and, no matter what happens to it, i would like to be able to re-read this letter one day.
Dear 27-Year-Old Drea,(The One With an Open Letter to My Younger Self)
Hey, Happy Birthday! I hope you really enjoy today because, tomorrow, you're going to wake up feeling really unhealthy. Yes, "unhealthy." Yes, that's a euphemism.
Mostly because, at some point, late in the evening, after most people have gone home at a decent hour, someone is going to show up and give you tequila, and then, I dunno... there were tater tots and you got to go inside a food truck. Which, in all fairness, is damn awesome (except the tequila part). So, to sum up? Not worth it. You would have gone in that truck sober.
Anyway, when you wake up tomorrow morning, you are going to do something very stupid. Very, very stupid. You are going to go to work. Why would you do this? It's not like you're going to actually do any work while at work. All you're going to do is slowly drink from a can of Coke, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and a cup of mint tea, alternating in whatever order feels LESS BAD, until you decide it's time to go home around 6:30pm. Why would you do this to yourself?
Oh, I know why.
It's because you need everyone to think you're okay.
Oh, 27-Year-Old Drea. You are so young and stupid. Let me tell you something that it's going to take you the next 10 to 11 months to learn: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE OKAY ALL THE TIME.
I know this is still a foreign concept to you and that you’re still not really telling people what’s up when the opportunity arises, but let me tell you what’s about to happen to you over the next year: Some Shit. Some Shit is about to go down and it’s not all going to be good and it’s okay to acknowledge that. You’re a tough girl, but you’re still just a person. It’s okay to tell someone when they’ve hurt you or confused you. It’s okay to demand that they stop. It’s okay to be offended. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel lonely. Basically, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s human to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is beautiful.
Be thankful for the relationships you will cultivate this year, because they are the ones that will teach you this. They are the ones that will hurt you, and they are the ones that will embrace you when you’re hurt.
Speaking of opportunities, take them. Take some risks at work, at home, and in your closet – but especially at work. Take time to reflect on what you like and don’t like. Take more time to evaluate the opportunities around you. Remember, it’s never a bad time to take on something new. It might look good on you. There is possibility in every “yes” you say. Laugh too loudly and too much. Wrinkle your nose as much as possible. Get out there and be your charming self.
Spend some time imagining the perfect life that you want, and then wake up one morning late in the year, and start living that life. It probably won’t happen all at once, but there are some easy steps you can take first: Send holiday cards with personal messages in them. Write thank you notes. Get past some old shit. Reach out to friends who might need a hand. Reach out to strangers who you find interesting. Put it out there; don’t be afraid to say, “Hey. I like your energy. I think we’re going to be good friends” and then make that happen. Do what you want. It’s your life.
It's time to start living it for you.