely have skin cancer by now. Do you moisturize every day? That’s another important thing I have yet to do. There are a lot of things I hope you have started to do by now because, at some point, you have to grow up.
Do you remember your high school chorus teacher, Ms. Huff? The nice one, not the one from middle school who made you cry. Remember what she always told the class: “You cannot continue to sing in little girl voices. You are young women now. You better start sounding like it.” I think that applies to life also. I hope you have found your voice. You are a strong woman, but you like to keep it on the inside. Hopefully by now you have let it out. Let people hear you; we can’t always be the girl who shakes when she has to give a presentation in front of the class. You have good ideas, but you are too afraid to share them. No one is ever going to hear you if you never put your voice out there, and I pray that is something you have learned to do by now.
And another thing: I have no idea what you are doing, but you’d best be leading at it. Don’t be the woman who hides behind her glasses in a cubicle. No, that’s not acceptable. That is not what you want. You want to lead. You are good at leading when you step up, and that is what you should hold yourself to doing. Don’t let yourself hide in the cracks because it seems too hard to lead. Forget bossy, forget controlling, forget obsessive, forget it all. You were meant to be a leader, so lead.
Now on to boys/men/whatever you call them. Please tell me he is a hunk: dark hair, green eyes, nice tan skin, plenty tall. Please, woman. If not, that’s perfectly fine, but could you imagine? Cause I could. Maybe you are married by now, or at least dating — I hope so. Men are nice people to have along, but they aren’t everything. Strong women are important, too. Do you still talk to your friends from high school? The girl you met at orientation, the one you sat next to in chorus, the girls you played soccer with? Keep up with them. Don’t let them go. While men are nice to make out with, women keep you strong, keep you going, keep you having fun. Don’t lose hold of your friends.
Finally, don’t forget who you are, what you love, what you stand for. Life gets busy as an adult, so you have to work to balance everything you love. I hope you still play guitar and sing. I hope you still write. I hope you still bake. I hope you still do all the things you love. I hope you still have Lila, the cat you got at the end of 9th grade. Do you still live off of making others smile and laugh? Do you still go to camp every summer, you know the ones I am talking about? Do you still act wild and crazy in public just cause you can and ignore the judgment of strangers? I hope you do. Smile. Wake up each day with a clean slate. Be happy. Be YOU. Because that’s who I am.
Love forever and always,