Letter to Myself, December 28, 1969

Dear Pam,

Believe, believe, believe in yourself. Truly, you’ve got to believe me in this. (Ha, get it? Believe in yourself/believe in me?).

Yes, we’re one and the same, only I’m you more than 35 years later. Strange, huh?

But you believe in strange things, don’t you?

Trust me when I tell you, you’re beautiful. You’re not fat. You’re not awkward-looking. And you’re not uncoordinated. In a couple of decades, you’ll be running 10-mile road races. You’ll be stretching in amazing yoga positions and walking an hour a day.

letter to younger self

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you wrote a book with that title now, you’d make a fortune! You’re probably puzzled about what that expression means, but basically, continue like you are.

For a teenager, you don’t worry much now except about the large things, like “is something wrong with me because when I look out the window, trees turn gold and white and I feel like I’m flying?” and “am I really an alien who was placed here on Earth to mingle with the creatures from a different planet?”

Keep asking those questions – they’ll entertain you throughout your life. But you’re so right to not worry about whether that red mini-dress is too short, or if Bev is shunning you because her boyfriend Tim pays attention to you. In fact, Tim will leave Bev for you, but that’s another story, and I’m not supposed to tell you your future; I’m just permitted to leave you words of wisdom for that future.

Oh, be nicer to our brother. Chuck is so off your radar now, but pay more attention to him. Decades from now, you two will become good friends, even though you never live near each other, and you’ll fly thousands of miles to vacation together, and go to each other’s kids’ weddings. He’s a good guy. Stop treating him like a door mat.

Here’s another word of advice that will knock your socks off (and by the way, feel those fluffy thick socks you’re wearing now? I’m still wearing the exact same kind of socks while I sit here typing to you, oh so many years later). KEEP ON WRITING. Right now (in 1969), yes, I know you have your diary hidden in our underwear drawer, and those two short stories you wrote are stashed between the third and fourth books on the second shelf of our bedroom bookcase. Guess what? In the future, not only will you stop hiding your writing, you’ll share your stories – personal pieces as well as your fiction –  on a public ‘web’ forum for friends, family, and lots of strangers. Okay, Okay, I lost you here, but I’m not lying. Truly.

Finally, your love for our sweet dog Suzie, and her love for you, teaches you to be a good friend, a warm and loving mother, and a faithful companion to several special dogs in your future. Give her a special hug tonight.

And after mom closes the bedroom door, let Suzie hop up and sleep with you.

Happy New Year!

 Love from your future self, adult letter to teenaged self

December 28, 2012

22 thoughts on “Letter to Myself, December 28, 1969

  1. What an original and fun idea this one was, Pam! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go back and advise the 1969 us? Worry less about boyfriends and stay closer to those girlfriends who 40 years later are so dear! Happy New Year, Pam! xxoo, Carla

    • Yes, yes, I keep hoping it can happen. Probably why I love the movie “When Peggy Sue Got Married” with Kathleen Turner. Have you seen it? Happy New Year to you, my high school (and always) friend.

  2. Oh, what a lovely post! What compassion you show to that insecure teenager who doesn’t know she carries in her the makings of a wonderful woman! And if you could somehow have told her, she probably wouldn’t have believed you. Just as well – she needed to take every step of the journey on her own. Thank you, Pam!

  3. This is beautiful, Pam. What an awesome concept. I can imagine all the similar things I’d want to tell my younger self. I love the part about Tim and Bev too –it’s like a whole little story within a story!

    Hope your holidays were blessed.

    Erin

  4. That future self of yours is a beauty – love that photo! What a fun way to bring in the new year thinking about how you’ve grown, flown! xo

  5. I love the advice to the younger you to keep asking those questions – and I would add this grave warning to my teen-age self: “An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve learned the hard way that the most important questions have no definite answers…

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