I wrote this letter to myself seven months ago while at my first hospital. I just received it in the mail, and I cannot believe how much I’ve changed since then. This letter reminds me how lost I was, how lost I am, but how okay that is. I hope you find something in this letter that resonates with you, something that makes you feel something new. Thank you for reading.
PS: This photo was taken yesterday, and it also shows me how much I’ve changed. I remember how to smile! And smile often and smile big. xox
Dear Future Me,
You are a light. You are a flame that will never burn out. You are weightless, carried though life in the present tense. You are not in the past or future; you just are. But I want to remind you who you were and how you became more of you. I want you to take pride in your past, and let yourself notice your growth. I don’t expect you to be perfect. But you are nonetheless. Because you find happiness in your worst days, and happiness in your best. You find happiness in others, but most importantly, you find happiness within yourself. I am so proud of you!
Right now I am 19 years old. It is Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 at 2:35pm. I am on my 6th day at the hospital’s crisis unit. And I am surrounded by so much love, hard work, and growing happiness. And I encompass all of these qualities right now, too. And I know you do, too. A flame that will never burn out.
- Three gratitudes about your life
- A positive experience from your day
- Did you exercise today?
- Did you meditate today?
- A random act of kindness you did (even if it was just a random act of kindness for yourself!)
When you don’t feel perfectly content, start with your Daily Maintenance Plan. Self care is not a choice anymore; it is imperative to your beautiful existence. Then, put happiness first using the five steps I just gave you. Use your Wellness Toolbox. And be kind, to others and to yourself. You are so loved. I cannot wait to see who you become. But, repeat after me, “happiness is the key to success.” So if you’re drowning in anxiety, you will fail. And that is okay. You are learning everyday.
When you are ready, I want you to look at your struggles. I want you to thank them for helping you to seek help. I want you to notice how they, like everything else, improve. You must work to get what you want, and what you want is happiness. Just like what I want right now is happiness.
Please keep positive, mutually beneficial relationships in your life. Let go of the toxic ones. You are a flower that grows from your own strength, but not without the sun, sky, air, rain, and even the storms. But they too shall pass.
As you have hopefully continued to realize, you cannot control anything, except for your happiness. You cannot control others, so accept them as they are. Do not assume anything. Just feel, and feel everything. Eventually the urge to control will stop. But you will have to work hard for your happiness, harder than you worked to get into UVA or on your Intro Biology exams or even to grow and strengthen your relationships with those you love. But the payoff will be tremendous.
Putting all of your energy into each moment of each day is the first step to happiness. It will be hard, and you will feel sad or angry or all other uncomfortable emotions. But you will not be sad or angry. You will not be your diagnosis. Never.
I love you so much, future me. You have come so far and have so far yet to grow. Find peace in prayer when you need inhuman strength and guidance.
You are never too busy to be happy.
Many love you, including you.