Dear 30-year-old Callie,
How’s it going? I’m not sure how to start a letter to my older self, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about where I am right now. It’s been roughly a month since Steven and I arrived in Glendale to start school and life in a new part of the country. Even though I’ve only been out of school for two years, it seems like a lifetime has passed since I graduated from Susquehanna. Looking back now, I realize I was a little lost. My priorities since my college days have certainly changed for the better. Now that I’m in grad school, I realize how little schooling I actually did while I was in school. It’s kind of a miracle that I did as well as I did. I thought it was more important to have people to like me and that I might be wasting my college experience if I didn’t go out and party. I’m glad I did things the way I did, because I learned quickly enough that drinking, partying, and empty socialization are one-way tickets to entering the huge vague void that still comes every now and again. I now pay more attention to my feelings about things and I’m happier when I listen to these feelings. Some call this intuition. I stopped doing things because I thought I should do them, and now I do things only when I want to. I hope you’re still doing the same.
This might sound crazy, but for as big of a change as it is to move a little over two-thousand miles away from home, it feels quite natural. In my mind driving for four days in a 12-foot U-Haul truck couldn’t have possibly put me here. I have no concept for how far we drove even though I lived through every single one of those miles. The trip all seems like one big blur and then I ended up in Phoenix somehow. Everything from the flora and fauna to the climate is a welcome change for me. This is just what I needed to feel exited about life again, because I was starting to feel trapped like a hamster on a wheel. I feel much better when my options are open and I’m going out on a limb. Risk-taking is something that makes me feel like I still have a measure of control over my fate. I do hope you’re still taking risks; it’s essential to your livelihood.
Enough about me, let’s hear from you! Where are you right now? Are you still exploring new places and trying new things? That’s a dumb question, of course you are. You’ve probably done things by now that make my moving across the country look like baby steps. Are you in a career you love? Did all this hard work that I’m doing right now pay off for you? Are you still writing? Please tell me you’re still writing. Remember in college when you didn’t even keep a journal or make time to paint or draw and how you could feel that void manifest in your manic, desperate search for fulfillment in empty pursuits? Lately I’ve been making time to meditate and do a little yoga in the morning. It’s the first thing I do even before I get sucked into looking at my phone. I hope you’ve broken this phone habit of yours. I’m trying hard to break it for you. Or maybe phones don’t even exist anymore, and maybe there’s something even more distracting than Facebook and Instagram. I’ve stopped watching television and let me tell you, DON’T EVER GO BACK! You’re not missing anything, seriously. Aside from the occasional movie or re-run of Courage the Cowardly Dog on Netflix, I don’t even bother with television.
Oh my God, are you married? Do you have kids? Did that happen? I hope if you’re married with kids that you are also making time for yourself. Solitude is essential to your well-being, but you know that already. Don’t forget about your hobbies. Creating is one of the most fulfilling things you can ever do for yourself. But I bet if you have a family by now, you’ve made the most kick-ass creation you could ever hope to make. If you’re not there yet, or if you’ve decided you don’t want that, then I hope you’re putting your energy into something just as worthwhile. Have you written that novel yet? Or did you decide to write a memoir instead? Maybe you’ve already written both. God, I hope you’re still writing. It’s the one thing that you consistently use to make sense of the volume of thoughts whirling around in your pretty little head. Please tell me you’re at least still keeping a dream journal. My true wish is that you have piles and piles of journals lining your numerous book shelves that hold the walls of your modest country-side home upright. Are you still living simply? Or have you gotten sucked into the fake world of materialism yet? I didn’t think that would happen, I’m just making sure. Right now I’m imagining you live somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and that you have a house tucked away in the woods with lots of windows that let in the natural light for your to write by. You’re somewhere at your desk that overlooks a valley beneath you, and you have a garden where you grow your lilies and milkweed just like mom. How are mom and dad? I know you’re still making them proud. And how is Katie? I hope you two are closer than ever. Send them all my love.
What is the state of things? And by things, I mean the world. Where are we now on the whole climate change thing? Have things gotten any better? Right now I think the political atmosphere is improving incrementally, but it’s not improving fast enough. I hope you’re still living mindfully and modestly. You definitely have solar panels somewhere on your property. Have they gotten rid of plastic water bottles yet?! That shit is so annoying. You’re probably way more eco-friendly in the way you live now than I am here. You’re probably growing a large percent of the food you consume and you probably have chickens that free range in your yard. At least I hope so.
What new and exciting things have you seen since you were 24 and living in a desert? Did your life turn out like you thought it would? Maybe it’s even better than you imagined. You seem to have a penchant for thinking things into existence if your motives are pure and you concentrate enough. You are your thoughts. Don’t forget that. If you’re not where you want to be right now, you can always change it. That’s the beauty of being human and having a free will, just like mom always said.
I hope things are well with you; I’m great here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into your past self, because I’ve certainly enjoyed bringing you up to speed. I wonder what 16-year-old Callie would think if she could see us now. Maybe I’ll write to her next.
Keep in touch!
All my love,
Me (a.k.a. you)