December 1, 2011

Once Upon A (ti)ME

I don't know why my Facebook statuses always turn into blog posts, but my apologies if you happen to be in tune to my life enough to be plagued by both at once; forgive the redundancy.

Today, just as I decided to break from my 7th essay (Halfway done, and I've only been working on it for 4 hours today! That's gotta be a new record in my personal time-to-product ratio...), I signed in to my email to forward my work to myself and what should I see in my inbox but "Hey you... it's you!" No one I know says "Hey you" but me, so you can imagine how confusing this was for my very confusable brain. Lo and behold, it was from me. It was an email I'd written myself exactly 10 months and 5 days ago, right before the interview that would eventually grant my acceptance to this amazing London adventure.

The funniest (and greatest) part was that all the things I mentioned -- all the excitements and fears, the people, the goals -- all parallel exactly what I've been feeling today. I see anxieties in this letter that mirror those I have now, but didn't end up being a big deal at all, or that something great (i.e. this trip) came out of in the end. I see buds of friendships that have gone by the wayside or blossomed to a fuller potential and are still with me. I see hope that hasn't faded, goals that have been realized, and an inherent happiness that glows in permanent embers in the hearth of my ribcage and that, despite my periodic bouts of martyrly misery, I don't think I can ever fully ignore dwells therein. To rewind the poetry a little bit, I recognize patterns. Patterns which have taught me how to live past sadness, frustration, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and uncertainty. Patterns which are so easy to forget when we're dwelling in the hopeless (yet so disgustingly self-gratifying) pits of moody gloom.

Something weird happened when I read that email -- I started smiling uncontrollably, answering my questions aloud, whooping with laughter at things which had come true and smiling knowingly at things that hadn't. I had the same reaction I would receiving an email from a favorite relative or a boyfriend or a best friend; I knew it had been me saying those things, but it had been so long that it felt like I was listening to a different girl saying them. In my excitement -- perhaps out of mere habit -- I hovered over the "reply" button, as if I could send something back to her with encouragement and reassurance, and lots of exclamation points. And in that automatic gesture, I witnessed a future me lending that very assistance to the me of now -- telling myself that everything was really going to be okay. It was a moment of profound insight for me, and I know here it must sound cheesy, as all recollections of great importance do. Ergo, I invite you to write yourself an email. Here's the service website.

People always say you can be your own best friend. There's nothing comparable to the realization that you've just cheered yourself up. The best, though, is when you don't even see it coming.

-R

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