Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday has done a lot of changing

Christina: I love your song choices! Especially The Killers and Coldplay. They really ::are:: good. Deal with it : )

Cassie: I don't know why this has not happened. My dragon-sense is tingling. This must be rectified. Also, your letters are awesome.

So, for this post, I really, REALLY wanted to pull a Cassie and reveal an actual letter to myself in the present, written in the past. I have several such letters, all stored away in the safety of the Internets on my online journal (it's a Xanga... don't judge, ok?)--OR SO I THOUGHT. Somehow, the password I have saved for it is wrong. It's just all wrong. And I have no idea what email I attached the account to, so I have no recovery for it. I filled out the little form thingy requesting lifesaving password recovery assistance, but I am forcing myself to consider the possibility that my eight years' worth of journaling are lost. ::quiet sob::

Anyway. Now that I have exhausted my time reserves for the night sifting through password attempt after password attempt, I am going to write a letter to my Past Self. I'll pick... 13-year-old Carlyn, in the middle of her eighth-grade year.

Hey, Self!

It's Me! Or... Us! It's Us!

We're writing to us from the future.

Or, rather, I'm writing to you from the future.

Let's see what I can remember about you as you are right now...

As I type this, your family is doing really well. Grandma and Grandpa Campbell have both passed away, but Grandma Powell is still alive and kicking. Call her more often; it makes her life much happier. Besides, she's going to give you her Beetle. Calling once in a while wouldn't kill you.

Mom and Dad are doing really well, even though you and Ellie are off at college (Ellie went to Kent, like they did). They enjoy each other more than ever. Dad comes up with some really silly-sounding hobbies. You're going to like sharing them with him. Mom works hard at her job, and she's really good at what she does.

Oh yeah, and we all have tattoos now. Dad was the first to get one, and now he's the one with the fewest. His is "Good Grief" in kanji. Mom's first was "Good Grief" in braille down her leg, and her second was birds on her shoulder, just like you'll have on your shoulder and Ellie will have on hers. Ellie has a total of nine (ten? more?) tattoos of various natures. By the time you turn 22, you'll have five.

You're going to do some fun traveling! You've been to Australia already. In fact, you probably remember a lot of that trip. Savor those memories; they're gone by the time you write this letter. I remember throwing up on a boat and being friends with people I didn't like. But you will stay vaguely in touch with a bunch of (other) people from that trip! In a couple years, you'll discover something called Facebook. It will get important. That'll all make sense before long.

The summer you turn 16, you're going to go to Europe with the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony (which you'll get into! I know it doesn't seem like it now). It's going to be a great time. Later, you'll travel to Mexico with your youth group to teach English. That'll be fun, too. By the time I write this, most of the people you went with will be married, and some will have kids. This will freak you out.

That reminds me--music. You're not going to do that forever. You'll go to college for it, but then you'll realize that your heart isn't really in it. So you'll spend some time floundering around, but you'll settle on psychology for your major. And then you'll go to graduate school for counseling, and you'll learn a lot and enjoy yourself quite a bit.

Right now, you're in the eighth grade! In the future, you will look back on this as the worst, loneliest, most awkward year of your life. So, if you're happy now, know that it only gets better from here.

Don't get me wrong--there will be sad times. Heartbreaking times, even. You'll fall in love for the first time, and it will end in utter despair. You'll be only partially functional for a little while. It's going to suck A LOT. But eventually, you will heal and be much, much better than you were before. You'll learn more about yourself than you knew there was to learn. And you will love again.

Goodness, you will love again.

And she--yes, she; you're going to have to trust me on this one--is going to be incredible. She will be everything you ever needed. She will bring her complete personhood to your complete personhood, and you will make each other better. There's really nothing else I can say that will prepare you for this. The timing will work out exactly right. One word of advice: Don't be afraid to write that note telling her how you feel.

This all leads me to an important point. You're going to be an atheist. I know, I know--this thought fills you with revulsion and terror. But it will all be okay. You will learn beautiful, wonderful things about yourself and the world, and these things will lead you to new, challenging, and exciting views on what life is and what it means. It seems impossible, but I assure you, it will happen. You will be fulfilled and happy and wanting for nothing.

You have an interesting life ahead of you, Young Self. Don't be afraid of changing; it will make you into who you were always going to become.

I am so very excited for and proud of you for all the progress you're going to make.

Live this life, Kid. You get one chance; don't screw it up for us! (I know you won't. : ) )

-Carlyn, 22.5

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