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.
Love, Christy [Aged 31 years, eleven months]
(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?
Isn’t hindsight an amazing curse? What we know now but can’t go back to warn our younger selves….
Ani is a great singer but I am partial to Barbara Manning and Penelope Houston…*s*
An amazing curse, yes exactly! I haven’t heard of those singers, but checking them out on YouTube now…
This is great, Christy, Isn’t it amazing the insight that hindsight provides? Continue to be gentle with yourself. The world can bruise our hearts and spirits, but we must continue to be our own biggest fan and advocate. Great post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Kelly recently posted…Visit Massachusetts: Central Mass
Thanks, Kelly! I’m trying to be a better self-advocate; I certainly struggled with that more when I was in my early twenties.
Wow, this was very interesting indeed!
It was fascinating looking back and putting myself in my own 22 year old shoes. Ahh, perspective 🙂
This is a wonderful post to look back and see what cannot be seen at the time. It is important to look back and learn lessons. That helps us remember the beauty of what we went through at the time, and then also see how it changed us. We all change through our experiences.
Elizabeth recently posted…Tamale Pie: Cinco de Mayo Celebration!
You’re right- it’s crazy how much different experiences shape who we are at different points in our life. Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth!
This is amazing. And I’ve definitely seen Ani live since then, and no, it doesn’t get old. I live in Northampton which is like an Ani capital, and yesterday I had a bit of a sinus headache and I was putting my head in my hands at a stoplight with the window open, and “You Have Time” blasting out the window.
Some young Smith girls gave me knowing looks.
That cracked me up! I had to tell someone that story. I wanted to yell, “No, it’s not a breakup! I’m driving a minivan with two kids and a dog in back. I just have a headache!”
Tamara recently posted…Then I Became a Mother.
I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Ani! The last time was at Omega Institute, where I lived/worked, in 2011. Need to see her again! Of course, she was just touring in the NY/MA area last week and I was not on the ball…grrrr.
Your story cracked me up! But I’m sorry you had a sinus headache :\
tears in my eyes x
Wow, glad it resonated with you 🙂
Wow. What a really well written piece, you really captured every line with such depth and feeling. I cannot imagine what I would be writing in that genre. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you so much, Peggy!
Oh my gosh, sometimes I wish I could go back and live things over AS I AM NOW, instead of who I was. Then I remember that I’m only who I am now because of those experiences, so…I guess that’s part of the growing up.
Exactly, Catherine! It’s funny, needing to accept that we needed to make those choices and mistakes in order to become who we are now.
This is such a great idea. I wish I could actually go back and tell my younger self a few things.
Thank you, Jazmine!
This is a great post and such a good idea! Isn’t it amazing how differently we feel as we get older and how much we wish we could impart all of that knowledge to our old selves.-Ashley
thedoseofreality recently posted…The Gift Of A Great Teacher
If only I could have told my earl-twenties self that one day anxiety would not rule my life! Thanks, Ashley.
I love this!!
Thank you 🙂
This is a really cool idea. A nice letter to yourself, too. I think more bloggers should look to do this. Maybe… hmmm! 🙂
Thanks, P.J. I thought it was an awesome idea, too, and couldn’t help trying it out. Didn’t even think it would become a post, haha.
Love this… I show the video “Dear 16 Year Old Me” to all my students when we talk about tanning, but this is a much more personal take on the idea.
Thank you, Haleigh. I appreciate your stopping by!