Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Letters To My Former Present Self

Dear Elizabeth,

It has been a long time since I last saw you. I mean, I see you around every now and again going off to work, at the store, and sometimes out running errands, but I rarely get a chance to actually chat with you and see how life is going. I hope that things are going well.

Are you still working at the Farm? It's funny because I remember you telling me that you would only be there for a year- no more. You didn't want to be one of those "Farm people," and Lord knows you never did consider yourself to be the corporate type. Now here it is going on two years! Funny how plans change, isn't it? I don't blame you though, you have to make money because those bills aren't going to pay themselves. Besides, it's a good company. Just make sure you get everything out of it that you can while you still work there, and I'm not talking about free lanyards and pens!! They have a host of professional development opportunities and courses that you could really benefit from. You might as well take advantage.

And then you and this two job thing, what is that?? You always did kill me with that one. I don't know how you always managed to have multiple jobs instead of just one full-time job, but hey- if it works for you, then go right ahead. It just baffles me, but I guess you know what you're doing even if nobody else does. Or do you? Nevertheless, just make sure you don't work yourself too much and don't make your plate too full. I know you're young and all, but you only have one life to live, and you don't need to live it all behind a desk and keyboard. Get out there, have some fun, meet some guys, get some drinks . . . Do it big every now and again.

Speaking of doing it big, it's really time for you to step up your professional game. I know, I know, you're working two jobs and all and I'm not suggesting that you work more; I'm suggesting that you do more with your work. Compared to most your age, you are doing fairly well for yourself professionally, but you've got to start taking life by the horns instead of always riding wherever it takes you. To me it seems like you and the forces have a special understanding. They always seem to take you to the right places at the right times with the right people. Stay in touch with that force and don't let it go. It has brought you to places and put you in situations that you never would have been able to realize through your own efforts. Now imagine, just imagine what you could do by combining your effort with the force that guides you. I promise you that you would soar even higher. You will do yourself and your community a disservice if you are afraid to spread your wings. Some people need to see you fly so that they will know that they too can do it.

Your mother always told you that actions speak louder than words. I know you think that people don't always listen to you, and well, it's true. They don't always listen to you. But they do see you. And they watch you. And that, Elizabeth, is how they will hear you. You have the power to communicate to others through your actions, and what's amazing is that you will speak to people who you don't even know, who may not even know you. I remember when you were a little girl, just a little bitty thing, no more than six or seven years old. You watched the news with your mother and the stories of shootings, and wars, and starving children overseas just broke your little heart. Most kids would have cared less. And I remember how just before going to bed, you would pray earnestly for peace on earth. You would pray as if your life depended on it. Do you still pray?

I know that "save the world" spirit still lives in you, but it will be up to you to realize your own potential. Know that this world needs you. Don't be afraid to run when everyone else is walking. Besides, you need to learn how to just look stupid sometimes. Maybe you should start by learning how to ride a bike, just because you fall doesn't mean you fail. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there to get the most out of life. Yeah, you might look stupid sometimes (and as put together as you think you are, you look stupid sometimes now), you will fall sometimes, you will hurt. You will mess up and be embarrassed. There will be times when no one will understand what the heck you are doing, and why you are doing it, but just make sure you know.

Anyway, I didn't mean to lecture you, I just got carried away. I love you and I want to see you at your best. I know you're at work and all, so hopefully I haven't taken up too much of your time. I look forward to seeing you soon!!

With love,