Tuesday, December 21, 2010

reverb10 day 21: future self

Today's reverb10 prompt is from author Jenny Blake:

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

Here’s the thing: I am having a very hard time writing a letter to myself now from myself in five years. Because I totally want to know what’s going on with 2015 Amanda instead! So I am going to write a letter to her:

Dear Amanda of 2015,

Holy shit! You’re 42! How’s that going? How do you feel? Have you been exercising? You better be, because you are not getting any younger, lady, and you have lots of arthritis in your family, so you better keep those bones and muscles in tip-top shape! Is the Oil of Olay working? Did you end up getting Lasik? I hope you got over your nerves regarding that and just got it done.

Jane is now 8 ½ - fast and furiously heading for the tween years! She’s in – what? – third grade. Is she doing well? What are her favorite classes? Does she love art and reading like you did, or is she more of a math girl, like her daddy? Does she still call you Mommy and Daddy, or is it just Mom and Dad now? Is she embarrassed by you? What kind of music does she love? Is she still dancing? What about sports? Is she interested in theater? I want to know every detail!

Speaking of theater, are you doing any yourself? You better be, girlie, because although sometimes it’s hard to make room for it, you love it and it’s really important to your core self.

Where are you working? Are you still at the same place? Or are you working somewhere else? Are you full time, or did you go part time? I hope whatever you are doing is making you very happy.

How is Greg doing? Have you taken any vacations? You two need to get yourselves to San Diego again, stat. Is he still loving the boat? I know the answer to that is YES. How is his band?

OK, 2015 Amanda – you are supposed to be giving ME advice. I think you would tell me that you want me to appreciate every moment I have with Jane right now, because it all goes by so fast. I hear that a lot from parents with older kids all the time, and I do try to remember it every day – although sometimes it’s hard, because as I’m sure you know, Jane is very strong-willed.

I think you would tell me to make sure to have quality alone time with Greg. To get babysitters and go out together much more often than we are currently doing.

And I think your wish for me would be happiness and peace – as mine is for you.

Take care, Amanda of 2015. See you soon!

Love,

Amanda of 2010

And now for the Bonus part –writing a letter to myself of 2000.

I’m not going to lie – December 2000 was in the midst of a very difficult time in my life. My father had died unexpectedly 10 months prior, and I was heading towards my first Christmas without him. A close theater friend had died three months earlier from brain cancer. Another family member had a brush with the “C” word (but was ultimately fine). And things weren’t about to get better. My uncle was going to die soon, in January of 2001. My brother would be in a horrible car crash several months later, in August, resulting in many broken bones and brain contusions (spoiler alert: he did recover, but it took a looong time and it was really scary). And we all know what happened in September of 2001. Rough seas ahead, certainly.

So here is my letter to that poor girl.

Dear Amanda of 2000:

I promise you – PROMISE you – it will get better. Your family is fragile right now – lean on your friends. Hard. Don’t get swallowed up by the darkness. Life feels like a piece of shit right now. You are grieving. You are hollow. You feel like a target – why do bad things keep happening to you and the people you love?

There are good things on the horizon. GREAT things. There is light. There is laughter. There is happiness. There is love. The One is right around the corner. You can’t see it – you can’t even imagine it – but it’s true. It’s there, beyond the pain and sadness.

Just be patient and strong and hang tight.

Sending you love from the future -

Amanda of 2010

12 comments:

Stereo said...

Dear Amanda of 2010,

You are awesome. I am so glad we met through reverb10. You make my days just that little more sunny :)

Dr. Dolly (@drdolly) said...

i love your letters...and glad we met on Reverb10 crew.

debi said...

I almost wrote mine to the future instead of from as well! Love it. :)

Brad said...

"because it all goes by so fast": it does and you should.

Loved the letters.

Shannon said...

Beautiful, funny, sad - everything a reverb10 post should be.

Elizabeth - Letters from a Small State said...

I love this! I find the future letter is SO revealing! Thanks!

Jenny B said...

Both of these were so brilliant - I love how much your personality shines through. So sorry to hear about your Dad - but what an amazing letter to write to your past self.

Thanks so much for the gift of such a great reply! Nice to virtually meet you :D

Michelle said...

Awesome letters. Amazing how much there is to learn from flipping this on its head. Your questions do a perfect job of illuminating what's important to you. I think I'm gonna try it your way!

Dwayne "The Train" said...

This may be my favorite post on this blog ever (except for that review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie).

Patti Murphy said...

Sounds like you and I had a very similar past decade.

Well done. Well lived.

Cali said...

"There is light." - always a good reminder.

wholly jeanne said...

i think you ask your future self some very, very good questions. perhaps you'll take those into consideration when laying down stepping stones to take you through 2011? and did you know we have a couple of big things in common? my dad died in 2000, and that first christmas was hard. damn hard. they still are, actually. and theatre. i love acting, too, and am writing some plays and am the managing director of a local theatre my daughter founded in 2005 (she is the artistic director).