Dear Laura (the Laura I cant wait to become),
I can’t believe how much I’ll have done twelve years from now. Think about it: you graduated high school, went to college, explored your sexuality, navigated yourself away from negative and toxic people, conquered your fear of driving, became friends with fun people who matter and make you happy, worked your way up to manger at a job where you gave 110 percent, graduated college, started a job that lead to countless new and important friendships, worked your ass off juggling adult responsibilities, continued to better yourself and grow as a human being. You’ve worked on your writing, your dream, your passion, you’ve poured your soul into it, and you’ve learned and gotten better. Not to mention you’ve read tons of book, you’ve been to dozens of new places, you’ve watered relationships and watched them flower into beautiful gardens of human connection. You opened your eyes to see the love of your life standing before you and you moved in with him and started the journey of your future with him. It must be easy to assume that those things are minimal (I do the same thing with the the sixteen years of accomplishments I have now), but that’s only because of how you’re expanding as a person. It’s only logical that as you become more expansive the goals you reach expand along with you. Your perspective is shaped by that fact, and since it’s all growing at the same rate, it’s hard for you to measure change. But listen to me, girl. I may be younger but I’m YOU for God’s sake. I’m hella smart and veryyyy self-aware. You know it’s true!
I’m insanely impressed with all you’ve done and even more proud. I’m beaming just thinking about it. Because I know it’s been hard for you; as your past self I know you pretty well and can fully imagine how hurtling those many, many obstacles must have taken a toll on you. But you kept going and now you’re there, where you are, and you have no intention of stopping. You’re such a badass. I can’t wait to be that kind of badass.
For once, the looming presence of the future doesn’t seem daunting or frightening. It doesn’t seem to be laced with anxiety about the unknowns, the ever-changing constant of life doesn’t seem to scare me as much. Your existence is a comfort to me. I know I’ll be safe and successful at the end of this leg of my journey. I know I’ll be happy at the end.
And really, the end is also a beginning. So before you even say anything, you’ll eventually reach the level of success that you dream of in the way that you dream of it. I know. I know you wanted to do more by 28, you wanted to be more by 28. But dude, adjust how you’re thinking about this. You’re 28, not 100. And no one is keeping score. You do know that, right? And I’m not judging you, I promise. That seems to be your major concern, right? You think you let me down? Fuck off with that nonsense! You’re cool, and you’re kind, and you built a life for yourself that I can’t wait to experience. So stop beating yourself up. Seriously!
I’m looking twelve years ahead, and again, since we’re one and the same (you haven’t changed much, all the qualities I love about myself now are still fully present in you), I know you’re looking twelve years ahead as well. And as I said earlier, it has the potential to be daunting and frightening, laced with anxiety about the unknowns. But honestly? You’re looking ahead at yourself. And I know you trust yourself. You lean on people when you need, and that’s great, but you’ve always always always been there for yourself. And underneath all the self-conscious emotions and talking, hidden within the self-deprecating humor and doubt, you know full well that you’re gonna keep kicking ass. Let THAT drive you. I mean, that’s what I’m doing. And it worked for me!
Anyway, I’ve gotta go finish beating the hell out of my eating disorder and acing every class I take in high school and making awesome friends and meeting awesome people and planning the incredible future that we’re gonna make come true.
Keep going. I know I’m going to.
your adorable and excited 16-year-old self