I've always been a fan of lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, goals, etc. They keep me focused, on track and remind me to prioritize. The issue is, lists only ever seem to grow.
After a long week of school and work, I just want to feel satisfied... like I've done enough and everything is going to be OK.
I never feel this kind of fulfilment from lists, so I decided to try something new. I recently wrote a letter to myself, which was a concept I always found slightly odd. However, after writing it, I think I've come to understand why people do this.
Writing a letter to yourself allows you to truly find out what is most important to you. Of course, there are a trillion, minuscule, little items you want to check off your life list, but a letter really allows you to narrow in on your core priorities.
It helped me find answers to questions I didn't even know I had. I finally feel like the list that has been growing for so long is done and maybe it's time to start a new one.
This is my letter. I hope it encourages you to write your own.
To my future self,
There are a million things I want to say to you. I hope you've continued to do yoga, go running and eat your vegetables. I hope you have your master's and you are no longer in debt.
I hope you've found your person and have a home you love. However, even if all of these things aren't true, I hope you know I'm not mad at you because all of those things don't mean anything if you aren't happy. Instead of having all of those things, this is what I want you to know...
I hope you've found some of what you're looking for, but I also hope you've found new things to search for. After all, sometimes the best parts of life are what you imagine and dream.
I hope your imagination hasn't declined with age because -- despite what you remember -- being creative gave you a feeling unlike any other.
I hope you continue to push yourself as a writer. No matter what career you chose, writing is what guided you down every path.
It's what carried you when no one else would. It brought you to bigger and brighter places and taught you so much about yourself. It helped you grow and achieve many things. Forget about being too busy -- make the time for it.
I hope you found a tea you like as much as the one you found in Australia. If not, just give up and move there, please.
I hope you bought yourself a waffle maker and if you haven't, please pause your reading and go get one.
I hope you have a travel wall, just like the one you've always wanted. I hope your book collection has grown exponentially. I hope you and your sister bought walkie-talkies just like you planned.
I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE TOO MANY PICTURES.
Now this one is very important, so read carefully: I hope you never stop going on adventures! You are never too old to fall in love with new places or new people.
You are never too old to change and grow. You are never too old to fake sick and go to the beach for the day. There is no excuse for letting life get in the way of adventures because an adventure is all life really is. Don't you dare forget that.
Last but not least, I hope you spend each day fighting for what makes you happy. Otherwise, what are you doing?
You only get to live once, you know (these days they call that “YOLO”), but let's hope that phrase expires by the time you read this. Oh, and write yourself a new letter. Your future self will thank you.
Until next time, 21-year-old you
This article was originally published on Unwritten.