One decade ago, I graduated from high school in Columbia, Maryland.
The following is a letter of reflection to that previous version of myself.
Dear Younger Earth Self,
Hey beauty. Wow. You will not believe how far you’ve come.
Right now you’re preparing for high school graduation - wondering what you’ll say in your speech to the hundreds of people in your class and their families, wishing grandma could see you up on stage at Merriweather, and, of course, you do make an impression. It is one of many incredibly special moments you’ll have the opportunity to experience in this life. Keep working hard and following your heart. You will create so much magic, my love.
What’s on your young mind right now? Ah, yes - high school milestones. How cool was cheering your football team to states (for the second time?!) and winning! Attending prom without your boyfriend was one of your first steps in learning to love with detachment. You don’t really start to practice this for about another six to seven years, though… You have A LOT of lessons to learn. And you repeat them until you do, but the most beautiful part of this adventure is that you always want to learn. You do well in this way, as expanding your mind also leads to expanding your heart. You’ll make it through.
*Spoiler alert: You know that ten-year plan where you’re married and a mom by 28? Welp, that’s not happening for you. **Bigger spoiler alert: Your self-love and self-care practices are so strong that you absolutely prefer it this way!
The gift here is space. Space for you to create and build what you’ve been dreaming of. You can do it! You are an amazing, powerful, independent woman with drive. You are fiercely focused on your goals and do everything possible to set your future self up for professional, financial, and romantic success - like exploring your traumas and identifying destructive behavioral patterns.
I am SO proud of you! Holy sh*t. Seriously.
What else? Oh, sweet girl. You might think that you’re a little chubby now (you’re absolutely not, by the way), but in college you do gain some pounds - mostly overeating while overconsuming alcohol - but you lose it all about a year after graduation, join a gym, and then become vegan - happily! (I know, surprise!) There are some things I can still barely believe, but even more wonders await.
What’s new? You practice yoga daily. You meditate with crystals you’ve saged. And for your 27th birthday, you treat yourself to a birth chart reading with your favorite astrologer. It’s incredibly enlightening.
You’ve started to really love differing art styles. You're also casually sketching as an outlet for your creativity. During your first pandemic, you get a painting commissioned for your second bedroom/ office space! Oh yeah, you have a second bedroom. AND YOU LIVE THROUGH A PANDEMIC. Nope, it’s not mad cow disease, bird, or even swine flu. Sigh. I won’t give all the spoilers - you’ll find out soon enough. Life is WILD but you have the capacity to handle any and all that this Universe sends to you.
You survive a lot of heartbreak, babe. You mourn. You learn. You take a deeeeep breath….. (Maybe two or three.) And you keep pushing forward. It’s extraordinary what you’ve already been able to manifest for yourself.
You've been Cali sober for one year.
You are a powerful, engaged, influential leader - and people notice.
You finally rid yourself of (most of) your petty behaviors and learn grounding, though it must be regularly practiced.
You have considered - and avoided! - self-destruction over 100 times, maybe more at this point. And I am incredibly proud of you for avoiding this, especially in your darkest of moments when you could see no light around you. You have faced so much, but baby girl you pulled yourself up and TO-GET-HER.
You visit Puerto Rico for your 25th birthday and the trip completely changes your life. You are still working on your Spanish fluency.
JOE BIDEN BECOMES PRESIDENT! (A whole lot of other unexpected political events happen first, but that’s a pretty big highlight of 2020.) His approval ratings… aren’t great currently. Though, canceling student debt could help with that. 😉 And, a surprise guest you haven’t heard of yet becomes a historical VP, but again, don’t wanna spoil it all for ya!
This life is truly a gift.
And, you are so much closer to embodying your essence. You are finding your inner peace and it is magnificent to witness.
At this moment, I know you are preparing for big changes- moving to a new state, attending college, and navigating a relationship you think will last longer than it does. I will let you know - later, you intentionally disconnect from two people who you think will “always” be there. In the next decade, you learn what unconditional love really is and you are fortunate enough to experience it firsthand. You learn about setting healthy, necessary boundaries with close friends and family members. You stand solidly in your decisions because you know what feels good for you. You know who truly supports you and who is honest with you. You gravitate towards loving beings and away from fear.
The things you are preoccupied with seem so insignificant now.
What you learn about (and experience) with institutionalized racism, public health crises, climate and the anthropocene absolutely enrages you. There’s a deep knowing within that allows you to alchemize this fire and share your voice. You are learning that your uniqueness is needed. You were given all of this to learn about channeling your energy. You know how to effectively transform those intense emotions into incredibly inspired actions in this large and nuanced world.
You’re transcending, babe.
Also! You come out as bisexual! On social media LOL - so wild. You didn’t tell your parents first (which I am now noticing may be a habit of yours in an effort to prevent dissuasion of your intended bold actions…) and you did it in the most direct, unprofessional way possible. Oh, Jazz. You’re really an interesting creature.
A Dean who you don’t know yet but will come to deeply admire and respect talks you out of an MBA program, which allows you to take the time (and money) to explore educational programs more closely aligned with your unique gifts.
Trust your intuition.
You LOVE learning about space, science, planets, and the cosmos. You’re fascinated by the Earth and the living beings who inhabit it. You’ve internally dismantled the doctrine of “bigger is better” and have dreams of owning sustainable tiny homes. You love yourself more than you ever thought possible. You’re starting your business and created a website! There are so many people who are showing up and supporting you in amazing and surprising ways (like the folx who have made it all the way down here just to read your thoughts!) Wow.
You express gratitude for all that is here while still holding futuristic visions and dreaming big.
You can’t even imagine what you’ll be doing with your time because the titles you claim for yourself do not exist yet. You are at the edge of a phenomenal, beautiful beginning.
I will be observing, in awe and gratitude, what this next decade brings for you. Without a doubt, it will be unimaginably enchanting.
Light the way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and explore my site.
May you have the courage to liberate yourself.