letter to myself

Apologies to a 15 year old me

I’m sorry I’ve dyed and cut and permanently straightened your hair so much- it was better the way it was and now it will never be the same.

I’m sorry I quit gymnastics- I know you loved it. And soccer and track and tennis and skiing and the piano. I’m so, so sorry- I was lazy. But you don’t regret it as much as you thought you would.

I’m sorry I didn’t use more of that cream on your scar or maybe I’m sorry I used as much as I did- because now, 10 years later, you’re still not comfortable with it and it puts a strain on a lot of your relationships. But know that you’ve grown to accept that it’s part of who you are and there is no “you” without that scar.

I’m sorry I hurt that boy you cared about so much once you finally got him. You’ll know who I’m talking about in 3 years. That is something I didn’t mean, that was a mistake.

On the topic of boys, I’m sorry I’ve talked to and done more with boys you would never have wanted me to talk to. But you’ll understand what it’s like to not use your brain. It’ll take a few years because you always use yours now and you won’t start actually drinking until junior year of college. But one day in 2009 and then again in 2011 and 2016, you’ll understand what it’s like to fall so quickly for someone you shouldn’t.

I’m sorry that I didn’t live up to everything you and everyone else knew I could be. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to buy dad a car yet and I didn’t get into Harvard Law and I don’t have a secret modeling career on the side. I’m also sorry that everyone else led you to believe you could do anything in the world and be amazing at it because sometimes that’s just not possible and it has nothing to do with you or how amazing you are.

I’m sorry you eventually forget most of your languages and stop trying to learn them but you pick up a little bit of a few new ones and you eventually make it out of the country. And sorry, but you hate it.

Lastly, I’m sorry your current crush gets married in college and I’m sorry your next crush won’t give you the time of day and I’m sorry your amazing SAT scores still weren’t enough for Columbia and I’m sorry that I didn’t try in high school because maybe if I did, they would have been. And I’m sorry you lose touch with your current best friends but it’s okay, really. And I’m sorry but no, the boys in high school don’t ever give you the attention you for some reason want but they’re all fat and bald now and you’re somehow even more pretty.

And I know it might not sound like it but you are so happy right now. You get that sister-like best friend you always wanted, you stay up until 5am laughing your ass off with friends and strangers more times than you can count, you still have abs, you get more boys than you know what to do with, you graduate the best college you could have chosen summa cum laude, you have neighbors that show up at your door with wine and ice cream (yes, seriously), you learn so many new games and expressions that you love, Grandma makes it to 100, Uncle Rich is still the coolest uncle around, and it takes 7 more years but you finally get your first puppy.

Oh but most of all, you haven’t lost sight of who you are. And you never, ever can. Shine bright, you crazy diamond. I love you and everything you become.
youtube

Dear Me, at 17 (CC)

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the first time I uploaded a video to my YouTube channel. So here’s me talking a bit about that!

Dear 2017 me,

You will get better. Your life will change. Have patience. Things that are built quicker are destroyed just as soon.
This year you must take care of yourself and be careful to not give too much of yourself away. But don’t walk through life guarded, that’s never been your way.
Take the year a quarter at a time. Don’t plan for the whole year, you don’t know what life will be like 6 months from now.
Don’t focus too much on the planning because without execution, a plan is just a piece of paper.
You’re 20 now and that’s huge but don’t stress over trying to be ‘mature’ and adult like because you already are. Chasing bubbles doesn’t make you a kid, it makes you a person who knows how to chase happiness.
Get out of your house more. You need the fresh air, you need the sun. By now you’ve learnt, you don’t need to shy away from sunlight to love the night. You will always be a creature of the night with just a little bit of vampire obsession to make you creepy.
Snack. Don’t binge.
Study. You may not exactly be where you want to be right now but if you study hard enough you soon will.
You had learnt at a very young age that there’s no excellence without labour. You strive for excellence and hence you must labour.
Don’t write too many letters to people because the first letter is lovely, the second is cute, the third is ? If they aren’t the right person.
Have faith. Sometimes that’s the only thing you have left but it does wonders.
‘NOW’ is your 2017 key word.
Don’t wait to do things you really want to because if you wait long enough, you don’t want to do anything.

There are nice people and there are shitty people. Just because you’ve come across a bunch of shitty people all at once doesn’t mean nice people don’t exist. They do. And you will find them. But remember, all people are current assets. You’re the only fixed one. Invest more in yourself. There’s so much more I want to tell you but from now I want to do less of talking and more of doing. I know you will understand, at least I hope you do.
 Love,
 2016 me

A letter to myself a year ago

Do you cry yourself to sleep at night?

Darling, it’s okay. Cry on my shoulder. I’m right here, tell me what’s got you in a mess of tears at 3am. If you don’t want to reach out to anyone because you don’t want to be a burden, remember it hurts more to see you suffer in silence. It hurts them to see you collapsing in on yourself and refusing to reach out. They want to help you. Promise.

Do you lay awake until the wee hours?

Darling, that’s okay too. Four hours of sleep a night is enough to ‘function’, not function. I know you think you’re okay, it’s normal, but it really isn’t. Low marks won’t kill you, there’s always time before class, on the bus, at lunch. Sleep now, even if you feel so awake and so focused. Writing pointless lists for hours won’t help anything. Close your eyes, lay down, and rest will wash over you like a blanket of comfort sooner than you think.

Do you stare at nothing for hours, zoned out, unable to focus?

Believe me, darling, that is absolutely okay. You are not crazy. You are not a failure. You are experiencing dissociation. You are overstimulated, over stressed. Your body is trying to protect you. Think of it as forced meditation, your body is detoxing even if it’s happening at the worst time. Make time in your schedule to do nothing. Allow yourself to zone out, or go for a walk without particular purpose. Throwing yourself into work harder only worsens the situation.

Do you have panic attacks?

Darling, darling, come here, it’s alright, it’s okay. Being stuck on a phrase with everything roaring in silence, fasterfasterfaster, is a panic attack for you. Come here, let it out. You will harden to handle the world better with time, like calluses from monkey bars. Don’t let paranoia set in. They do not hate you, they will not treat you like a failure forever because of one mistake. You are human, and growing is painful. But growing makes flowers bloom.

Dear Middle School Me,
In these three years of your life, you are going to go through some pretty crazy highs and lows and ups and downs. You’re going to hit rock bottom a couple of times, but you’re also going to find that the rainbow comes right after the hurricane and you’re going to be really really happy. I promise. I know that it might seem like you’re worthless compared to your friends or that no one pays enough attention to you to notice how sad you really are or you’re untalented and won’t ever be good enough or you’re undeserving of love. You’re not. I promise you that you are not. For a long time you’re going to surround yourself with people who don’t believe in you and people who care more about themselves than your feelings and people who you think are saving you, but are actually just numbing it for a while. You are going to feel so so so lost and alone and you’re going to leave middle school a little smarter, but with no idea who you are or what you want or where you are going. But you also leave middle school knowing who to keep around, who to part ways with, and most importantly, who will support you and make you feel loved and happy and wonderful all the time. Even at your worst. High school is going to open your eyes to who you are and what you’ll become and it’s so freaking exciting. I know you may not see a clear or realistic direction for yourself, but there is one. And spoiler alert: you won’t find it in middle school. You see, everything that seems so big and so wild and so important in middle school really aren’t. They’ll seem so huge and momentous and life-changing, but once they’re over and your world gets a little bigger, those things seem so trivial. You’re going to sob your eyes out at graduation because you will never talk to most of those people again, and you’re right. You won’t. But the thing is that you won’t need to, and won’t even particularly want to. Because when you’re forced to step away and look at your life from an even further perspective, you don’t need a million people to like you, or even love you- you only need the ones who matter. And the people who matter to you now will be so different in a year and two years and three years down the line, but that’s for you to discover. Just remember that middle school is not your peak and it is not the most important part of your life and the people you consider family will be strangers within a year or two. Maybe that’s sad and maybe it isn’t, but I promise that it’s okay and it’s exciting and it’s not as horrible as it probably sounds to you right now. Know that there are people that love you and people in your future that will be so worth meeting. Know that you’re loved and even though you’ll do a lot (A LOT) of really stupid things, you won’t regret a single one because they’ll make great stories someday and even though they’ll make you cringe, at least you know that you’re an original and not just another vanilla human being. Enjoy not having to worry about finals or college or your future ahead of you, because once you hit 9th grade it all comes crashing in at once. Enjoy not being old enough to stay up after 11 and enjoy not having to be at 14 hour rehearsals and actually having free time. Enjoy not having braces. Enjoy being a kid, actually a kid, without having to worry about *dun dun dun* looming adulthood. You’ll be okay, even when you don’t think you’ll be and the best is always right around the corner. Always. Even if it’s a really long corner.
Love Always,
Me
—  A Letter to Middle School Me
My darling,
For 2016:
1. I hope you know you have nothing to prove.
2. Please stop wanting to end life early. Every sunrise is made for you. Realize that every night the moon kisses you good night and the stars ask that you choose to stay.
3. I hope you find time to be more grateful.
4. I hope the world surprises you with beautiful things in return. I hope what is normal never becomes boring to you, and you always see things with a sense of wonder. I hope you still believe in magic.
5. If it’s past midnight and you’re still awake for no reason, go to sleep. Rest. Clear your head. You will have more strength tomorrow.
6. Stop hiding behind your sadness. Wipe your tears, let it go. Learn how to be alone without hurting.
7. Learn to actually be there for people. You will be amazed how good real companionship feels. Believe me, you don’t appreciate your friends enough. Show them. Share your life with them. Be happy together.
8. Cherish that guy. He loves you; stop doubting it. Be there for him, not because he needs you, but because that’s where you want to be. Protect each other.
9. I think you already know who you are, deep inside. And it’s not how you think of yourself on a bad day; it’s not how greatly others think of you. You’re confused now but you’re trying. One day you will be greater than all of this, and you won’t even realize it.
10. I hope this is the year you become everything you want to be, but with a heart like yours, you will always want more: to do more good in the world; to be better, kinder; love deeper, love truly. Despite your struggle, I hope you realize you’re already all you must be.
11. Continue to live in the best way you know how.
—  new year’s wishes for myself  || (m.a.r.)

Dear Future Me,

Stop being so serious. Loosen up. Take more risks. Don’t be afraid of being the center of attention. Sometimes loud noises happen and people look to find the source. It’s a natural reaction. Stop wondering what people see when they look, they haven’t noticed you yet. If you’re lucky, they might never notice you at all, or, hell they might even come and join you in making a total ass of yourself. It’s all good.

Also: learn to fall asleep at a semi decent time. Stop worrying. It will all work out. And if it doesn’t, well fuck if I know, I’m living in the past bro.

Love,

Past You

Dear Former-self,
Step down from this pedestal that has been built around you, for you are not nearly as mature as you believe yourself to be. Do not mistake your purity for righteousness. Your prolonged innocence is not a product of moral strength but rather the result of fortunate inexperiences. Understand that the pain you are in now is only a fraction of the torment you will endure later. When the waves of heartache hit, do not surrender, for the days you spend in agony have no resonance when your life is filled with beauty. Make your life beautiful. Do not relinquish yourself to the will of The Way, determine your own fate. Embrace the milestones you face today, the others will come soon enough. Act your own age, adolescent is crucial in development, do not sacrifice your future livelihood by trying to be older. Question the world. Do not play victim or point fingers, we are all responsible one way or another. Learn to accept blame without burdening yourself with guilt. Take my advice, for I have been here before, and I promise you, you will be better.
Yours Truly,

I hope you’ve learned to accept yourself more and to live in less pain. I hope you’re still learning songs and singing all day. I hope you’re less of a drain on the people in your life. make sure that all through life do what you want, and don’t let anyone ever tell you no.

I hope that you haven’t lost your drive, where you are now that all of those comments about your dreams being unrealistic don’t impact you. your chances aren’t one in a million and you don’t need a backup plan. don’t let people tell you that. they aren’t right, they never will be right. every negative comment anyone has ever told you, should make you more determined. you are so much more than what people tell you that you are. I know I don’t see that in myself right now, so I hope you learn to. there are so many great qualities you’ve always had but haven’t accepted, I hope you see that.

I hope you gain the wisdom to accept that things won’t turn out the way you want. to have learned to be content with what you have and not what you lack. to have unlocked your happiness by understanding that just because you’ve been damaged and hurt doesn’t make you any less of yourself. people can come back from anything. you’re resilient and strong capable of incredible things if you allow yourself to be.

I hope that when you look in the mirror you don’t hate the face and despise the body attached to it. I hope you’ve met someone who accepts and loves you just as much as you to them. I really hope you’ve found people who make you happy and are living life to the fullest. whether that’s in a jungle in Africa or a cozy little apartment in New York. I just hope you’re grateful and thankfully for everything that’s gotten you there and you’re full of joy.

I hope you don’t waste your time. I hope that you use your mind everyday of your life. I hope you walk through life influencing everyone in a positive way. I hope you continue to dive deeper into yourself, until you stand stronger than carbon.

it’s strange to think that I’m you, and you’re me. I’ll be living in a different house, in hopefully a different state. maybe even a different country. did you travel the world like you always wanted to? I wonder how many flights you take in just a couple days. are you writing different pieces about all the different places you go to? I hope you find inspiration for everything you do because right now, I’m wondering that will be. it could be the person you’re in love with, the places you’ve been, or maybe even just the fact that you’re living life in a way you’ve always wanted. no matter what that inspiration is to keep living life, I’m glad you’ve found it.

my only advice to you is to never miss out on an opportunity. you never know who you could meet, or how it could make you feel. in case you’ve forgotten you feel the most alive when you step outside your comfort zone. some of the most amazing things we’ve experienced are things we wouldn’t ever of imagined ourselves doing. so wherever you are in life, however old you are I hope you’re happy, doing what you love with who you love, and it’ll all be worth it.

—  // a letter to my future self
You are in no state of mind to write another letter to yourself. You forgot to look at the sky last night; there is no hope in you today. In the resonance of the music you feel her closer than she has ever been to you, and you cry, trying not to let the other drivers see you. You want to crash the car. But the music wraps itself to your spine and bones and keeps the car moving along the road. You are tired, but do not fall asleep. This letter is finished but the car is still moving.
— 

letter to myself pt 6  //  elías

prose poem #117

Dear Future Me.

Write a letter to yourself to be opened in 5 years, or more. Ask questions and make predictions. Disclose hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Provide encouragement and support should you be needing it at that time.
Remind yourself of what life was like in this time, positives or negatives.
Put it in an envelope, write To: Future Me and put a note on the back of when it is allowed to be open. Then put it somewhere safe, and wait.

Dear younger me,

Don’t be in such a rush to grow up, you’ll wish you had enjoyed the small moments more, and you’ll wish you had more time. Don’t jump into things before you know what you’re getting into. Go play outside and get into all kinds of mischief. Take a nap you’ll need the sleep. Go sit on grandma’s lap while you still can… she won’t be around forever, tell her you love her and hug her for me…i miss her…listen to her sing in the morning and jump up from bed and join her. Go play in the mud with your cousin, you think you have forever, but forvever isn’t as long as you think…its not nearly long enough.

In 2016 walk away from shit that doesn’t work in your favor. Be more selfish, don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Be conceited and cocky, fuck what people might say or think because in the long run they’re not gunna be there when you’re down and out on your own. Focus on loving yourself, travel and eat weird shit, have deep conversations with yourself. Figure out what you love about yourself and let go of the shit that you hate. Don’t be afraid to let go of people that are toxic even if you feel like you love them. Don’t allow people to make you feel like you’re not good enough. Don’t allow people to take advantage of you emotionally or mentally. In 2016 take care of you because NOBODY IS GUNNA TAKE CARE OF YOU LIKE YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU! I’m praying for ya.

@antoinebanks