Inspired by a prompt from A Year With Myself, I decided to write a letter to my 20-year-old self. Last week’s theme was “Your Roots, Reconnecting with Your Core,” and this letter is one of the actionable ideas in the Explorer’s Worksheet.
The exercise got me thinking about the idea of time travel again, and of the possibility of changing the past – because what is it but something that exists only in our minds anyway?
At 20 (and all through my 20s actually) I remember longing for an older and wiser guide to point out a path, show me some tricks.I think I did sense that guide hovering there in the ethers. And now I know she was actually me!
So here is my letter, I hope it visits my younger self in her dream state.
Dear Sallie, (that’s what I was called back then)
I know you’ve always had to be the oldest, to be mature, to be in charge. And yet, you are still so soft and malleable, just barely formed into your adult self. It’s really okay not to understand everything and not to have mastered it all. You worry there must be something wrong, that now you’ve turned 20 and you still hadn’t gotten it all together.
I’m here to say: Relax, there’s nothing wrong at all. You never will have it all together.
And that is so okay.
Because guess what? Every single person you meet – friends, teachers, the authors of each and every book you read – they all have flaws to. They’re all scared deep inside, just as you are. Some of them are just very adept at not letting it show.
I know you are convinced you’re one of the only ones who is unsure of herself. But believe me, you are in the majority.
It’s a funny thing, like we all walk around wearing our most beautiful masks, along with an invisible suit of armor. We do this because vulnerability is a scary thing. But the sooner you discover that baring your vulnerability is actually an act of boldness, the more joy you will discover in life. People will open and share themselves with you in ways you can’t imagine.
You’ve already delved into a little bit into the darkness that every human heart must find. Continue reading