Dear twenty-two-year-old me,
Oh my goodness, you are feeling a lot lately. You are so passionate and willing to let it all out there, and for that I admire you. I wish I could have held on to that more, because at nearly 32, I keep my cards much closer to my chest than I would like.
This is a year of accomplishment and growth for you. You are doing such brave work in therapy, really paying attention and digging around in the messy pit of anxiety that seems to rule everything. I promise you that you’ll get through your internship mostly unscathed, and you won’t ever have to work with feet again. And about that doctor: you never need to stay in a position where you feel uncomfortable. You do not owe him or anyone any explanations. You are watching out for yourself and respecting your boundaries. Can we get a high five here?
You are on the brink, dear one, of knowing independence. I know you feel stifled surrounded by everyone you’ve known all your life, and all the same scenery, but oh my goodness is that about to change.
I love all the plans you’re making. I love that you seize the moment every chance you get: to be fully present in your emotions, or to go see a movie alone, or make a weekend trip to Cape Cod just because. You are all about the live music lately, something I’ve been missing. You travel so much this year! You’re saving for Europe now, but while you’re doing that you road trip all over the place: Michigan, Massachusetts, Montreal, DC, Atlantic City. You even get to go to Aruba for free!
I would love to tell you that after the heartbreak you endure this year, it’s going to get so much better, that there won’t be any more sadness over people and your feelings for them. Know that there is more heartbreak in your future, but also so much joy. You don’t even know true friendship yet! Just wait; I promise once you form these true relationships you will wonder how you ever got through your first two decades without them.
Oh, and your sexuality? Whatever you think you know about that will be turned upside down, too. Know that every little thing matters, and everything is worth it.
I want you to know that I’m proud of you. I’m proud of your courage, of your strength, of how fiercely you love. I’m proud of you for leaning on your family when you needed to. I’m proud of how hard you work to become better at your OB/GYN job. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and know that you couldn’t be in a more supportive work environment.
Thank you for all the missteps and lessons– if not for everything you experience this year, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
(P.S. You are at the height of your Ani DiFranco love affair. I promise that seeing her live will never get old. )
The idea for this post came from Belinda of Found Love Now What. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for your ten years younger self?