A Letter to My Un-Lived Self

I grew up just a couple of inches today. Finished signing the lease / got the keys to the condo two friends and I will be renting for the next 12.5 months. Soon, I’ll start a full time summer job while spending my precious time off of school living on my own, away from home. (Read: paying for my own food.) And in the fall, I’ll begin my second year of college.

I feel like this is fake: they’ve got the wrong girl. Somewhere along the line I stopped getting older. In my head, I’m still in the fifth grade. Yet technically speaking, I’m almost finished with my freshman year of college…which has got to be some kind of sick joke.

The end of school years always force me to look back, to compare my current situation to the one I was in exactly 365 days ago. What was I wrapped up in? Who was I mad at? What music did I like? Was I content?

…It’s a trip.

Most of the time I simply shake my head at the past versions of me. Actually, every time I look back, I end up doing that. Aly 1.0, 1.3, 2.0: even though they meant well, they all kind of biffed it. In other words: I’m that kid who got the ‘Good Effort Award’ at the End-of-Season awards banquet…18 years running. (DYNASTY!)

“I didn’t know jack squat,” I’ll think. But fast forward another year and I guarantee you that I’ll be saying the same thing, shaking my head yet again, and accepting another Good Effort Award to hang on the fridge. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Well, in this case, yeah, it kind of is.

Because after all of these school years and all of those changes and every second of all that time gone by, the only sentiment that has not ever changed is the fact that I really don’t know much of anything at all. Doesn’t matter if I’ve been learning how to play nice (sharing means it’s MINE) or fourth semester college-level Spanish. And in some twisted way, that’s comforting.

That doesn’t mean I’m ahead of the game. Just because I do take the time to look back doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly find enlightenment. Hindsight does not always equal insight. Life doesn’t ever stop teaching. The truth is that I should never stop being humbled by that.

So, future self:

I know it looks like I didn’t know anything at the time I wrote this. But the fact of the matter is that by the time it’s a year from where you are, I won’t know much more. Listen to me, though: that doesn’t matter. Keep questioning, keep changing, keep rolling with the punches. Do everything you can, grow more, get better, but promise me that you won’t ever figure it all out.

And uh, by the way-those new socks make our feet look like potatoes.

Way to go.





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