Almost a year ago now, I attended TEDxGR 2013. It’s an independent TED event put on by a group in Grand Rapids. It was an amazing event; I am glad I attended. Between sessions, they gave us other activities to participate in. One of them was a “letter to yourself”. It was only a short break between sessions, so there wasn’t a lot of time to write a brilliantly thoughtful message to my future self.
To say “not brilliantly thoughtful” is giving myself a lot of credit. It was bland, boring. The sort of message that reeks of self-consciousness. In hindsight, it’s hard not to be self-conscious when you are writing a letter to your future self, that someone else is going to handle for six months and then mail out to you.
Time and self-esteem issues aside, the letter arrived months ago. I have been staring at it since, reading it again and again. It’s a lot of reading for such a short message:
I hope you are doing well. Six months isn’t a long time, but a lot of time for change. It’s probably fall or winter now. I hope you went adventuring. Took a trip, or went to the lake. I hope you did something amazing with this time.
Keep being awesome.
Stay positive. It’s what people love about you.
NEVER STOP CREATING.
Really, it’s not the words, but the memories that are carried in the letter. I know where I was at that point in my life. I was searching for something. Trudging along looking for something monumental, but not sure what my next fancy would be.
Empty Hallways wasn’t finished yet. The year wasn’t even at a halfway point. There were so many small changes that built upon each other throughout the year that it really did make all the difference. There were highlights, and there were disappointments; things that I wanted to happen that completely fell through. It was the better part of a year. A lot changed.
I keep the letter around. I leave it in places where it will find me at the least opportune moment. I like having it around to remind me to keep pressing forward.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a novel that refuses to write itself.
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