Dear me

Post Secret retweeted something this morning about someone who wished she could tell her younger self all these things she should know. I started thinking about it, and this is what I came up with. I tried to put it into some kind of flow, but I know it still starts off rather abruptly.
Also, the tweet said the person wished she could tell these things to her 16-,17-year-old self. I’m not entirely sure which “self” I’m telling this too — at least my 14-year-old self, I guess, before I started high school. My 12-year-old self (10 years ago) seemed too young, but my 16-year-old self doesn’t seem young enough.

Dear Me,

Do not take the Spanish class in university. Having a English-French bilingual background will not help that much and you will worry yourself sick about how it’s going to destroy your GPA. Also, you will unconsciously use French words without realizing you meant to write the Spanish word. Fight to get into that nutrition class. Maybe then you’ll learn about B12 and vegetarians sooner and not nap so much.

Go ahead and be busy. By fourth-year university, you’ll be smart enough to track all your appointments, activities and assignment due dates in your Mac calendar, and afterwards, you’ll still take some weird pleasure out of looking back at those four months and how you survived it, even though it was extremely busy.

Even though you’re extremely busy, take the extra time to work in the sound booth and get good at being an understudy sound tech, if for nothing more than bragging rights.

Speaking of your laptop, don’t buy Microsoft Office for Mac. Get the Apple iWorks and find open software for word processing.

Accept early that you learn via kinetics and audio. You learn by playing — you will be able to figure out web widgets in 20 minutes when it takes someone else five months. You still don’t know how to professionally describe your process on how you figure something out — the best you can come up with is “playing.”

Look at your options. Know that you’re happy doing what you’re doing, but that sometimes you hear of other people’s professions and think, “I could have done that.”

You are going to meet some real jerks in your life. There will be different degrees of jerks, but two of them are really going to take the cake. You’ll work hard at maintaining a professional relationship with both of them, but they are both going to make you cry at some point. One of them, you’ll never figure out what his actual problem with you is. Even though you privately respect his talent, it’s his attitude that ruins it. The other one will be a jerk to you and then spend the foreseeable future pretending that he wasn’t actually that rude to you and that you really still can be respectable colleagues.

The good news is, you are going to meet some amazing, inspiring people. One of those people will tell you that the kind of people discussed above are just compensating for something. That piece of wisdom doesn’t sound like much now, but when you have that conversation with her, standing in your Edmonton apartment, that 10-minute conversation is going to stick in your head for the rest of the summer and continue to pop up in your brain whenever you need it most.

The other incredible, inspiring person you meet, you won’t realize it until after the fact. You’ll also make a mistake and end up feeling like you ruined the working relationship, making yourself feel a little shy about continuing to pick this person’s brain. Luckily, this person doesn’t seem to mind too much and continues to be some kind of professional mentor when you ask.

You are going to meet people whom you learn to love in the best and worst situations. They are going to learn some really important life lessons alongside you, attitudes that will continue into your adult life. Because of the relationships you build with these people, you are going to think nothing can destroy your friendships.

One of them is going to do something incredibly hurtful to you. It’s going to take you just under four years to let that person walk out of your life completely, and when they do, it’s going to be over something seemingly insignificant to those who don’t know the whole story.

If you can let go sooner, do it. It will help you when someone else comes along with genuine intentions, and it will keep you from ending up in the same situation because you’re afraid to take people at face value, when sometimes, that’s all you need to do.

There are going to be other people who appear in your life seemingly without rhyme or reason. The good thing is, you’re smart enough to just accept it and go with it. Just a reminder though — appreciate these people. You will be so grateful to them when you finally realize that they walked into your life at exactly the right time.

You will love avocados. You still won’t be able to eat mustard or cottage cheese, and kettle corn will end up on that black list as well, but you’ll be able to eat beans again, and you’ll love avocados.

Learn how to garden from the person who knows about it most. She won’t be around forever, and even though you think you might miss her when she’s gone, you’ll be amazed at the silly things that make you cry when she is gone. The fact that you’re able to (almost) grow tomatoes the first summer without her will be good, but you’ll have a bunch of questions about an avocado tree that she would be able to answer. And you will want to grow your own tomatoes and avocados because when you’re living in the middle of the Prairies, Superstore’s are always touch and go.

Never underestimate the combination of hard work and luck. For that matter, never underestimate the power of karma and fate.


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