My birthday is today. Most people that I know use a birthday as an excuse to live a little that day (or week… or month…). I just become slightly melancholy.
I wish I could say that I’m thinking about how time is so precious and fleeting or something of the philosophical sort. But it’s really that my birthday is my time for self-reflection and resolutions. I have always felt that January 1st was too arbitrary of a date. Unfortunately most of the time I don’t feel like I’m nearly as far along as I would like to be. I usually fall into the trap of comparing myself to people my age who are truly exceptional, when I’m cut from simpler cloth. Hey, we can’t all be unique and special child prodigies. Sometimes you are lacking special gifts and good old-fashioned elbow grease will have to do
This year I received a letter from one of my favorite high school English teachers. It was a time capsule letter that I had written in her 10th grade class, and as you can imagine I was very surprised to see it. I had completely forgotten about it after all of these years.
Reading that letter took me straight back to my teenage years. Not my most flattering decade, but is it really anyone’s? It made me so sad to read that three page letter that reeked of anxiety and insecurity. I really wish I could travel back in time, give myself a hug, and tell her not to worry that it will all work out. However, one little paragraph at the bottom made me smile.
“I’m not sure what to expect for the future. I’m almost afraid to hope for too much at all. But I might as well tell you a few of my wishes, even though most people would probably laugh to hear them. I hope that right now you are healthy and happy. That’s my first wish. My second wish is that you somehow make it to New York City and get out of this town. My third wish is that you find a real job doing something that you love (or at least don’t dread) preferably somewhere interesting and well-paying. And lastly, I wish that you find someone who loves you. I know that all of this might be too much to ask for, but I’m writing it down because maybe if I write it down it will come true.”
So before I fell into my usual downward spiral of introspection and comparison today this little letter jerked me out of it. I’m living in a lovely apartment in Brooklyn, with my boyfriend The Italian who completely spoils and adores me, working at NBCUniversal in Times Square and 30 Rockefeller Center, while still having time for a few close girlfriends, morning runs in the park, and long study/work sessions in the neighborhood coffee shop.
Girl, you’ve done good.
And for anyone still in school who is reading this, keep your head down and hang in there. I promise, it does get better.
Photo Courtesy of Lady Katherine SimsTweet