Letters to my younger self

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was as carefree as could be. She only had to think about school, the next book she would read, the next story she would write. She didn’t have a boyfriend to think about, and her ambitions were pure and, in this day and age, realistic. She had hope for a bright future full of possibilities.

In november of 2007, she wrote me a letter that would be opened in 2011, five years later. It laid forgotten in a drawer for three more after the deadline. I found it while cleaning up my taxes files.

Opening it felt like traveling back in time. The paper was crisp where it was folded but soft everywhere else. Her handwriting made me smile. It haven’t changed much throughout the years. I started to read it.

Her words touched me to the core. They were graceful and confident on the sheet when she wrote « Every obstacles in your way, you will defeat. I know you will. Remember, I am you. » She wasn’t just about hope. She was about faith, enthusiasm and just enough arrogance to push away the boundaries of the world.

Once every year after that, I reread her letter, until the meaning of her sentences permanently imprinted itself in my memory. Her teenage years shone through some her of questions (« Does Harry die at the end? ») but her wisdom warmed my heart in so many ways.

I don’t have her letter anymore. I lost it, probably through one of my too many moves. But I made sure to use every opportunities I have to answer back to her and let her know that, despite the darkness of a few of our years and some days that still remains darker than others, we are doing good.

Everything I share online is a letter for her. Every poems, every stories, every pieces of advice. I want to make her smile, make her cry, make her think. I want to make her proud of who she has become. I want her to know that we are doing okay. That we are loved and happy.

Today, I owe her a proper answer.

Dear past self,

It has been a while. 11 years, to be precise. That’s how old Harry was when he found out he was a wizard. He kinda dies at the end, but not really, he comes back, defeats Voldemort, gets married, have children and one of them is one of the stars of the sequel. Don’t read it, it’s awful, there are many fanfictions out there that are better worth your time.

It’s been 11 years but I don’t feel old. If I remember correctly, you were looking forward for your age to match your thoughts. It’s still the case. I can’t wait to find my first gray hair, so I can finally say that I am wise without feeling like a fraud for it. But, giving that people still give me 23 years old and not the almost 28 I really have, even when that hair will appear, it might take a while before I take myself seriously about that. Perhaps true wisdom is just that. Not taking myself seriously. It’s worth thinking about.

To answer your question, yes, you gave your virginity, no, not to the one you expected. It was a sweet and tender moment, a memory held fondly. Oh! and we finally are at university! Can you believe it? 10 years late, but here we are, studying literature, nonetheless. Surprised? I was too, believe me.

You were right, I did get through all the obstacles on my way… And so many of them were of our own doing. I learnt. And, sometimes, I wish I could go back and tell you all about the mistakes and the heartaches before you made any of those choices. But I can’t do that.

That’s why I write online. Yes, we have a blog. A very healthy one, shall I say. Everything I post online are letters to you. Perhaps, somewhere in the world, there is someone just like you, who needs to read my words like you needed them. Like I need them still.

I wanted to say thank you. You took some bad decisions along the way, but you took some good too. And, if it wasn’t for your strength, your courage and your stubborness, I wouldn’t be here today. There would be no blog. No school. No future. So thank you, for believing even when I stopped.

With love,
Your future self

Reading the words I wrote to myself all those years ago laid the foundations of a cathartic change. One step at a time, it pushed me back towards those days full of light and hope that I had in high school. I think I will repeat this experiment before the next school year begins. I wonder what my future self will answer back to the one I am now.

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