A letter to myself this time last year: you’re gonna fail, baby.

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Oh hi there.

Happy 2016! You just turned 27 with the biggest idea you’ve had yet – about to pursue a dream you’ve had since you were what, like 5? Your future is bright, dude! You’re big & brave and have finally removed some pressure from your life and accepted the fact you’re never going to enjoy cooking (takeout is fine, I promise).

You just turned 27 feeling fucking stoked about life. You. are. Fucking. Stoked. I mean, you’re outta here. Hitting the road with a backpack and a quick dry towel. And with the dream of a 5 year old pushing you forward, your expectations for yourself are through the roof.

And in a way, they should be. Believe in yourself so damn hard because why wouldn’t you?

But relax, kid. This time next year, you won’t have written a book & life won’t have simply “fallen into place”. I’m telling you this now so you don’t bawl your eyes out when you realize you’re still working out some kinks that came along with this whole ‘following your dream’ thing (which, trust me when I tell you this part won’t be fun).

Here’s what’s gonna happen:

You’re going to have a beautiful, important adventure. It’s going to be the best thing you’ve ever done, and it’s going to challenge you. A lot. And then you’re going to come home. It’ll be really great & really weird. You’re going to end up resenting parts of this life you’ve known since, well, since you had a memory. You’re going to look around you and wonder if you fell behind. If you’re still falling. If you fucked up somehow. You’re going fixate on everything you haven’t done and forget everything you have.

You’re also going to eat a certain meal in Indonesia which you really, really shouldn’t. Stick to the rice.

This year you’re going to “try and write a novel”. But you’re not going to succeed. You’re gonna come home before it’s finished. But hey, at that point you’ll still feel pretty good about it! You’ll feel proud of the tens of thousands of words you did write and you’re going to reread certain parts on the plane ride home and feel pretty impressed with how it sounds.

You’re gonna reread those same parts a few months later and think they actually suck. They suck so much, and you’ll think that means you suck so much, and you’re going to cry about it. And then you’re going to enter a very bizarre and exhausting downward spiral.

So be ready for it. It’s coming. Ohhh baby is it ever coming.

But guuurl, it’s okay.  

Maybe following your heart & all that bs doesn’t have to be something you just do for a year. Maybe it’s a whole new approach to life. And maayyybe attempting a book is just a tiny piece of this big, badass life you get to live as a whole – so if accomplishing this one tiny piece takes longer than you thought it would, that’s totally cool. That’s life. If you get doors slammed in your face, fuck man. Find new ones. And if you don’t – if you never write a book – do something else. Because the most important thing you’ll learn this year is that it’s okay to change your mind. Just be a good person along the way.  

This year you’re going to try and write a book, but you’re not gonna do it. It’s going to be so much harder than you were naively anticipating. So enjoy the shit out of this moment, girlfran. Hang on to this feeling that you can do absolutely anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Cuz it won’t last forever. Geez louise it won’t even bring you through the year. So take note of it now. Memorize it, so that you can make it again. Because here’s the other thing I know:

You will make it again. You won’t know it at the time, when the temp first drops and you’re in the thick of the tears and insecurities. But someone will say something. He’ll say something. You’ll get a free bag of chips from the vending machine and realize life really is on your side. And somewhere in between your large Tim’s coffee and birthday mimosa, you’ll start to realize that maybe this is what life is all about; navigating the highs & lows; trying shit & failing & trying something else; and understanding that there is no right or wrong way, there’s simply your way. And that’s pretty fucking rad. 

So go get em, you sweet little 27 year old. You’re gonna be fine.
I promise you’ll be fine.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. E.T. says:

    You know, I was just reading about a writer this morning that wrote a couple of chapters and thought
    they totally sucked; her friend called and told her to keep going, to keep following her path, and she did. The
    book, she said, went on to be a New York Times bestseller. (Melody Beattie)
    Keep holding on and knowing, just like you said, it can take awhile, but the lessons in between
    can be priceless (and hard). (i.e. ‘Leah is going away again, bwahh bwahh))

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