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A Letter to Little Me

May 13, 2009

Ok, I can’t ask you guys to do something that I don’t, so to celebrate the launch of Ask Apricot (and because I love a contest that makes me work for it) here it goes.  I got a little emo when I was doing this, but don’t get used to it…

The prompt from Apricot Tea:

If you could write a letter to your younger self, giving advice for troubles that will happen in the future, what would it look like? What would you say? Would the letter be funny, or would it be serious?

Here is the letter to myself.  I guess I was writing to the me I was in high school; impressionable, fresh-eyed, hopeful, and WAY too open to influence.  Ahh the days of youth.

Ok Li, it’s time to get vulnerable.  I know how much you absolutely loathe this (and you always will), but grit your teeth and bear it.  Doing that effectively is one of the best lessons you could ever learn.


There’s good news and bad news.  Knowing you (me?), you’d probably want the bad news first, so here it goes:

A lot can change in the blink of an eye.  A lot will change in the blink of an eye.  All those lists and intricate plans and farsighted goals and assumptions you have made over the years are about as stable as a card house on the San Andreas fault line.  Life is going to be a bit rough in patches and very rough in others, so you’re going to have to learn (NOW, preferably) how to deal.  Shutting down and brooding like you always do (and probably will do forever) isn’t really the most effective ways of handling your upset.  Learn to balance.  Learn to actually be in touch with what you are feeling.  Learn how to let that little voice inside of you actually express itself in a way that makes sense to others.  Small fits of rage do not make sense to others.  Especially when it’s over knocking a tube of toothpaste behind the sink or when you get a B on a test.  Definitely not a good look.

You know what?  You should just invest in a punching bag.  At least you’ll build up some sorely needed upper body strength and you’ll be able to pawn off anger as a work out.  It’s win-win.

Brace yourself, because this is a biggie: dad loves you and you’re more like him than you want to accept.  It’s ego and pride that keep you two at odds all the time.  Learn to let it go.   There is no shame in trying to get along with the man.  You will miss him when he’s gone.  More than you can imagine.

You have wonderful friends and family that you will need to lean on to help get you through.  Don’t be too proud to ask for help and let them when you finally break down and ask them.  You will need it.

And call both of your grandmothers.  Their influence could be life-changing if you would just talk to them more.  You can’t take back time and once the opportunity is gone, it’s gone.  Forever.  It sucks.  If nothing else, get Nama’s carrot cake, cornmeal porridge and banana fritter recipes.

Oh, and don’t expect to be rolling in stacks of cash after graduating college.  Just wanted to throw that in there.

Alright!  Enough bad news, huh?  Even though it seems like a lot to take in, know that you are a lot stronger than you think you are and a lot more sensitive than you pretend not to be.  The more you realize this, the more secure you will become in yourself.  All those years you spent agonizing over how best to fit in will be thrown to the wayside and you will finally be able to dance to the music in your own head (literally and figuratively).  Everyone will think you’re strange, but you’ll learn to like it.  Besides, they already think you’re strange now.  You might as well go hard in the paint.

There is a lot of personal growth to be experienced over the next several years, so be prepared to learn a lot, experience a lot, and to shed a lot of your beliefs.  Especially the religious ones…I don’t think you were cut out for a life based on strict rules anyway.    You’ll experience less guilt if you leave church sooner.  I’m serious.  When you do that, you’ll be able to really find out what you’re made of.  You’ll feel better, too.

You don’t have to live the life people expect you.  No one’s dreams for you will ever put money in your pocket, so don’t feel pressured to conform.  You’re a free-spirit; let that guide you.   All those people comparing you to Lynn from girlfriends really pulled your card.  LOL.

Now, as long winded as you know I (you?) am, I’ll just say a few words to wind this all up:

  • Appreciate the people in your life because you need them more than you think you do
  • Don’t be afraid to trust yourself and do your own thing without apology
  • Don’t be afraid to life life spontaneously (random trips across the country for no real reason will provide you with some pretty memorable experiences)

And all that awkward, nerdy, slovenly dressing will end someday and you will learn to love wearing heels.  And skirts.  I know, I know…it seems insane, but I’m SO serious right now.

Oh, and don’t even THINK about getting married at 23.  It’s not going to happen.  Don’t try to make it happen.  He’s fine and all, but he’s a square and it’s not worth going through all the changes trying to do the whole circle peg in a square hole thing.

Ok, I’m done now.

Loooooooooooooove you!

My blog’s new home is up; you should go there.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2009 2:11 pm

    Not a bad letter at all. Very honest. Sheesh I did cringe thinking what I would have to write for my own ;0

  2. ashemischief permalink
    May 13, 2009 5:20 pm

    I love your quip about “not expecting to be rolling in cash after graduating”– gah! That’s so true. Even after a Master’s degree, I’m still not where I expected to be.

  3. May 13, 2009 6:51 pm

    Love it. Would your teenage self be receptive to such a letter? I would have written a letter to myself in my twenties, that’s when all my major life upheavals happened. Though as Ms Butterfly states above – I cringe at what I would have to say to myself.

  4. May 13, 2009 8:10 pm

    Gah!!! I cried, you know I did, lol. This is beautiful. I’m proud of you for this, 6. It took a lot of courage. And the “let people help you” part…let’s just say I loved it. *pulling out the ol’ journal to write to me too*

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. May 13, 2009 9:44 pm

    I’m afraid to do this. Dunno if my blog is ready for the letter to my young self.
    Kudos to you!

  6. May 13, 2009 10:09 pm

    Aw, I really liked this post! It was very sincere & nurturing. :]

    Thanks for contributing, love! Consider yourself entered. & good luck!

  7. Stephanie permalink
    May 13, 2009 10:31 pm

    I really like this too. Reading it though I was wondering if you actually want your younger self to know certain things. Lofty goals kinda helps us do well in the beginning, but I guess it would be nice to know that you don’t have to feel bad about not reaching your goals in the beginning, since you will eventually figure out your path later.
    I’m kinda scared but you inspired me.
    I need to get those recipes too. 🙂

  8. May 14, 2009 9:29 am

    My eyes did water up when I began to read this. This is a great idea! I may follow and do a post on this myself. How freeing..

  9. May 14, 2009 12:03 pm

    this was wonderful!

  10. May 14, 2009 6:52 pm

    From knowing you, I know exactly where some of those statements came from and I cried like a 2 year child reading this….so honest and so brave of you to put this on the web!

    And then you had to go kill my soul calling that man a square. He was a square…but a nice square.

  11. May 15, 2009 7:41 am

    I’m new to your site and really enjoyed this post. ^_^ I did this exercise as well and it was really therapeutic. The part about him being a square gave me a little chuckle. I can definitely relate to that since I’m kinda going through it now. Feel free to stop by my site anytime (still have some stuff I’m working on) and I’ll do the same ^_^


  1. & the winner is… at apricot tea.

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