Saturday, 24 January 2015

Letter to the past

Dear 15-year-old me,

I've been wanting to talk to you for a while, because I can only imagine how stunned you will be by some elements of my life these days. Sometimes I feel like you are my biggest advocate and critic, that you are the one to whom I have to prove myself. You are so happy, and so sad-- so hopeful, so worried. You live in the world of "so" and "really" and "very." 15 is not a time of moderation, and you have never been (and may never be) someone who lives outside of superlatives. That doesn't change, by the way, when you reach the age of 27. It is exhausting but exhilarating to feel so strongly.

But do calm down a little bit. Really. You're overthinking everything, I promise. (But thanks for leaving the journals behind-- they're compelling.)

Some things I think you'd like to know--

- You do not become a psychologist. I know, I know. It seems like the perfect career for you! At some point in the middle of college, though, you will learn something very important-- you are too empathetic for that profession. You may have the potential to be a good therapist, but you would not be able to also be a happy person. Your inability to untie your own emotions from those of another person is only sometimes a handicap in much of your life, but it would be debilitating if you went into therapy. Trust me, you make the right choice.

- You DO become a teacher! At this point, 4 months into your career, it is incredibly stressful and wildly exciting. Some days are better than others. Some moments shine. Some weeks drag. Mostly, though, it is wonderful-- you are so lucky to work at the school where you do, teaching what you do. (It's a middle school, btw. I know you can't imagine wanting to be in a middle school forever, but trust me, it's much better when you're not middle school age.)

- Danaca is getting married this summer. MARRIED. TO ANOTHER PERSON. (And, no, that other person is not Tyb.) (EVEN WEIRDER, I KNOW.)

- Anna and Eesa are coming to the PNW to attend Danaca's wedding, and then we're going on a road trip to California! I'm so looking forward to introducing them to the Best Coast. And driving with them, which will be surreal in its own way. We haven't spent very much time together since we were all about 16 (not legal driving age in Taiwan), so being together as adults should be fascinating.

- You are not without your trials and tribulations, but you're happy. You have good people in your life. You have a good path. There are so many good and bad things that you have experienced and will continue to experience, but (so far, at least!) it's all turned out ok. I think it will continue to turn out ok.

With all love,

Your future

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