One Year from Now

To be read December 2018

Dear 2018 Self,

You made it through another year. Congrats, I suppose. At first, I hesitated to write that, “congrats,” but then I decided it was deserved. It takes courage to make your way through this world, so whether you are reading this with an air of triumph and success or with shadows of regrets, it doesn’t matter.

It’s probably a mix of both, anyway.

As you well know, resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep. While I write to you, I’m trying to remember a year where I made a resolution and kept it…and I’m coming up blank. Hopefully, you’re able to be different.

But I’m not writing this letter to berate you or judge you. I’m not even writing to challenge you. I’m writing with the spirit of (arguably) the best kind of writing—I’m writing to you with hope.

Hope. What a beautiful thing. Oh future self, I have such incredible hopes for you. Not hopes of the drastic, anxiety-inducing kind, like when you were little and assumed that you’d be wildly successful in your career and rich and/or a princess at this time. (How I love to look back on our past self, with all her cherub-cheeked and well-intentioned naiveté. So precious.) No, future self, I have hopes of the realistic kind.

My hope for you, as you read this letter, is that you’ll be able to look on the year behind you and be proud.

I hope you finally finished that essay you started. I hope you wrote a short story. I hope you wrote a lot in general, actually. I hope you finally hung at least one picture up on your bedroom walls, and I hope you finally made that dentist appointment (the one your 2017 self has been so successfully avoiding).

I hope you have invested your time in people. I hope you held hands at least as much as you held a phone. I hope you remembered to send texts and messages to those both far and near. I hope you remembered birthdays and favorite foods and how people take their coffee.

I hope you listened with your heart when people told you how their day was. I hope you protected secrets and soothed fears. I hope you did your best to speak with understanding instead of annoyance, and, when you inevitably didn’t, I hope you apologized.

I hope you remembered to step outside yourself and your own neuroses to remember that this life is bigger than any one person. I hope you can say that, in some tiny way, you made the world a better place.

I hope you were brave. In multiple ways.

I hope you can look back and say that you defended rather than wasted your time. I hope you took that time—its finite measure, its infinite possibilities—and invested it where it mattered: in the people you love, in the dreams you have, in the work you want to do.

I hope you saved your time for the stuff that made you lose track of it. Not in a mind numbing, media scrolling type of way, but in an all encompassing, soulfully passionate way, with held breath and swelling heart.

As I write this now, I’m wishing you a year full of love and grace and belly-aching laughter. I hope that you, in reading this, can say my wish was fulfilled.

With love and hope,

Your 2017 Self

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