Dear future you,
I’ve tried not to make this letter too boastful or bombastic (your head is big enough as it is), but I wanted to shoot you a letter for you to read in times where your future self (or maybe others) may need it. I truly hope time has treated you well, and I pray the rest of your days are better than today – regardless of how today is going. This is going to sometimes be an awkward, embarrassing, and painful read…but sometimes – most times, I hope – it will give you that little push you may need to get yourself going.
First, I hope you never stop cherishing experiences – especially the first ones. Remember that time you went on your first road trip in Canada and instead of the weather being warm, it snowed? You spent your first snowfall sprinting around the cottage, outside, in a wife-beater. You wouldn’t have known then that what followed would be a harsh, cold, and unrelenting winter…but I’m glad you took it in stride.
You wrote all of your midterms that semester either sick with the cold or a stomach flu, and instead of giving up, you excelled. Even when the material seemed too complicated, too detailed, or too overwhelming to understand, you put your mind to it and got it done. Despite going through a huge family loss before your finals, you pulled it together and finished university with the engineering degree you told yourself you would get. Then, you interviewed for and got the job you wanted on your first try. That’s something to be proud of, and I hope you continue to take this approach in anything you endeavor to accomplish – never give up, no matter how daunting it may seem initially.
Next, I hope you continue to only see the good in others and bad situations. Sometimes, you haven’t been treated the way you deserved to be. On more than a few occasions, you weren’t shown the respect you gave to others without question. Sometimes, it will be you that offends or otherwise hurts someone. I hope that it is always unintentional, and I hope you are always the first to apologize, whether they accept it or not.
Remember that sometimes people won’t behave the way you may expect them to. They will be selfish, rude, or ignorant. I hope this never turns you off from loving, but instead pushes you to continue to be the kind, caring, and compassionate person you are…the world probably needs it.
You’ve gone through your fair share of heartbreaks, but you continue to push forward. Remember when you were weeks out from signing a new lease, dejected from a recent breakup, and said “Next year, this time, I’ll be sitting on the front porch of a house I own”? What happened? You stuck to your budget and financial plan, got a realtor, and a year later wrote a check (for a shit ton of money, might I add) for your first deposit. Fresh-faced and twenty-six, you became a home owner. Now, two years later (with the help of a little sweat and YouTube videos), you’ve renovated it all on your own…and it feels like home.
Continue to remember that money isn’t everything. Remember that time you thought money would make you happy? You set another goal, started tutoring and opened your dog-sitting business, worked way too many on-call shifts, and grossed over $100,000 the year after.
Twenty-seven years old. One hundred thousand dollars.
You deserved to celebrate reaching your target, because – as you said – making “a hunnid thou'” wasn’t easy. However, even though the money was great and your bills were paid, you were exhausted, burnt-out, and hurting. That’s when you decided that you were happier seeing new places, doing new things, making new friends, and spending time with your family.
That being said, I hope you continue to travel – both alone and with people you care about. Continue to make friends in different places, and continue to keep in touch with them. You’ve been to fourteen countries and counting, and I hope in the years to come you can add to that number immensely. Travel far, eat well, and take care of your physical self along the way.
Finally, and most importantly, I pray you continue to have the strength to walk away when you’ve exhausted all other options, especially if you deserve better. Even though you regularly experience bouts of depression, anxiety, and pain, do not let what you suffer from become all that you are. Always take each setback as an opportunity to bounce back even better than before. Sometimes it’ll hurt more than you think you can bear, but more often than not, the end result will be more joyous than you can imagine.
Remember in those hard times, though, no matter how far you fall or how bad it gets, you’ll always have this letter to remind yourself just how far you’ve come, and how great you are.
P.S. Call your grandmother.