Finally! I am finished with my series of letters to myself. I’ve gone through all major life stages of childhood, pre-teen, teen, and now budding adult. It’s been difficult. Every time I think in advance about what I want to write, I end up blanking. But then I sit down, take a deep breath, and place myself at that age. It’s been great getting to re-know the person I was in connection with who I am.
It’s like the Magnetic Fields say: “If you think you can leave the past behind, you must be out of your mind.”
Today, I bring you my final letter. This one is written to myself just last year, at 22. Enjoy.
To Michelle at 22,
Are you done washing last night out of your hair? It was a long one, I’m sure. While you’re at it, clean off all of summer. Every freakish tan line, every ounce of drunken regret, and every bad 80s disco song… just scrub it clean. Can you exfoliate hangovers?
You knew it was coming- the inevitable end of a summer fling ushered in by the start of the school year. But this year, you’re in front of the class. For a full year, you’re teaching the subject you adore. You’re planning and writing a musical, while quizzing students on jazz rhythms. Your first graders are writing full on, comprehensible melodies. And you’re second graders, well, they’re driving you insane as only 2nd graders can.
It will be a great year. An absolute dream of a first year experience. But you know it cant last long. Financially, everything will come at you once, and you’re too proud to ask for help. When it comes time to make that decision, do it quickly. Dont let it linger.
There will be opportunities out there for you, even in this economy. And even though it scares the living crap out of you, you can do it. Teaching music is just one path that you will take. Maybe you’ll make a u-turn. Maybe you’ll linger where you are. If you’ve learned anything this year, it’s to take risks.
You’ll certainly do it in the boy department. In late September, someone will charm himself in to your life. At first, you’ll be cautiously optimistic. You’ll remember the summer of Bob and figure that this is just a fall affair. But the winter will come, and you will once again find yourself singing “I found love” in a car with your old roommate.
Who knows where it will lead. You’re still there. (and still singing)
And just like I said before, you’re learning that every bit of your past has molded you in to the person you are at 22 and 23.
Yourself, 1 year later