April 12, 2014

A Letter to Myself

This post was scheduled on March 4th. The below letter is inspired by Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.
Button down, thrifted Ralph Lauren | Cardigan, thrifted H&M | Pants, Old Navy | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Target | Glasses, prescription Ray-Ban

Dear Lily,

Things are getting real. It's March--the month where all the sweat, all the angst, and all the hope collide with the bitter taster of dejection and the soaring sensation of ebullience. It's begun already--disappointment and exhiliration pepper life's canvas, a beautiful mess of clashing colors and haphazard textures.

I cannot mince words: college decision month will not flit by like a breeze. Sometimes it will storm. Sometimes the gray gloom on the heavy clouds will seep into your mind; do not, however, let it seep into your soul. For without sorrow, there is no delight. There will be sunshine amidst the rain. After all, aren't the clear skies following a storm most brilliant?

I'd like to keep this short, but let me offer you some advice:

1. Don't compare

Your greatest fear is wistfully watching those who did not work nearly as hard as you enter more prestigious colleges. Stop it. After all, didn't the lovely and wise Sara Bareilles say "compare where you are and where you wanna be and you'll get nowhere?" The admissions process is so subjective, and where your applications are accepted or rejected cannot define your worth. You are more than a college decision. And above all, regardless of your outcome, remember one word: empathy.

2. Let loose

Don't be so hard on yourself. You cringe too often at circumstances that have gone awry. There exists no eloquence without babbling, no sweet without acidic, no poise without stumbling. It may be a bad day, but embrace it. Things will get better.

And certainly look to the future with hope, but do not forget the present. The quotation, "I look to the future because that's where I'll spend the rest of my life" is clever and true, but what about now? How are you spending the present?

College is overly romanticized. Swept up in a frenzy of what will happen, we leave what is happening behind. Pick it up. Dust it off. Dance a little. It's normal to long for college. But do not reject the rest of your high school experience (I'm telling you now--you'd better go to prom again). You may miss it. Savor every remaining moment of this phase of life you'll soon shed.

3. Don't overanalyze

Each decision may seem monumental and life-changing, but remember what your former English teacher told you: everyone ends up doing what they're supposed to do regardless of which college they attend. Stuff happens for a reason, yo! Keep your eyes open to the possibilities. 

I'd like to keep rambling, but calculus and other joys beckon enticingly. It's for your own good that I'm doing this now. You best be grateful. Please excuse my inconsistent colloquial and formal prose today; many things are on the mind. I pray these words find you well. My parting thoughts: Put what you've already learned in life to good use. You're well-equipped for this. Go get em, kid.

All the best,

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