A few years ago, 2016, I saw a beautiful video with reflections and life advice from people of different ages.
It’s whimsical, but powerful message inspired me to make a specific journal of my own. Starting in 2018, on my birthday every year, I leave a message from my current self (age 32) to my one year younger self (31). Of course, when I started the journal I was 28, so I had to pick some intervals to reflect on.
It has been a wonderfully introspective process to re-read these and reflect on my mind and life were at the time I wrote each message.
So, there are things like:
Dear 8 year old self, Get silly, be brave, and stay weird." Dear 12 year old self, Never mind the cool kids. Nobody fits in anyway.
Dear 16 year old self, Shut up and kiss her already. Dear 19 year old self, Adulting is hard, so don't be in a hurry. Keep doing crazy shit now. Later, you'll be glad you did.
Dear 23 year old self, Never mind what "they say." If you love it, bite your lip and give 'em hell. Dear 27 year old self, Have faith in yourself and remember to dance naked in the rain sometimes.
As I mentioned, those were written from my 28 year old self. The annual updates thereafter went like this:
Dear 28 year old self, Don't be in a hurry to gain gray hair and wisdom. There's a reason it takes people 30 years to earn. ~ From your 29 year old self Dear 29 year old self, Sooner or later you've got to start doing things just for yourself, simply because they make you happy, and because no one will do it for you. ~ From your 30 year old self Dear 30 year old self, You're staring down the barrel at the rest of your life, do you like what you see? ~ From your 31 year old self
So, now for this year’s entry, which obviously I’ve had to meditate on for a few days:
Dear 31 year old self, Don't let anything stand between you and what you love, but be mindful of what you'll be leaving out. Take time to love, pay, and be compassionate towards yourself. ~ From your 32 year old self