Anyway, I was thinking about little teenage me, even little kid me. Back then, more than anything, I wanted to be a writer. But, even as a kid, I knew saying such things out loud would get me lectures about practicality, backup jobs, and keeping other options open.
So I learned to say something less "impossible." I wanted to be an English teacher. A linguist. Teach ESL. Teach Japanese. And so on and so forth. People would nod, deeming this a worthy and attainable goal. Not that any of these jobs are bad, and heck, I still wouldn't mind doing any of those. But in the back of my head I knew I wanted to write, and I knew it might never happen.
Unless I made it happen.
There have been a lot of "Letter to My Teenage Self" posts going around, and I have so enjoyed reading them. As I thought about what I would say to myself, there were a lot of silly things. For example, I'd warn myself about that really short haircut I decided to get my senior year in high school. I'm pretty sure it contributed to my lack of dates both that year and my freshman year in college, since growing it back out made me look like I had a mullet.
Oh, hindsight. Thank you for all the laughs.
But in all seriousness, there was one idea that I kept coming back to, one thing I really wanted to say to my younger self. It was this:
You go for your dreams. You get over the fear of rejection, the worry that others will disapprove. You fight your own insecurities, and you throw yourself into your dreams full force.It's not exactly as you imagined—sometimes it's so freaking hard you want to quit—but you are a writer. Okay, I admit I don't know when you'll get paid for it, but you ARE doing it and actually doing it pretty well. You get stronger. You learn a lot. You write A LOT. You don't regret any of it.You live the life you always wanted to live, so keep going.
When I realized this was what I wanted to tell my young, nervous self, I actually started to cry. I mean, what more can I ask for? I'm doing what I love. I'm doing something I never thought I could do. I'm living my dream already—right now. I live it everyday. I'm a writer.
That, my friends, makes me happy.