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Friday, May 12, 2017

Blast From the Past

If you had the chance to talk to your younger self, what would you say? I would most definitely give my younger self some pointers. Don't waste your time on that boy. Take this class a little more seriously. Spend more time with your loved ones. Start writing a book a lot sooner.

If I only knew then what I know now. 

What if you were talking to your future self? You're unsure of where you may be a few years from now so what kind of advice could you give? Mine would likely consist of words of encouragement and reminders. This has always been the type of person I am. I pride myself on being the person people can come to when they need someone to listen.

Where am I going with this blog post? You probably asked. Did you discover time travel, Brittany? Not quite.

I was graced with a blast from the past when I decided it was time to clean out my nightstand. About a year ago, I received something in the mail that perplexed my mother. I remember she called me and said "um, a letter came for you today but it's addressed to you in your handwriting."

Once I saw the letter, I remembered an assignment I completed during college. My theater professor had us write a letter to our future self. We were instructed to include pictures or other pieces of paper with significance. Our professor promised to mail us our envelope in five years. I'm not sure how she always does it but she did. Exactly five years later.

Though it has now been six years, this was a pleasant surprise to come across. This is true for many reasons:
  1. I am an oddly optimistic person, especially on paper. 
  2. As a writer, it's amazing to see how I've grown the last few years. 
  3. I was able to provide some commentary for some of the more ridiculous things I stated.
  4. I was also able to relive a time in my life when I was so carefree--20 years old, sophomore in college, rejoicing in friendship & recent accomplishments. 

Of course I plan to share this with you all. Though it may be embarrassing and names have been removed in certain circumstances (I mentioned a then boyfriend who is now definitely a past boyfriend). I hope you will all see what I was referring to in the above bullet points.  

Dear Me,

Bet you completely forgot about this letter, didn't you? (Yep, you got me there and you almost gave mom a heart attack.) Right now, you are finishing up your sophomore year of college at UNC Charlotte. Majoring in Communications and a tad bit undecided when it comes to your future job. (Flash forward 6 years, not much has changed). You just became an official sister of your sorority and it was the best decision you have ever made. 

I hope that everything you hoped for has come true. I know how hard you and I have worked and I have no doubts that you are super successful. I hope you are still as carefree and silly as you've always been. (Luckily for us, I don't think this will ever change.)

I hope that you still honor and cherish your family every single day of your life. They are the greatest gifts. They will always love you. 

I know how frustrated you can get when things are tough. Keep your head up and don't you ever forget this. 

Right now, you have a close knit group of friends. I only pray that you've stayed in touch with them. They are beautiful inside and out. You also recently received your big sister in the sorority. She better still be someone you look up to and adore. She is so knowledgeable. 

You are currently working at (name removed to avoid any conflicts) and you HATE it. I only hope that you are in love with your current job.

I could go on and on about all the things I hope you're still doing but as always, you waited until right before class to do this. Way to go! 

You are an amazing person. Trust me, I would know. Stay strong and take the world by storm!

Love always, 

Brittany (I actually signed this with my full name, as if I was unsure who I was)

p.s. go tell your family that you love them! Plan a time to go visit your mom and brother. Go kiss your daughter/son (wow, I believe I was a little confused at what point in my life I would be at when I received this letter) and be thankful for the amazing life you have. 

p.p.s I hope our handwriting has improved! (Spoiler alert: it has not.)

Little 20-year-old Brittany had no idea what I would be in for. 

I found it humorous that I mentioned marriage and children. I received this letter when I was 25-years-old. While many are married by this age and I totally support it, I am everything but. I still have so much time to grow, to become the woman I'm meant to be. I'm still figuring myself out. For some, this is discouraging. Being in your mid to late 20's and not being married. But I see it as a blessing. When the time comes for me to marry someone, I'll have my ish together. 

I love that I know myself so well that I knew I would need reminders of strength during tough times. Even though these are coming from myself, it was wonderful to know that someone believes in me. It was a reminder that I so desperately needed. A few months ago, I opened up to the World Wide Web and let you know I was unhappy with my current path. Remember when I said that I was feeling stuck? Flash forward a few months and I've made a lot of changes for the better. All I need was a few people to act as my support system and to believe in myself.

One big trip of self discovery and a job transition later, I feel like myself again. Only better. 

Maybe after all, we need daily letters like this to ourselves. A reminder of how far you have come and how much further you have to go. When you're feeling down on yourself, remember how much you have overcome. Remember the strength you're harboring within. Remember what your younger self would say to you if you ever had this opportunity.

Happy Friday to you, my friends. May your day be filled with words of encouragement. 

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