An Eighty Year-Old Woman Once Told Me….

I am currently into week two of the blogging and writing challenge a year with myself. One of the topics for this week is “If an eighty year-old wrote you wrote the current you a letter, what would they say?”

I’ve done similar exercises like this beforehand, but never to this extent. I’ve written letters to my thirteen year old self, and my current self five years ahead of time. So, it will be interesting to see where this takes me. 

Dear Alyx, 

I am sitting here right now, back at you, my nearly twenty year-old self. You’re at the threshold of becoming a woman; a woman with big dreams, glorious determination and ambition, and a mighty heart. In a few days, you’ll be going back to school to begin the second semester of your sophomore year in college. You have a vision of what you want for these next three months; a vision that involves gaining more independence, but at the same time deepening the current relationships that you have in your life. You want to start achieving what you’ve set out to do on your bucket list for the year. And you’re perfectly capable of going after exactly what you want. What you do get will be worth it, and what you don’t get, you’ll learn from it. 

But I also sense that you’re scared; you’re scared because making that vision a reality involves letting go of a particular friendship, a friendship that you so much idealized, but has done nothing more than prove to be toxic and full of stress. You’ve tried your best to be there for this person, and you can’t come down on yourself because it didn’t work out. 

You’re also afraid to leave your family, especially during a time where you have brought them so much joy and vice versa. You want to be there for them as well, especially your little sister. 

Here’s the thing, sweetheart: You’re at a time in your life where for the most part, you’re now in charge. You’re not really living at home, surrounded by your parents struggles. You should no longer feel obligated to put your life on the backburner to take care of anybody else. You have a chance to pave your own way and to make your own decisions. For crying out loud, stop doing things because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do, and start doing things because it’s what the small voice in your heart-the small voice of God, is telling you to do. 

And don’t think for one minute that you know all that there is to know. You have come a long way, but you still have a lot to learn. Seize opportunities when you see them, but don’t rush to get to a particular place. Soak up and appreciate as much as you can. 

I’m not going to tell you what will happen over the next six or so decades. That is one of the most joyful things about living; that is, being present in the moment and not worrying about the future until it gets here. 

With love, 

Your wise and beautiful eighty year old self

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