Dear 2006 Me
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Dear 2006 Me

By the time you read this letter, it will be too late.

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Dear 2006 Me
Jessica Gleason

Dear 2006 Me,

You're going to get where you want to be. That plan you laid out for your life won't be as linear as I know you'd like it to be. But, it will all happen. I can't tell you that 100 percent of it will come to fruition because you have not yet run away to become a Rennie and you do not live in a cabin out in the woods surrounded by a hedge maze. But, you're not that old yet. You still have time.

You made a good choice in college. I know that some people said that your degree would be worthless, frivolous even. It wasn't. Studying writing and philosophy was the foundation for your entire life. The people you met along the way helped you become who you are today. Without them, you might have been a little lame. You'll go on to graduate school. It will be awesome. When other people talk about how hard grad school was or how much it sucked, you won't be able to relate. You got intensive writing education for two years. It was valuable (and it cost more than you want to think about). You are currently debating on whether you want a second graduate degree or if you want to become a doctor (keep not thinking about the money here, you'll be in debt until you're 97 1/2). The moral of the story here is that you stuck to your gut and it paid off. You'd have been miserable working in any other field. Keep dreaming.

But, yo have also made some really terrible choices. You're not great at dating. You picked several people, fell in love with them and then had your heart stomped all over. If it seems like a project, it is. You're not good at that sort of project. If you let your hormones make choices, you'll regret it. So, use your thinking cap. Don't jump in. Wade a while. You also passed on several people who would have been much much better for you. In the future, don't date musicians. While you'll swoon over them, you never want to be a band girlfriend. You're not that tolerant. You want someone who will karaoke with you, rub your feet and do the dishes. You want someone with both a job and a car. You don't want to compete with a band or groupies. You might think you're good with it. But, you're not.

Finally, eat a lot of cheeseburgers. Don't worry about them making you fat. Just eat them. Your metabolism works. You run around all of the time. You walk for hours, most days. The cheeseburgers aren't going to matter. One day you won't be able to eat them anymore. You're body will decide it doesn't want to process beef. So, enjoy it while you can. Figure out how to cook a steak and then do it often. Cherish your health and your digestive system. They're going to stop working at some point, and you won 't be able to eat many things. When you start feeling sick, don't brush it off. Go to the doctor. You cannot have indigestion for three years straight. There's something wrong with you. One of your organs is not where it is supposed to be and it doesn't work right. You need to have it taken out. But, you'll be fine without it -- happier and healthier, even.

I know that you'll never actually read this. You'll continue to make good choices and very poor ones. But, in the end it mostly works out for you. I suppose the important thing is this. You're young. You doubt some of your choices. But, you shouldn't. Being young doesn't mean that you don't know what you want out of life. Don't let people, or society, make you feel like someone else should be making choices for you. Even if you do something that doesn't work out the way you thought, the experience will have been valuable. You'll learn from it. The only way we figure out who we are is by making choices. If it doesn't work, then you try not to do it again. If it works, then you're good to go. Life will always be like that. It will be sad. It will be hard. It will sometimes be more work than it's worth. But, you'll have friends and family to keep you sane. You'll spend too much money in jukeboxes. You won't regret it. You'll have very very bad days and very very good days. You would not be who you are if you hadn't made choices and stuck to them when you were younger. So, good work. You did well. Thanks for making me who I am today.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

2016 You

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