Don’t open until April 27th, 2016!
This was printed on the back of a plain envelope, tucked away in my nightstand drawer among other important letters, knick knacks and my favorite deck of cards.
Last week marked the last time I would lead campaigners for the middle schools girls in WyldLife. At the end of each year, we have the girls write a letter to themselves. We encourage them to write about ways they think they’ve grown and changed over the year, their hopes for the upcoming year and anything else they may be feeling at the time.
Last year I took the time to write my own letter – I scrambled to sum up an entire year into a one page letter. As I mentioned before, I’m a huge proponent of snail mail so this exercise was totally up my alley.
When last week rolled around I mailed off the letters that the girls wrote last year and sat down to open my own letter. There’s something quite strange about reading a letter to yourself, in your own handwriting. The words I read across the page immediately brought me back to that early Friday morning where I recorded my frustrations and celebrations of junior year – my hopes and fears of the upcoming summer and what senior year would bring.
This déjà vu moment was strange and wonderful. Most of my fears about the future simply didn’t come true and the opposite had – I did have a wonderful summer! My housing for senior year has been amazing! I have a job after graduation!
The areas in my life that I experienced growth in last year prompted me to examine how I was growing this year. This letter served as another reminder to not grow apathetic in my comfort.
This small moment of self-reflection was such a gift. And the best part is, it doesn’t go away. It will always be nestled in that envelope dated “April 27th, 2016.” As time passes and my college years fade away I have the opportunity to remind myself of places I’ve grown – areas I’ve trusted the Lord in – and discover things that I can constantly be striving for.
When I revived this blog for my Branding of Me Course this semester, I spent hours re-reading my previous posts from my summer spent in Europe. I can’t stress enough how glad I am that I took the time to record those adventures. I have thousands of pictures from that trip, but nothing compares to the words I wrote to describe how I was feeling in those moments.
Keeping a journal, writing letters to my future self and maintaining this blog can feel pointless sometimes. Last week I was reminded that it isn’t pointless – it’s invaluable and well worth the time. In the minutes I waste scrolling through stupid videos on Facebook I can easily destress through recording some of my feelings or giving hope to my future self.
Break out the pen and paper, your future self will thank you.