Letter To My Past Self

Past Claire,

One day when you’re 17, you’re going to wake up and decide to become a marriage and family therapist. It’s not really going to make sense, and when people ask you why, the only thing you’re going to say is “because I love marriage”. People will laugh at that. You will even laugh, but you will not give up.

You won’t even give up when they take your scholarship away because of some stupid number called a GPA. You’ll have to be a waitress and do summer school and it’s terrible, but you get your scholarship back, and you graduate early. Thank God for that, you won’t like Kentucky.

You graduate early because your family needs you, although you don’t know that yet. The past hurt you courageously pushed through was only building you stronger for the one to come.

God was faithful then, and He’ll be faithful again. It’s true, and it’s what you’ll tell yourself on the darkest days you’ve ever faced.

You get through these dark days because of grad school. You made it. Your high school self was right after all. And you’ll be a marriage and family therapist.

You get through these dark days because of grad school, and steadfast friendships, and your renewed love for punk music, and because of your niece (yes, you have a niece and she is beautiful – and chubby). You get through because of poetry, and Starbucks 5 times a week, and concerts, and please stop eating so much fast food and learn to cook.

And please stop measuring your worth based on who can’t love you, and think about who does. Think about what you were made for: listening, laughing, and loving people at all times. Even the times you feel stabbed in the back, overlooked, or unloved. Remember, you only regret the love you didn’t give. That’s how you’ve always been.

You break hearts and your heart gets broken. Everyone you know is either engaged or complaining about not being engaged. Don’t let that take up too many of your thoughts – you have research to do, and papers to write, and that pointless stats class that really isn’t pointless, and your dreams are in your grasp. Don’t miss out on now. You can’t have everything all at once. You’ll tell yourself not to date anyone, ever. It’s too risky.

I’d like to say we’re over that, but we’re still working on it.

I’m hopeful though.

I want you to know, I’m proud of you. You’re going to hate yourself, and love yourself. And hate what you’re going through, but love what it teaches you.

Love,

Your Present Self

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