Letter to Myself 10 Years Ago: Vol. II

Dear Holly,

Wow! You're 16 years old now. You celebrated your Sweet 16 seven months ago and, a few weeks after that, you had your first drunken experience. It was an experience so bad that you puked everywhere at the party, blacked out completely, broke a glass shower door and subsequently got grounded for two weeks. You don't want to drink now; the mere thought of anything with alcohol in it makes you queasy. Don't worry about that. Once you turn 21, you'll drink more than ever before. Let's not get too into that (yet).

A lot of things happen in the next ten years; I'm not quite sure where to start or what to tell you in this letter. Do we talk about your questionable career, your lackluster friend group, or perhaps your love life? Maybe we can talk about your internal conflicts, like your battle with PCOS and your womanhood, or your depression and anxiety that sometimes become too crippling to bare, or your often-occurring self-doubt? Perhaps we can discuss the people you'll grow to hate, or the people you'll grow to love, or maybe the people you'll lose to death along the way? Grandpa's gone. Uncle Bobby's gone. That boy you're crazy about who was at your Sweet 16 is gone too. He passed only a few weeks ago. You're going to miss all of them dearly.

I wrote you a letter a last year, and I went on and on about this guy I was dating. I mentioned that he'd sweep you off your feet and that he'd show you a love you'd never seen before. I told you the truth; he will do all of those things I'd mentioned, but then he'll leave you. It's nobody's fault, but you'll feel unbelievably angry and abandoned. He'll leave you in the house you leased together, drowning in an unyielding amount of debt and bills, with a number of animals you'd adopted together. While you're dating him, you'll help him take care of his daughter and you'll help him land a career - one that will set him up for life, along with his daughter and his two brothers. You'll never, ever receive a thank you. And, as much as you'll want to see his ass fired and broke, you'll know that you did something so wonderful for a family who needs it. I can only hope that good karma will come our way, Holly. Eventually.

If I was to tell you that at 26, you'll be a glorified cleaning lady, you'd probably laugh at me. I know, sweet 16-year-old Holly, that you have a lot going for yourself. You're kind, bright, intelligent and ambitious, but you'll lose your way for a long time. I spend the majority of my days vacuuming shit-stained carpets and scrubbing the insides of toilets with dirty glove-adorned hands. My saving grace is that the pay is decent and I get to clean these spaces with our best friend. That's right, girl; Laura's going to stick by our side through all of the bullshit and all of the stupid mistakes you make. I can't help but believe that Laura and I (and therefore, you) are destined for great things. We've already started multiple businesses together and, despite our long, exhausting days, we're not giving up, even though we both really, really want to.

I worked a couple of office jobs prior and, to be totally honest, I fucking hated all of them. While I earned a majority of my copywriting, marketing and publishing experience through those jobs, the owners of the companies will be totally selfish, uncaring assholes. That's why you'll leave the stability of corporate life (but, like, was it really that stable?) to become the executive assistant of a startup cleaning company. Maybe the hours aren't stable and the work is much more than you'd initially bargained for, but you'll still somehow enjoy it much more than sitting on your not-so-skinny ass in a dimly-lit and very tense office, coated with ugly olive green carpets that will make you feel trapped for an eternity against your will.

Regardless, you'll still wonder what your purpose in this life is. You'll be let down by people, by potential careers and by yourself. You'll feel like the universe wants you to quit. You'll constantly wonder when things will get better. You'll cry. A lot. I still don't know what our purpose is in this life, Holly. I still cry. A lot. I want more for us than what we have now, in this 26th year of life. But I can tell you one thing, child. The universe may want us to quit, but we fucking won't.

And, until I do find our purpose, I'll continue to live in the moment, cherish every second, spread love, have a damn drink or two, and keep on keeping on.

With love, always,
Holly Anne

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