As a whimsical lass of 14, I started writing an annual letter to myself ten years in the future.
I’m a terrible correspondent. I haven’t even opened a letter from myself in three years. And poor ages 37, 39, 40 (😬) and 41 will find themselves utterly neglected.
I happened to think of these letters this morning because I was having a hard time remembering my age. 32, self. 32. And as my day job has me perishing from boredom just at present, I pulled these letters off the shelf to see where we are at.
I store them in a copy of The Secret Garden I have had since a child and they are having a deleterious effect on the binding. But I can’t quite figure out where else to put them.
I found unopened letters to 29, 30, and 32 waiting for myself — missives from 19, 20, and 22. Cringing, I wondered if I had better steel myself for their contents and wait to open them until this evening. I know my self. She is occasionally too glib. Too overwrought. Pretentious. Short-sighted. I needs must gather all of my forbearance to face her with compassion. But anyway, I can’t seem to find a cotton-picking (note to self, look up the etymology of that. Seems like it is likely to be offensive.) anything else to do at the moment, so after all, I slit the envelopes and read.
What a slice of life! 22, in particular, pulled at my heartstrings. I have decided to inflict these letters upon our blog – not least because they contain some familiar cameos. I’m sorry and you’re welcome. Lol.
To 29 from 19, May 20 2008:
It occurred to me that I owe you a letter. Actually, it has occurred before, but this is the first time sufficient self-motivation surfaced to accompany the impulse. I guess it’s kind of funny to be keeping this tradition at the ripe, old age of 19. . . But looking at that fat stack awaiting coming years, and the first only as far off as 24…why not?
Somehow I feel like I have a lot to report since last year, but I guess it isn’t much. Still at TJ-Maxx. Loathing it more than ever. I got promoted to be one of the Customer Service Coordinators last fall. Making $9.45 an hour. Still at CCSU. My classes this spring were generally a waste of money, but Eng 298 was an enjoyable waste anyway. I didn’t have any classes last fall because dad was unwilling to help with tuition (oh the entitlement of the young!) And I was still on out-of-state rates and couldn’t quite afford it on my own steam.
Last summer, I spent a week at a small beachhouse in Guilford, CT with G, A, J, and H, and had a splendid time, and in about two weeks am going to repeat it. This time two weeks in CO with Grace, Abby, Jacinta, and Frank.
Why am I telling you this? You know all this…hmm, well here is something you might need to be reminded of. The University of Toronto. I applied and was accepted, and now I’m sitting here completely baffled. To go or not to go? I wish you could reach back a decade and tell me what I ought to have done. Ought to do. It felt like absolutely the right thing back in April, and now it just…doesn’t feel quite right.
Nothing ever does.
It’s like the one piece everything has to hinge on just isn’t here. And I don’t know what it is — what to look for and try to lock into place, I mean. (The 4 wing was strong with me back then! 😂)
It seems like all I have to work with are negatives. I hate my job. I know CCSU is a waste of my time, at least as an English major.
How do you build something out of this? There’s nothing I’m at all certain about anymore except that the circumstances here and now just aren’t right.
One last secret for you. (Not really, I guess. I mean, it isn’t much of a secret. But it might be the first time I’ve committed it to paper.) I’m currently breaking my heart over…no. I can’t even write his name. But he’s gotten himself a girlfriend recently. And of course there are cute little pictures up on Facebook and they both look so happy…and…I’m sure other lovelorn youths have described…nevermind.
I’m sick of this letter.
Whatever. Sorry to dump my 19-year-old angst on you, 29, but after all…
You’re so close to 30. Are you scared? I am, just thinking of you. I hope you aren’t alone. I hope someone we are/were between my now and your now is able to fix things.
Good luck, I guess, if you need any.
—Me. Or… You…
From 20 to 30 (…!!) January 24, 2009
Whoa. Are we even going to live that long? We’re 2/3 of the way there already…Creepy.
I’ve just done something rather exciting, 30. I wish you’d write back and tell me if it was the right thing to do.
About ten days ago, I moved out of mom and dad’s all the way to Loveland, CO. Looking for a job, but I’ve got all my other ducks in a tentative row at the moment
A slice of life: got up a little before 9 (later than usual!), Showered, etceteraed, sat around… Abby went off to work at Marshalls, and then Grace and Bex went off to the airport to pick up The Guys. (Theirs, not ours) and they’ll be staying at the McCs but we’re having them over for dinner tonight.
I walked down to Circle Moon Café and back purely for internet, because we haven’t set ours up yet. Before that I made some phone calls — one to Wells-Fargo to see about a job. No conclusive answers.
This pen is bothering me.
New one. Okay. So I spilled coffee on myself on the way back from Circle Moon, dashing across the busy one-way street. Cleaned self up, and then drove out to Marshalls without any serious mishap. (Cue applause). (I was still a VERY new driver at that point.)
This isn’t really very legible is it?
Well, I applied at Marshalls because they’re advertising for a CSC, and I’m not having any overwhelming surges of luck on the job-hunt front.
I’ll be very surprised if I don’t hear back. (Spoiler alert-didnt hear back 😂)
Anyway, I came home and washed the windows with windex and toilet paper because we haven’t any paper towels yet. I think the girls are expecting to be back at three or four, but it’s anyone’s guess whether The Guys will be with them or at McCs. (apparently they were a topic of much interest 😂)
Do you know what I really want to know? Whether you’re married. Have you found him? Has he found you? *Sigh* 🙂 — yourself, ten years ago
To 32 from 22 – July 27, 2011. P.s. sorry for neglecting you, 31.
I wonder what you’re up to. How many gray hairs do you have? I can’t imagine what you’re doing with yourself. . .
As for me, I’m in the midst of minor calamities as usual. (I hope you’ve grown out of this.)
The Ford Probe is dying.
The emergency room bills from my cut finger in June are coming in and the insurance is all a muddle.
I shake out my bath towel every morning in case of earwigs.
My phone is showing symptoms of the onset of an early death.
My laptop power cord DID die.
And I can hardly work in the kitchen without cutting myself, and everyday something I touch breaks or ceases to function, whether for mechanical and electrical reasons, or an ill aura about me, I cannot say.
I am liking living alone for the first time, but am contemplating moving to MN to be a companion to Grandma Carol.
I suppose 32 is going to be here in the blink of an eye or something. I hope the years in between have been filled worthily. I hope you aren’t looking back on them and seeing just blankness. I hope you don’t cry as much as I do.
I think 32 will look good on you. You’re still young and probably people don’t mistake you for a highschool aged kid anymore.
I will say a prayer for you.
I hope you know better what you’re about by now 🙂 … I wonder, did you ever go back to school like everybody was thinking you ought?
Love and hope, 22