Dear Me of 2005

It took me a little longer to find this letter. Like 16 years, but I finally did. I successfully graduated high school. I even graduated college, thought it was a struggle. Advice: Don’t do what people expect you to do. Failing will only slow you down. And here’s the truth, I miss the ocean every day.

I’ll describe myself because I still don’t keep a diary. Right now, my addictions are Beer, Icecream, and Pie. Especially Beer Floats, and Pie Milkshakes. I loved dyeing my hair this deep burgundy colour, and wearing dark purple contacts. But when I turned 34, I stopped. I still listen to Metallica, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Stones. On and on. I still have all those jackets, cuz I stopped growing a long time ago. And I still don’t wear them. I wear a lot of converse, and leather ankle boots. I stopped painting my nails years ago. Now it’s glue ons. Still liking guys, but have had enough heartbreak that I have now been comfortably single for near half a decade.

Kendra and I are still friends, but our souls have since travelled different roads. She is now engaged and has bought a house. I bounce from apartment to apartment with my two cats, and yes, two tortoises. You probably never really thought you’d have tortoises. They’re pretty great though.

Since graduating from high school life has been tough. I was finally diagnosed with depression and graduating from college became a struggle. But I currently work in a psych unit, and you were right; even though life seems bad, there are people whose lives are worse.

At age 30, I had a midlife crisis. I know, “30” isn’t midlife, but it happened. Everything got confusing, and I became extremely emotionally troubled, and I lost sight of who I am. I don’t know if I got over it, but I do think I have become who I am meant to be. I am unapologetically Me. And through all the struggles, you will get here. You never give up. It took until now to realize, but: Love your parents, they have given you everything and more. Love the boys you are with, because all the heartbreak will build you up stronger. And believe in yourself, because you are smart, and thoughtful, and caring. You are incredible without having to announce it to the world. Try not to let others make you feel like less. Because people will do that. They will try to bring you down to feel better about themselves.

Keep watching Korean Dramas, they become huge.

Keep writing, even when it feels hard, because it is how you relate to the world.

And keep being curious, funny to say, but you actually do like learning.

And yes, my handwriting has gotten worse. I continue to write with pen and paper because believe it or not, but phones have become smart. They do everything. And Robots have taken over the world.

Dear Me of 2009(ish)

Where does one begin when writing to their future self? Right now it is 2005 and I will be graduating in a matter of weeks. At this moment I actually feel good about it. I am ready to move on. I’m sure though, that you felt sadness only a few years ago. I hope that now you only miss the ocean.

Next I suppose, I should describe myself to paint a picture of how much you’ve changed, because I know how you refuse to keep a diary anymore. Right now my addictions are gum and chapstick. I’m going through a phase of dying my hair red and letting it fade to blonde… I listen to a lot of old and metal music. Metallica, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Stones. On and on. I still have a strange jacket obsession, yet never wear them. I wear jeans and as of this year actually started wearing sneakers instead of my boots all the time. My nails are the base of my creativity. Um… still liking guys and making friends with girls who steal those guys.

Speaking of friends, Kendra and I are soul sisters. We are how many miles away from each other and still are running down parallel paths. At the moment we’re both Samurai. (I hope she isn’t still going out with Uriah.) What else?

Well, I suppose I could say that this year really made me realize something important. That even though your life may be bad, to the point where you think you’re at your very lowest, there are always people whose lives are worse. Hopefully someday more people will come to realize that by the time you read this again.

I can’t really think of what else I might need to tell myself.

“It’s only a game,” “There are plenty of other fish in the sea,” “All you need is love,” “Don’t strive for conformity,” “110% is more than enough,” “They can’t tell,” “Guys really don’t understand,” and “It’s all a matter of opinion and theirs doesn’t count.”

I guess this is all really just common sense and I can only assume that that grows with age. I should hope. And I should hope that by then you have fully realized that all the Asians you see have paid a lot of money to look the way they do. So just remember, you look great and will only get better looking for about 20 more years! And remember also that your heart does effect what you see. That guy whom you love to look at… you may not, given enough time. It only takes one little action to change the way you see someone. Someone who makes you feel bad about yourself isn’t someone you want to be with. And as I said before, I can really only hope that you have already come to realize this.

Here’s one, I have a problem with (now) so my advice is remember this one well, – No One is worth compromising your identity for. Your identity is the base of your existence and without that then who are you? Be yourself and don’t be afraid of that.

I feel as though I am talking too much about things to remember. Really, I wrote this to account for how much I have changed in 4 years.

Letter to my Patient

I wrote a letter to a discharging patient of mine. It said not to come back. But not in the sense that I don’t want to see her, in the sense that I want her to do so well outside that she doesn’t need to come back. That I want her to stop hurting herself. If she needs attention, or to feel something, to find a passion, because a fire in her soul would warm her from the inside out and she would find herself glowing. I want her to eat, because a full belly is the key to a happy heart. And I want her to stop being afraid of people, because there will always be jerks in the world, but there will always be good people too.. But I didn’t give it to her. I never do. I try to keep a distance. But as the shift was getting closer to its end, she got quieter and more anxious. And when the next shift came in, I held open my arms and we hugged. And when she pulled away she was crying. The truth was, I didn’t need to give her the letter. In the days that we worked together, she had stopped hurting herself, and had started eating, and had found at least one good person..

Backwards

I want to write to my birth mother to tell her the sort of woman I’ve become and how hard I’ve worked for it. I am already older that she was when she last saw me. I want her to tell me about what she has done with her life since then. I want to know if she also had a backwards life. If she ever managed to righten herself out. I want to know if she had the same heart as me. Having left her home in her mid twenties, a simple high school graduate, to earn money for them. Having met my father at the bar where she began working, more than ten years her senior, and the owner of the bar. Did she believe she was in love with this smart, older, business man when she accidentally got pregnant? Did her heart break when she discovered after a year of being together that he was married? Did she try to hang onto him before he left her alone in her 8th month of pregnancy? Did her heart break when she had to return home to her family with no other options? Did her heart break again, when after some months of hanging onto me, she realized she couldn’t keep me? Did her heart break as she eventually said goodbye to the baby she’d given a name to? Joo Yun Huh. Joo Yun, meaning something along the lines of Fat Pearl. (I will assume it is a term of endearment amongst Koreans of the deep south.) Family name Huh, pronounced Hoo. Who, how fitting. Who is my family? Who am I? Am I like her, with all my quirks and terrible man hunting skills? Do I look like her, with my dark eyes and fat nose? Does she have funny ears like I do? Does she have odd, bony fingers like I do? Is she beautiful and fearless like I am? Is she stubborn like I am? Does she have the same heart as me?