Today I took the time to write a letter. It will be sent to myself on my 26th birthday. I thought about copying and pasting the words here, awkwardly written in first person to me about me, but really to whom I will become. I reminded my future self of who I am in this moment today...struggling to keep it all together, whose family has unfurled, whose idea of Home is lost, lost, lost...wearing long, falsely-colored hair and bangs that I will probably look back on and question, "why?!" Intoxicated by new love and burned out on collegiate business studies, who has found a compulsive drive to write on anything about everything and wants nothing more than to find the niche of happiness that certainly must exist. I told my 26 year old self what I hope she has remedied. I told her about the dreams kept only in my head because, while I do tell almost anything, some prayers are too delicate, too sacred to expose. She will probably look back and laugh, being taken off guard by a composition she forgot she wrote on a bad day in her 23rd year. At least I hope, on some levels, that she does. I left her with the little-girls dreams, the "when I grow up" bulleted list, the idealistic goals that I hope she will have accomplished, while knowing that life rarely goes as planned.
Naturally this train of thought led me to reflect on the past year and all of the irony and craziness that carried me through these 11 months. Now, as 2007 dwindles to a wintry close, I am entertained by last year's hopes for this one. I am so very far from the person I was last December. I grew substantially this year, which, in general terms, is exactly what I predicted. On a micro level, though, wow...it's really astonishing sometimes to look back at the outline you planned and then veered from, but I learned from the short-cuts and scenic routes, and even the idle hours spent waiting in traffic. I learned specifically what I would never again settle for, and what I could and couldn't live with, and that I can survive on my own, but I don't like it. I swore to learn 25 new things...I'm assessing this goal and will have an accurate report of progress by December 31st.
I said I was coming back to Nashville, and I packed my car and did it. I said that I wouldn't date for 365 days, but I did, and I even fell in love, an event I was sure would be impossible for a very long time. I said I would graduate in December, and as it approaches I've known since August that it wasn't possible, and frankly, I wonder if I will even pass all of my Fall classes this semester. I've had four jobs, two roommates, one new bedroom wall color, finished one book, completed two pieces of art, written one commercial composition, started a blog, and been introduced to the lifestyle of the Army. I've lost and made friends, I've seen beauty in pure form and ugliness too. I've done a lot of aching, but haven't found reason enough to throw in the towel. I've left and returned. I've stumbled a lot with intermittent glimpses of grace. Although marked by scars, I now know how to avoid tripping sometimes. I'm better because of the falls and stronger because I eventually shake them off.
No, no one promised me a rose garden. In fact, my Mother always made it a point to assure me that life isn't fair. Keeping all of that in mind and where I've been and where I hope I'm going, maybe sooner than later I'll at least have a bed of tulips or daisy's.
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