Letter To My Younger Self

MizFit posted My letter to a littler misfit. on Wednesday; it inspired me to write my own.

(my high school senior picture)

Dear Self,

Your life’s path has so many twists and turns. You can plan, but most of those plans aren’t going to work out.

In college, you’re going to ditch your long hair, lose your religion, and gain a lot of weight. You will go from extremely passive and complacent to near the other end of the spectrum, and it will take you a while to find a comfortable middle ground. You find a good space, but you alienate some people along the way.

You will have significant stretches of extreme loneliness. You will learn a lot from them but not until much later. You will make a small assortment of (fairly minor) bad decisions in an effort not to be lonely. Therapy will help, but the first four therapists will not be worth the time or money. You will become comfortable in your own skin; it takes some time.

Eventually, you’ll figure out how to manage your finances. You’re not bad with the little stuff, and you’re not much of a shopper, but you do make some major bad decisions that will take a very long time to repair.

Don’t drive home after the show. You’re too tired.

(this is what happens when you sleep and drive — no alcohol was involved)

Opening a retirement account as soon as you start working would be wise. Living in Arizona for a year before starting grad school (so your tuition is in-state) would also be wise. Oh — and don’t buy a house right after you get married. The housing market is in a bubble and houses will be a lot cheaper if you wait a couple of years.

You will thrive teaching elementary band, giving clinics at state conferences and writing your own curriculum. Landing a gig in inner-city Phoenix will teach you about yourself, your privilege, politics, and socioeconomics in a way that nothing else does.

Eventually, you will clean up your eating and start to care about “all that healthy shit.” Your disgusting diet will turn vegetarian. You’ll crave vegetables. Fried foods will make you physically sick. You’ll lose 80 pounds. You’ll have a sizable working knowledge of GMOs, BPA, “natural flavors” and other unsavory food supply practices that aren’t anywhere close to on your radar right now.

You’ll wash your hair with baking soda and wear shoes with toes.

“Run when chased” will turn into triathlons.

That’s a lot of words to be eatin’.

These things that formerly were so repugnant and stupid to you not only become part of your career, but they become part of you and define your lifestyle.

The cancer journey is slightly terrifying, but it’s not the bumpiest part of your journey and it gives you “street cred.”

One constant? The road is twisty and rarely can you see more than a few feet in front of you. What changes is how you experience it.

And no, Arizona isn’t a big sand box. Different kind of desert.

Fondly,

Your older, wiser, happier Self

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2 responses to this post.

  1. you rock.

    xo xo

  2. love this post and this letter- what a great idea!

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