The prompt (from Kickstarting Creativity Week 4) is write a letter to a younger version of ourselves, but then, the younger version of ourselves has right of reply and writes back. I figured I could write to either myself ten years ago or twenty years ago. Ten years ago, I was moving into the year when I would decide to follow my dreams. Twenty years ago, I was a scared kid just out of school who thought she could dream , but was only trying to escape. As it turns out, the letter I would write to either of them is pretty much the same. I just suspect the replies would be different.
So this is me from your life sometime in the future. I would tell you what you should do, mistakes you should avoid, but you’re stubborn, so I won’t. There are some lessons that only experience can teach you. And you’re going to have a lot of lessons. And no, I don’t know why. I’ve stopped asking that.
If it helps, I’m happy now. But not in the way that you define happiness. It doesn’t all go to plan. You end up with a life you never really wanted growing up, but it is a life that only you can live. You may not fit in with the people around you, but you do fit into your life. And you never, ever stop learning. You never give up. You never let the fear stop you from trying anyway. You are, in truth, braver and stronger than you realise.
I won’t tell you what to do, because that would ruin the fun. But trust in your faith – it may not feel like it, but it is always strong enough to get you through. Trust your instincts. Trust the talents that you have. Never be afraid to learn the lesson. Never be afraid to unlearn the lesson.
And always remember your life is a story – a beautiful, heart-wrenching epic that touches lives and heals hearts that you will never hear about. Write your story well.
Me from twenty years ago thinks about the letter, and eventually writes back
Dear Me from the future,
Do you still have the yellow piece of paper with the three things I want to achieve written on it? Did I get to do those things at least? And why would you tell everybody that I am afraid? I don’t have anything to be afraid of. As long as I keep moving, as long as I keep going, everything will be alright. That’s what you said, right?
And why would you say I should write my story well? My story doesn’t matter. Nobody would be interested in my story. The stories I tell about other people, apparently they can be captivating.
Please don’t tell anybody I am afraid. Because I’m nt. At least, I work very hard not to be.
Me from ten years ago reads both these letters and writes a note to both of us.
Dear Me from the past and Me from the future,
First up, what’s this obsession with the whole fear thing, Me from years back? Of course you’re afraid. Own it. Live with it. Get on with your life.
But you’re right about one thing. Nobody will be interested in my story just yet. I need to do something. Will I ever be able to do something? I want to make a big difference, change everything. Do something to know that I am alive.
I can’t see how my life could turn out to be a heart-wrenching epic, when all I have ever been is a failure. I can’t see how you could say I have enough faith, because I don’t. I don’t have enough faith, or talent, or anything. The only thing I have is fear. I’m too afraid to even try.
So, Me from the future, don’t come here with all your lectures about lessons, and happiness, and being strong. Because I don’t care. I can’t care. I dare not care. Because if it were true, I might just try.
And that is something scary.
Yeah. Ten years ago I was a bit opinionated. Sorry about that.