Today’s #BlogEverydayInMay prompt — writing a letter to myself 20 years into the future — really spoke to me because I feel as though I am right on the verge of some major change in my life. With that in mind, here’s my letter. [Also, I hate starting letters to the future with “Dear Me” or something like that, so I’m just going to write]
It is May 9th, 2015. Big things are coming. Some of it is coming home from London, but a lot of it has to do with growing up, in general. I’m entering my final year in college (let’s talk about that for a minute), which is also, I believe, going to be one of the most pivotal years for me in my time at Fordham. I’m going to be going to class, as per usual, but my focus will not just be on being a student. I’ll be interning, working, tutoring, and continuing some of my positions from this year and last year, so I’ll be taking on a more professional lifestyle. It’s terrifying because sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Sure, I have this whole academic/career plan, but the little things seem to escape me. I am not financially independent, for example, which is a huge thing for me right now because I want that freedom. I want a job and source of income, so I fund my own lifestyle. I feel like I’m at this in-between stage, like a flower that’s just about to bloom. It’s close, so close, but it just needs a liiiiitttle more sun, a tiny bit more water, and a teensy bit more love before it can just burst open and take on the world. In 20 years, I’ll be 40, almost 41. I have no idea what my life will look like, just like I have no idea what my life is going to look like at this point next year, but I think that’s the beauty of this stage of my life. There are a million things that could happen, and the possibility is exhilarating.
Life is so beautiful right now. It’s also uncertain because I’m coming home in 25 days, and the adventure of a lifetime will come to a close. I say that, but just because I won’t be in Europe doesn’t mean that this summer and next year and the year after won’t be an adventure in themselves. I know that sounds so cliche, but I want you to never forget that. This year has been so many things for me — at first, it was the kind of excitement where you don’t really know what you’re doing. For me, that was getting on the plane and having this grand notion about what my enchanted life in London would be like.
Then the jet lag and the general feeling of “Oh my GOD what have I DONE?” set in. That’s the reality (and lack of sleep). The first few months here were rough, to say the least. I spent a lot of time on Skype crying to my mom and having this horrible tightness in my chest that always signalled a wave of anxiety about to knock me over. The rough edges softened a bit as I began to travel and see the sights and begin to have an idea of how to survive classes here. I still knew, however, that I would be home in just a few weeks, and that became my rock.
Then I came home: relief.
I could breathe because I was where everything was familiar…but that time ended way too quickly and my little bubble was burst as I made my way to the airport for the long stretch of my year away and it wasn’t pure excitement I was feeling because I knew how hard it was to fly away, now. I was terrified of not being able to make it through the next five months, and it wasn’t exactly relief that I felt when I walked in the door to my room again. Things were definitely familiar here, but it was anything but easy. Classes were still a mental boxing match and I wasn’t on the winning side, still. I got stronger, and was able to fight back more and more, but I can still feel my head spin in class. I still missed my family and home, where everything made sense, and I still wondered if I was ever going to make it to June.
As the weeks went by, however, I began to feel something growing inside me: joy. The good began to outweigh the not-so-good (because nothing here has really been “bad” per se). I had my Community and Culture class that took us around London and introduced me to some amazing people, I got to travel a ton and have my solo adventure, I had Adventure Weekend, my Faith and Leadership class, and the days took on a more comfortable rhythm. It was more than that, though. I started to feel real, true happiness — not the happiness that masked the terror that I felt first term, but the feeling that I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t longing for home anymore, because London felt like home. I wasn’t dreaming of my “real” life at home or at Fordham, because this place, this school, this city, these friends, was and is my life. I had more and more of those moments where you’re in complete disbelief that you are in this place because you’re just so damn happy that you can’t even begin to soak it all up and breathe it all in.
I suppose that’s what life is like and what it feels like to truly grow and change, for the better. So, I don’t know what’s going to be my life in 20 years, but I do know that whatever it is, I can do it.
Inspired to be,